The Anbarasi Home for Children
Founded in 1974 by late Fr. Mariadasan S.J., with 3 children, Anbarasi Social Action sits on 4 acres of land on the outskirts of Didigul in Tamil Nadu. Back then, the Home did not have any regular donors and was dependent on the help of the local community and well wishers. In 2000, Father Mariadasan died suddenly and the children were virtually orphaned again.
Before and After – Supervision
Selvi Josephine, an elderly woman of 75 years and a close associate of Fr. Mariadasan took up the challenging task of reviving the activities and taking care of the 38 children that were living there. She literally had to beg from the shops in and around the Home to receive free rice and vegetables to feed the children. It was a very tough time.
Fortunately, in 2004, she ran into Mr. L.P. Gothandpani, a local man from a poor background that had a master’s degree in Mathematics. She explained her problem to him and Mr. Go (as he is lovingly called), started helping Sister that day. And he has been there every day since.
Mr. Gothandapani began recruiting other like-minded people, including friends, co-workers, community members and the owner of the local textile mill. Together, their donations and efforts provided the children of Anbarasi with food, shelter and education. They increased their staff which included Sister Josephine, and two housemothers (this meant one adult to 75 children ratio!), as well as three cooks.
Still, Anbarasi was dependent upon donations provided by the nearby community and operated on poverty level funding. The children of Anbarasi lacked the basics. Their ground water was contaminated from a nearby factory, so drinking water was brought in two to three times per month. They only received two meals a day (breakfast and dinner), generally consisting of rice, dal and vegetables, with eggs served only twice a week. This meant their diet was lacking in protein, dairy and fruit. Their healthcare was substandard. The children had not been vaccinated and did not have routine medical check ups or proper medical records. The children slept on straw mats on the floor, not proper mattresses, and had ragged clothes, limited toiletries and no shoes.
The children of Anbarasi lacked the basics. Clean water, nutritious meals and healthcare.
Fortunately, the caregivers had a special place in their heart for the orphans. And the children of Anbarasi did have love—the most important thing money can’t buy. We were able to come in to fill in the gaps of health, education and preparing the children.
Since Anbarasi started working with the Miracle Foundation in May 2012, we have been able to help them make significant improvements. We helped them hire four additional housemothers, a social worker, a supplemental cook and an administrative assistant. The children began enjoying three nutritious, delicious meals and snacks, including protein and fruit. They received additional clothing and shoes, as well as proper bedding, healthcare and life skills education. The childcare staff received housemother training and learned about child development, discipline techniques, healthcare, first-aid treatments and so much more. Additionally, in October 2012, Whole Foods team members traveled to Anbarasi in order to improve the children’s bathing and hygiene facilities.
Before and After – Water
We are thrilled to see how these simple necessities have dramatically improved the orphans’ lives and the lives of the dedicated staff as well.
Anbarasi is one of our many homes where children now thrive. It’s a beautiful example of dedicated people in India, the United States and all over the world, joining together to create miracles for orphans.
Today, Anbarasi is home to 150 beautiful children who thrive.