To date, over 40 million dollars have been raised to help over 5 million people of India’s poorest people get out of poverty. SOPAR -Bala Vikasa is regarded by the Canadian Government and other international bodies as a leading non-for-profit model; one that achieves sustainable results and helps entire communities get out of poverty. In 2017, André and Bala Theresa received the Meritorious Service Cross from the Governor General Julie Payette for their continued service to those in need.
SOPAR -Bala Vikasa is above all a love story between two people, André Gingras and Bala Theresa Singareddy, committed to each other and to making a real difference in the world.
André and Bala grew up in different parts of the world. However, both had the same dream of serving those in need. They met in the Philippines in the late 60s while undertaking religious studies. Their connection was instantaneous. They got married and vowed to commit their lives to helping those in need. André and Bala Theresa made this life promise to each other – one that would not only shape their own lives, but also change the lives of millions of people in India.
Back in Canada, in 1977, they founded SOPAR -Bala Vikasa (which stands for “Société de partage” in French or Society for Partnership). With the help of like-minded Canadians and Indians, the organization grew helping thousands of orphans and widows live a respectable life, women build small businesses to support their families and communities, and by building wells and water purification systems in order to give water to entire villages.