Rosalie’s Acknowledgment: My heartfelt thanks to: … Robert Weir, editor of Reclaiming Lives, without whose assistance this book would not be possible. He took my diverse stories and crafted them into a cohesive manuscript. He added description and detail so that the stories became rooted in time and place. But more importantly, he came to the project with a humanitarian’s heart. Before starting to edit, he visited Kolkata, explored the city, met the people, and listened to the children’s voices. For his contribution to the manuscript, I am grateful; for his guidance, support, and love, I am forever blessed.
Robert’s Acknowledgment: Rosalie Giffoniello is tuned into people. Even in her initial draft, her dialogue and descriptions of human emotions captured Kolkata’s daily life. She cast her characters well, and it was my privilege to construct the literary stage, set, and scenery on which their stories unfold. Rosalie sacrificed what could have been a comfortable life in the U.S. to become a part of frenetic Kolkata for so many years. Her reflections of past and present relationships provide insight into her fears as well as her courage. Her lesson, taught by example, is that we can—if we dare—make a positive difference in our world. And do it with laughter, compassion, patience, and love.
Robert Weir and Rosalie Giffoniello at the door of Preyrona 2 School in the slums of Kolkata, India, September 2011
(Preyrona, sometimes spelled Praroyna, means “inspiration”)
While Educating Kolkata’s Poor
By Rosalie Giffoniello
with Robert M. Weir
Published by CreateSpace
Also available on Kindle
In 2001, Rosalie Giffoniello co-founded Empower The Children, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, based in New Jersey, USA. Empower The Children funds educational, vocational, and lunch programs for slum-dwelling children and women in Kolkata, India. Rosalie lives in Kolkata, overseeing these programs, six months each year.