Sunrise Children’s Home

Tamil Nadu, Southern India
47 Children
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Sunrise Village is a children’s home located on ten acres of land in the state of Tamil Nadu. It features family-style living, with ten children and one housemother living in a cottage with one caregiver. Currently, fifty children call Sunrise Village home.

It was founded in 2006 by the Schoenstatt Father’s Society and The Miracle Foundation in response to the tsunami that hit southern India in 2004. They chose the rising sun as their symbol, with the intention of giving orphaned and abandoned children new hope and new life by providing them with an environment that promotes love and trust.

Father Pushpa Irudaya Raj joined the Schoenstatt Father’s Society in 2002 and now serves as the President of Sunrise Charitable Society. He holds a master’s of arts in M.C.J. and his motto is “life in abundance.” The children’s village Director is Father Dhunabal who is committed for the development of the children.”

Sunrise started working with The Miracle Foundation in November 2011. At that time, the staff was able to provide the children with many of their basic needs, including family-style living in individual cottages (with a low housemother to child ratio), as well as a well-balanced diet and adequate clothing. However, several important areas required strengthening. Specifically, the children did not have access to clean water, an adequate playground area, and their emotional and psychological needs were not being met.  Since then, we have worked with the management at Sunrise to address these areas of concern.

Today, all of the children have access to clean water and the adolescent children have undergone in-depth Life Skills Education. Many of the children confirmed that these classes were their first introduction to many important topics, such as how to identify and cope with their emotions, what is HIV/AIDS, responsible sexual behavior, study skill & goal setting, effective communication, sexual abuse, substance abuse and what constitutes a healthy interpersonal relationship.  In addition to Life Skills Education for the adolescents, the housemothers received essential housemother training, including an understanding of child development, proper discipline techniques, and the importance of health and hygiene. A full-time social worker has also been hired in order to provide on-going guidance to the children and the staff.  Additionally, Whole Foods Market, and their nonprofit arm Whole Planet Foundation, installed a new playground area, providing the children with a place to run, play, and be children! See sidebar.

By collaborating with the staff of Sunrise Village, while also providing them with incremental support, we were able to help in significantly raising the children’s quality of life, both physically and emotionally. Since Sunrise started working with The Miracle Foundation, we’ve seen a tremendous change in the hearts and minds of the children. They are now better able to understand themselves, to freely discuss their emotions, to dream about their future, and to make smart decisions that will help them reach their full potential.

Learn more about What We Provide to the children with The Miracle Foundation’s approach.