History

In 2005, a group of colleagues at Baruch College (City University of New York)  came together to assist their friends, Gerry Pinto and Rita Panicker, with their New Delhi, India-based grassroots organization, Butterflies Child Rights. Butterflies USA was established and since has expanded to include supporters from around America. Each year, Butterflies USA contributors travel to India to witness firsthand the amazing work of this small organization protecting and championing urban street and working children through education, nutrition, health care, child rescue, and sanctuary.  In December 2014, Butterflies USA will participate in the celebration of the anniversary of the founding of Butterflies India in New Delhi.

Butterflies USA recognizes that the protection of children’s rights is a critical issue in all urban centers in the developing world. While India has seen an enormous expansion in its national wealth, wealth disparity has increased and fully half its population continues to survive in extreme poverty. The result is an increased demand for the broad range of services for children in need. That an organization like Butterflies, of minimal size and overhead, accomplishes its mission, serving today some 1,500 children on a monthly basis, is an amazing accomplishment that continues to convince American and many other donors of the urgent need to support this activity.

The Butterflies’ philosophy to advance and promote the rights of children to a voice in their affairs, while remaining in their families (rather than in institutions) and the voice of Ms. Panicker in promoting this in international meetings and forums, has particularly impressed all donors.In a major contribution, ButterfliesUSA funded the acquisition of land for a new headquarters which will include its Butterflies’ landmark culinary training institute and the new resilience rescue center. The American organization is but one part of a global effort that includes the German Bishops (Misereor), Comic Relief UK and corporations from Scandanavia to Japan.