SHARE, Chennai, India
"The best way to describe our involvement with the nuns at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent at Pondicherry,” shares Frank Martin, project manager of SHARE, “is to say we feel we have been caught up in a 21st Century re-make of the Bing Crosby classic, ‘The Bells of St. Mary’s!’”
“We first heard about the Sisters through a fellow volunteer who was leaving for a conference. He handed Frank an envelope saying, “Here’s a project you may want to adopt. An orphanage in Pondicherry has taken in 80 tsunami affected girls and is in need of food, clothing, school fees and uniforms for them." We learned that this orphanage teaches 1500 poorer children from surrounding villages.
With this news came a request for $28,000 to build a 2,400 sq. ft. dormitory room to house the 80 new arrivals, and another for a $10,000 for construction of new lavatory/shower facility.
"Immediately after receiving the request for the school uniforms, fees, and boarding expenses a friend , Captain Thomas, offered $2,000. Then Ruth, an Italian aid worker from New Delhi, called and said her sponsors in Italy wanted to donate the construction of the lavatory facilities.
“At the time the director of the International Hospital for Children was visiting with us and he gave an $800 gift towards the girls’ immediate needs, and later offered to pay half of the cost of the dormitory."
With partial funding available, work on the new dormitory commenced and progressed rapidly until the end of August 05 when money ran out. In consultation with Family Care Foundation, they volunteered to provide the remaining amount to finish the work.
Monsoon rains in Tamil Nadu came and were the worst in 50 years. The sisters received an order from the government that if the school was not completed by the end of December 05, they would lose their license to teach.
Thankfully, exactly one year since our initial involvement, SHARE attended the opening ceremony of the new dormitory room, also attended by representatives from the local government and the Ministry of Social Development.
“From all of us at SHARE, we want to thank everyone who helped to complete this miraculous project that has directly benefited the lives and living conditions of so many young girls.”
For more click on the following link: SHARE