Tramundi: Helping Other People

VI operation -Tramundi sayali

Dear all,

It has been 2 years since we started to help Sayali with her special education. Thanks to that she is improving her hearing and speaking.

We want to thank the 20 Spanish families that are helping Sayali with their economic support, and thanks also to all of you that are sponsors of the Education Program of Creative Handicrafts in India.

We share with you some pictures and short vídeos regarding our visit to Sayali´s school last July. Hope you enjoy them!



TRAMUNDI celebrates its 10th anniversary thanks to the love and support of many wonderful people. That’s why we want to share with all of you such a special moment. With enormous enthusiasm we’ve prepared an evening full of incredible moments and totally free so we can all enjoy it together.  If you’re a contributor, partner, or just simply want to know what we do, we really COUNT ON YOU.

Saturday, November 23rd we are all gathering at Tramundi from 16:30h until 20:30h to celebrate it all together with:

Free activities for children, educational games with Empanadilla, storytellers, Family Magic, Supportive Merienda, African percussion music, rummage sale, and a surprising raffle with lots of great prizes for everyone.

If you can’t come you can participate from a distance in our raffle and help us grow for many more years. (Contact us at 659 800 659 or Come and find out all the details of such an important day for us, one which we want to share with you. 

The efforts of a handful of Valencian volunteers bring hope to the silent world of 5 year old Sayali in India.

Back in 2003 a group of lawyers who had studied at the Valencia Law Faculty, along with a few colleagues in other parts of Spain, several of whom had done some voluntary work, shared a concern about collaborating with and supporting large NGOs, where often it is unclear exactly where the money goes.

On a trip to India four of them met a Spanish nun, Isabel Martin, who was a friend of the mother of one of the group. Sister Isabel had started Creative Handicrafts in the slums of Mombai with three Indian women, teaching them to sew and helping them to commercialise their products. The organisation, part of the Fair Trade network, now employs over 200 women and benefits over 800 people through 13 cooperatives.

The experience of this visit inspired the four, along with four more colleagues back in Spain to set up Tramundi, which means ‘Trabajando por un mundo diferente’, or working for a different world if you prefer.

Among the families working at Creative Handicrafts now is the family of Sayali. Sayali’s world is one of silence, for she is deaf and dumb and has a series of special needs costing about 50€ a month, a small fortune in India, that her family cannot meet. For this reason, Raquel Ferrer, one of the founders of Tramundi, and 19 other Spanish families decided to assume the cost, providing 2.50€ per family per month. Not much of a sacrifice you may think; but for the volunteers of Tramundi this is a small part of their commitment.

The communication between India and Valencia is now fluid, with, for example a collage Christmas tree with photos of all Sayali’s friends in Valencia sent there and drawings and cards from Sayali coming back.

But Tramundi is not content to help just one person; since they moved into their new premises (with the help of a generous landlord) in February 2013, they have greatly increased their activity, which largely focuses on educational projects to raise awareness among their families, friends and neighbours about what life is like in India, and also in Ethiopia and Ghana, to where their collboration flows out from their colouful, friendly headquarters near Avenida Aragon.

One such project is storytelling sessions, telling the stories of people like Sayali so that children in the privileged world can evaluate their own situations and gain some perspective. One graphic example can be seen in one of the many photos on their premises which shows an Indian school that they helped to finance.

The school has no windows, which inevitably surprises the children who see it, until they find out the reason; it is to stop the leopards getting inside.

Tramundi has close links with the American School of Valencia and one of their teachers, Ree Gillett, an author of children’s books with characters such as Freddy Frog, Hailey Hedgehog, Chester Chipmunk and Michael Mole has collaborated in storytelling sessions in English, the language that all Tramundi volunteers need to use to carry out their supportive role in the countries where they lend a hand.

The stories are not just for entertainment; they try to bring the families in Valencia closer to the families they are helping, although as Raquel says, she receives much more from India and the other projects than she can ever give, despite giving up half of her time for Tramundi; the other half she works as a lawyer. Many of the puppets and dolls they use have in fact been made by the recipients of their solidarity, while a few number of articles made in the workshops they help to support are also on sale.

One ‘teaching’ story is the story of Anju, who although imaginary, is typical of the reality of India. Anju was a seven year old girl who wanted to go to school but had to look after her younger brother and her uncle, while her older sister worked in the fields; but a contact with Creative Handicrafts enabled her family to change their lives and find decent jobs, while thanks to the company creche, Anju was able to realise her dream and go to school against all the odds; not a bad message for the youth of today.

This fiction is the reality behind the efforts of this steadily growing creative group of volunteers, whose activities are branching out to incluse yoga for children and special celebratory events planned for International Music Day (21st June) and Africa Day (25th May).

Sadly Isabel Martin, who received the Premio Principe de Viana 2010 from Spain’s Prince Felipe, died in March 2013 at the age of 87, although her energy and generosity clearly live on, as is obvious when you hear somone like Raquel speaking about her.

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