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 getting an education, and thus a better life, she was given the name “Periamma”, meaning “Great Mother” or “Big Sister” in Tamil.

2022

New identity and website for Periamma

Periamma have 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 colors are all inspired from 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 Partners.

2021

New partnerships & projects

Periamma established corporate partnerships with Kejser, Copenhagen Downtown Hostel and OMAC Jewerly (Read more HERE). This model gives our corporate clients the opportunity to donate a percentage of their revenue to the Periamma projects, and for Periamma to continuously collect money that directly will benefit our projects. We also kickstarted the investment in water tanks in Kenya and are developing a new business model for how to offer menstrual pads for school girls in india.

2020

COVID19 Relief in Kenya

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.

2020 – today

Developing multiarena in India

Periamma and the community Girls Are Awesome started finding partners and sponsors for a walled outdoor arena at Seva Mandir in India so that the children can do sports in a safe environment. The multi arena will include lighting, an artificial grass field, nets, balls, rackets etc. There are around 1,500 girls at the school who will benefit. The project has been delayed due to Covid-19 and is expected to relaunch in the beginning of 2023.

2018 – 2021

Building new Water Well in Kenya

We collected DKK 150,000 from private and corporate sponsors and helped our local partners to build water well in a Kenyan rural village giving up to 15,000 people access to clean drinking water. Clean water access mitigates the risk of illnesses among our school children and the community members, who would otherwise consume water from polluted sources. It also supports the well-being when farming and having animals when there are longer periods of dry season with no rain coming.

2018

Establish technology center in Kenya

Working with Microsoft Middle East & Africa to establishing a technology center and to provide IT-training at 2 schools in Kenya. Microsoft has on 3 occasions donated their time and expertise to help Periamma implementing a technology center on 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 from private companies as part of these projects. From Microsoft side, the employees brought home outstanding memories and an incredible team bond.

2018 – today

Sexuality and Health Rights project in Kenya

Project in Kenya was delivered on sexuality and reproductive health rights, in partnership with 100% For The Children. 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.

2017

Microfinance in India

Periamma and our local partners in India helped 22 women and transgenders with micro finance loans, so they could obtain drivers’ licenses in order to get jobs as taxi drivers. 4 men received loans so they could repair or buy second-hand cars to use as taxis, and some have borrowed money to start a pappadom production or open a food stall.

2017

Participation in Peaceful Elections

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

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

 2017

Building Partnerships in Development

Periamma in Kenya has been selected as Danida-partner of the Global South Program. The program provides the opportunity for civil society organizations in Kenya to strengthen their organizational capacity by forming partnerships with a competent NGO 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 organizations 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 of education and good governance.

2016

Ggaba is part of Periamma

Support Disabled Children’s Fund in Uganda was founded by Danish Sidsel Bjerrum in 2015 and provides aid and shelter to 40 handicapped children and their families. Periamma invited Ggaba to become a part of Periamma through promoting their project and securing that all donations can be tax exempt as we are a registered charity in Denmark.

2013

Renovation of Seva Mandir in India

Periamma did an assessment of what Seva Mandir needed of renovation in order to bring the school back into good shape. We then asked 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 toilets facilities for all 1.500 girls that boards the school.

2012 – 2014

Establish technology center in India

Together with Microsoft, we established a new technology center 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 were given 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 diploma in technology skills and up-to-date computer skills.

2012

InterAid becomes Periamma

InterAid Denmark merged with Periamma, so we took over existing partnerships with schools in Kenya, Uganda and Thailand, including education of 300 with Danish sponsors.

2011

Periamma was founded

Ole Hoyer visited Seva Mandir in 2011 for the first time, and he was received with such warmth from Prabha (the current Headmaster of the school. Seva Mandir was founded by Anne Marie Petersen in 1921. Today it’s a governmene school, where the teachers’ salaries are paid by India. But the buildings were in bad shape, the materials lacking and thus the opportunities 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 to the name Periamma, came from Anne Marie Petersen. It was her nick name when she lived in India, and it means the great mother or big sister in Tamil.

2010

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 3 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 has been a part of the pre-school.

2009

How Periamma came to life

Ole Hoyer visited Seva Mandir in 2011 for the first time, and he was received with such warmth from all the teachers and students at 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. But the buildings were in bad shape, the materials lacking and thus the opportunities 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 to the name Periamma, came from Anne Marie Petersen. It was her nick name when she lived in India, and it means the great mother or big sister in Tamil.

1921

Anne Marie Petersen

She became a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi, and after many meaningful exchanges between the 2 charismatic people about religion and philosophy, aspects of education and so forth, Gandhi laid the ground stone to 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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