One of our main programs is supporting an orphanage in Wagholi, which majors in taking in street children or abandoned babies. So these children have showed up from various sources, from the police bringing orphan children begging at train stations, to children of nomadic people who have abandoned their children.
What’s more, 55 of these children are deaf, and have to be trained to learn sign language, and then receive academic training in the local languages, Marati and Hindi, altogether a long and patient process.
Once these children reach 15 years of age, they are also taught a vocation which allows them a livelihood once they are on their own.
The orphanage is home to children, who receive academic training in Grades 1 – 8, a dream they would never have attained given the lack of opportunity in their previous life.
These dear folks running this orphanage also run another nearby establishment that houses and teaches another 172 older orphans and children from similar backgrounds.
The man who started this orphanage 20 years back could very well be described as a male Mother Teresa, as far as his dedication to this wonderful undertaking. He was a successful businessman and human rights activist who took in a few street kids, then a few more, and before he knew it, this is what he was doing full time.
The most rewarding part of our work here is interacting with the precious children, each of which we realize could have been ours, except by the grace of God, and the circumstances that allowed them to be born in a western nation, where opportunity exists.
As an added vocational benefit, we have added a sewing facility and computer schoolroom, both funded through a recent grant from Family Care Foundation.