India Village Poverty Relief Fund
Crystle at a school visit, 2015
The work of the India Village Poverty Relief Fund evolved out of a long-lasting affiliation with villagers in the state of Punjab, India. During the 1960's Crystle Mazurek spent four years as a child in the area while her parents worked as lay missionaries. In 2001, she returned and was deeply moved by the plight of the villagers.
Crystle returned to Canada in 2001 and formed the India Village Poverty Relief Fund and initiated sustainable income earning projects such as raising buffalo, providing sewing machines, carpentry tools and bicycles, investing in a local store and financing a small truck. In 2004, Crystle went back to live in the remote rural village of Dyal Bhatti for six months, a village with no running water and no electricity. She wanted to listen and learn more about the needs of the villagers directly from them. She also volunteered in a local school to learn more about the education system in preparation for setting up education scholarships. Since then, the Fund has sponsored thousands of students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 and beyond. As well, we have opened eleven tailoring centres to educate older women to sew.
The fund, now fourteen years old, continues to finance education and sustainable projects, enabling impoverished villagers to earn an income. It continues to strive to improve the standard of living of the marginalized by building latrines and providing health and dental care.
Crystle with Mothers of Sponsors, 2015
The India Village Poverty Relief Fund supports sustainable social justice projects tailored towards improving the lives of impoverished villagers in India. We strive to enable the marginalized to take control of their own lives and live with dignity and purpose by providing education, tools and medical supplies.
To provide education and employment training for impoverished villagers in need. To provide sewing machines and tools to enable villagers to raise their standard of living. To relieve poverty in India by providing food and other basic supplies to persons in need. To improve the quality of drinking water by constructing wells & water treatment an irrigation & sewage treatment systems. To provide health care services to villagers in need.
The India Village Poverty Relief Fund is currently sponsoring 580 students ranging from Junior Kindergarten up Grade Twelve. Ten additional students are being sponsored in university or college to become teachers, nurses, lawyers or IT specialists. We have established eleven mobile sewing training centres in remote rural areas where women have had limited or no education. At each centre, 25-30 young women study for six months and when they graduate, each woman receives her own hand-cranked sewing machine. We recently provided widows with baby buffalo that they will care for and sell for a profit after five years.