Our Story

Periamma’s story begins all the way back in 1909 when the quite liberally-minded Danish missionary and educator, Anne Marie Petersen arrived in India, which she soon came to love dearly. Due to her dedication to helping young girls get an education, and thus live a better life, she was given the name “Periamma”, meaning “Great Mother” or “Big Sister” in Tamil.

2022 – today

Reusable Menstruation Pads for Girls in India

We partnered up with Real Relief to produce and distribute Safepads to young girls and women in India. Safepads are cheap reusable pads that are easy to clean, making them more accessible while also helping to lessen the country´s large amount of period waste. By employing local women to make the pads, we are also aiming to help women gain a sustainable income and thus, financial independence. 

In 2023, we have chosen to take it one step further by partnering up with CARE India to lead seminars and workshops on menstrual health and hygiene to destigmatise menstruation and to educate both men and women on the topic.

2022 – today

Investing in a Better Future 

Since 2022, Periamma has been working on improving the seven schools we support in Baringo County, Kenya in a number of areas such as sustainability, agriculture, sports, and education. First, over the course of 2022, we raised DKK 182,000 to build 14 rainwater tanks – two at each school. This will make it easier for the schools to gather, conserve, and use rainwater as needed. We have also established a kitchen garden and 10 mango trees at all seven schools. This will help the students learn about nutrition, health, and the environment, but also help the neighbourhood to produce more edible fruits and vegetables. 

We are still gathering money to construct football fields and libraries. We already have football fields at two of the schools and libraries at five of them. However, our goal is to have one of each at every school.


New Identity and Website

Periamma launched a brand-new website and visual identity with a focus on transparency and eye-level communication with sponsors, donors, partners, and all who crosses path with us. Our 11 logo variants and radiant colours are all inspired by the children and all the communities we support, and they represent the authentic joy from all the students, the diversity of people involved, and the impact that is created by all the people from Periamma and our partners.


New Partnerships & Projects

Periamma established company partnerships with Kejser, Copenhagen Downtown Hostel, and OMAC Jewellery. Our model gives our corporate clients the opportunity to donate a percentage of their revenue to Periamma´s projects, and for Periamma to continuously collect money that directly will benefit our projects.


COVID-19 Relief in Kenya

We held an emergency relief fundraiser for our Kenyan sponsor children and their families who were under Covid-19 lockdown and therefore unable to do the day labourer jobs which usually sustain them. 153 families each received basic foodstuffs and a goat.

2018 – 2021

Water Well at Oterit Secondary School

We collected DKK 150,000 from private and corporate sponsors to build a water well at one of our sponsored schools in Baringo Country, Rift Valley, Kenya. The water well at Oterit Secondary School gives up to 15,000 people access to clean drinking water. Clean water access mitigates the risk of illnesses among our school children and members of the community, who would otherwise consume water from polluted sources. It also supports farmers and the well-being of animals when there are longer periods of dry season with no rain coming.


Technology Centre in Kenya

Periamma worked with Microsoft Middle East & Africa to establish a technology centre and to provide IT training at 2 schools in Kenya. Microsoft has on 3 occasions donated their time and expertise to help Periamma implement a technology centre at our schools in Kenya and India. Where before, the IT training was based only on textbooks, the students and teachers now have the basic practical skills, as well as the opportunity to continue learning with the laptops donated by private companies as part of these projects. From Microsoft’s side, the employees brought home outstanding memories and an incredible team bond.

2018 – today

Sexuality and Health Rights Project in Kenya

A project in Kenya was delivered on sexuality and reproductive health rights, in partnership with 100% For The Children and supported by CISU. The project reached 4080 students and 68 teachers at 17 schools in Mlolongo (Machakos County) and 17 schools in Baringo County. Periamma and partners managed through education and training to empower young people to have increased control over their own lives, bodies, and the community factors which impact upon it. These young people now have the knowledge and skills to intervene and shape their surroundings by speaking up and advocating for their own rights through civil society engagement.


Microfinance in India

Periamma and our local partners in India helped 22 women and transgenders with Microfinance loans, so they could obtain driver’s licenses in order to get jobs as taxi drivers. Four men received loans so they could repair or buy second-hand cars to use as taxis, and some borrowed money to start a pappadom production or open a food stall.


Participation in Peaceful Elections

Periamma was responsible for a civic and voter education project in Kenya funded by the Danish Government through CISU (Civilsamfund i Udvikling). The election project focused on the importance of getting the young and marginalized to participate in democratic processes and to agitate for peace.

Periamma is working with the Kenyan organisations Help Mission Development Services (HMDS), IEBC Nakuru, Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG), Jawabu, Maisha Initiative, and Nakuru County Women Empowerment Forum.


Building Partnerships within Development

In 2017, Periamma in Kenya was selected as Danida-partner of the Global South Program. The program provides the opportunity for civil society organisations in Kenya to strengthen their organisational capacity by forming partnerships with competent NGOs from the north. Periamma has been selected as one of these competent NGOs by virtue of our development work here in Kenya.

The local Kenyan organisations are all based in Nakuru County and each works to influence the local communities in their respective areas: Afforestation, goat milk production, renewable energy, water supply, income-generating activities, awareness of HIV/AIDS, quality education, and good governance.


Ggaba as part of Periamma

Support Disabled Children’s Fund in Uganda was founded by Danish Sidsel Bjerrum in 2015 and provides aid and shelter to 50 handicapped children and their families. Periamma invited Ggaba to become part of Periamma by promoting their project and securing all donations can be tax-exempted as we are a registered charity in Denmark.


Renovation of Seva Mandir in India

Periamma did an assessment of what Seva Mandir needed in terms of renovation in order to bring the school back into good shape. We then asked the Marius Petersen Foundation if they would be interested in funding the project. We got a yes and approximately DKK 900,000 was donated to build a much-needed sewage system, new kitchens, and toilet facilities for all 1.500 girls that board the school.

2012 – 2014

Technology centre in India

Together with Microsoft, we established a new technology centre at the Seva Mandir school. This happened with the help of donations from Juniper Networks and Microsoft in the shape of buildings, expertise, computers, and solid access to internet. 10 local educators participated in courses so they could teach the children how to use IT. 30 employees from Microsoft in India and Denmark put in a lot of work at the school to make this happen, and it has made a huge impact.
This project is upgraded when needed so that each year new graduates from Seva Mandir are among the very few in this geographical area to leave school and enter the job market with a diploma in technology skills and up-to-date computer skills.


InterAid becomes Periamma

InterAid Denmark merged with Periamma, and thus we took over InterAid Denmark´s existing partnerships with schools in Kenya, Uganda, and Thailand.


Periamma was founded

Ole Hoyer visited Seva Mandir in 2011 for the first time, and he was received with such warmth from Prabha (the headmaster of the school). Seva Mandir was founded by Anne Marie Petersen in 1921. Today, it’s a government school where the teachers’ salaries are paid by India. However, the buildings were in bad shape and the materials were lacking thus, the opportunity to develop projects became a major focus and source of motivation. Periamma was therefore founded as a Danish Charity in 2011 – out of the commitment to helping those who are forsaken by our wider societies and thereby continuing in the steps of Anne Marie Petersen. The idea for the name Periamma came from Anne Marie Petersen. It was her nickname when she lived in India which means great mother or big sister in Tamil.


First trip to India

Ole Hoyer and his dear friend, Martin Bjergegaard (now also a member of Periamma’s board), started a preschool in the village of Gingee three hours from Seva Mandir. Today, 80 young children and their families learn here that despite devastating poverty education can be a natural part of life. The children are brought to and from school in sponsored tuck-tucks, and they receive a nutritious meal during the day. Up until today, more than 1,200 students have been a part of the pre-school.


Anne Marie Petersen

Anne Marie became a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi, and after many meaningful exchanges between the two charismatic people about religion and philosophy, aspects of education and so forth, Gandhi laid the groundstone for one of the most important projects Anne Marie planned and lead. Seva Mandir became a reality – a school for girls taught by women, mostly widows. It is today a government-owned school with 2.500 students that is supported by Periamma and The Marius Petersen Foundation.

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