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From Member to Volunteer: Joining the Charity Team

~ Marieke Bloemena, ICB member & enthusiastic charity liaison

Before moving to Bangalore in Sept 2023, I checked online if there were any Charities where I could give some of my time. I previously lived in Jakarta, Indonesia and I experienced what a difference supporting a Charity could make. I was sure I wanted to continue this in Bangalore.


Deena Seva Charitable Trust

I came across the ICB website with a whole list of supported charities. As I also wanted to meet new people, I decided to join ICB and talked to Liav (VP Charity Committee) about charity opportunities. In Feb 2024, I joined my first meeting with the Charity team.


A week later Kathy invited me to join her to visit the three Charities she is the liaison for. We started with a visit to one of the residential homes of Deena Seva Charitable Trust. In total they run four residential homes caring for around 75 children and 60 women, all of whom are HIV+, and a palliative care unit for the terminally ill. We met a lovely team of caretakers and children who live in this home. ICB was able to donate towards 35 cupboards for the children so they have their own place to store their belongings.

Freedom Foundation

The second visit that day was with Freedom Foundation where the founder, Dr Ashok, told me about his dedicated life towards HIV/AIDS. The Freedom Foundation supports access to health care and treatment for people living with alcohol/drug abuse and/or HIV/AIDS and also runs programs to increase awareness and creates a platform for best practice and cross learning. One of the positive outcomes of this is that more and more HIV+ children can now grow up in a local community with a care-taker and live a more normal daily life than growing up in a residential home with many other children. The donated money from ICB will be used for education fees, uniforms and stationary for 10 children to attend school.


Child Care Asia

Our last visit that day was at Father Gerald’s Free school (Child Care Asia) which provides free education. We were invited to a classroom where we got a demonstration of the Smartboard, a fantastic tool for interactive education. The donation from ICB this year will be used towards various notebooks needed for classwork. 


I had a great day and saw that ICB can make a difference with their support to these charities. Soon I will visit the two charities for which I will be the liaison and I will keep you updated!

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