French Connection’s Efforts to Help Pine Ridge Reservation

French Connection's Presidents Amandine Vardan (11) and French Connection members get ready to deliver food to teachers’ rooms during lunch.

Sanjana Gudivada

French Connection's Presidents Amandine Vardan (11) and French Connection members get ready to deliver food to teachers’ rooms during lunch.

Sanjana Gudivada, Staff Writer

Irvington’s French Connection Club held a teacher’s cafe on Dec. 13, where they delivered homemade food from Room 201 to teachers on campus. All of the food was delivered from Room 201 to the respective teachers’ classrooms. The profits gained will go to the  Bear Project organization.

French Club students cooked many dishes including vegan soup, buche de noel (a French Christmas dessert), gratin, and vegan cookies. French Club students prepared the dish the night before, and heated it during Flex and fourth period to ensure that the food would be warm when served to the teachers.

Madame Kayla, French Connection’s advisor, sent out an email to all the teachers, who were able to order food from the menu given to them. The price was cost-effective:a full course meal was only $5.

“The money that we’re donating is going to this amazing organization called the Bear Project, which is an organization that helps the struggling Oglala Lakota Sioux on the Indian reserve of Pine Ridge in South Dakota,” said French Connection’s president Amandine Vardhan (11).

Oglala Lakota Sioux is the one of the most impoverished area in the U.S. According to Amandine, the people there suffer from the new voting laws that don’t allow people on a reservation to vote. They have been struggling with alcoholism, genocide promoted by the government, and high rates teen pregnancy rates child abuse. About 85 percent of the children on the reservation face parental abuse.

“They have to live with their grandparents because of stories related to substance abuse or parental abuse on their children ” Amandine said.

French Connection also conducted a drive after Thanksgiving break to collect clothes, toys and toiletry supplies that were donated by the students and teachers on campus. Thanks to an Instagram campaign done by the club, two ladies donated 90 sports bras and 80 pairs of socks to the reservation. All the donated items would go to the families and children struggling on the reservation.

“What you need to realize that there’s no infrastructure on the reservation, no stores, and no restaurants; there’s nothing. So they don’t grow up in the same materialistic environment that we do, but then they don’t get some of the benefits of it, so it’s gonna be really great.” said Amandine.

The event also served as a fun experience to all the French Connection members who participated in cooking

“People went to each other’s houses and it’s a really fun bonding event,” Amandine said, “it was basically a charity event, like a bonding event, so that was really nice.”