Charity work changes lives from Wanaka

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Penny Eaton of Wanaka is transforming the lives of women, from the very young to the very old.

She helps run Ramabai Mukti Mission New Zealand from her home in Wanaka, encouraging people across Central Otago and the rest of the country to give tens of thousands of dollars each year to house and care for women and children living in poverty in India.

The charity worked to better the lives of people in need, she said, from blind children rejected by their families to elderly women unable to care for themselves.

Mrs Eaton had been involved with the charity for around 10 years, and continued to run the office since retiring to Wanaka last year.

Most of the sponsorships were around $35 a month, Mrs Eaton said.

“Our bread and butter, of course, are the sponsorships.”

A separate trust had provided enough funds to cover administration costs, enabling 100% of donations to be sent to India.

Over the last year more than $140,000 was donated, providing funds for more than 200 disadvantaged women and children in Kedgaon, Maharashtra.

It was rewarding work seeing the difference the donations made, and Mrs Eaton and her husband had travelled several times to India to meet the women and children who had benefited from the generosity of New Zealanders.

Mrs Eaton was hopeful more local people would consider sponsoring, saying it was a very fulfilling experience.

Better lives . . . Penny Eaton, of Wanaka (left) with social worker Saroj Kadam, speaks to three elderly residents in Kedgaon, India. PHOTO: SUPPLIED