Program Highlights

Heartfelt thanks for your immediate and generous response when unusually heavy monsoon rains caused severe flooding in South India, in November-December 2015. More than 500 people were killed and over 1.8 million people were displaced. Your gifts helped provide clothing and supplies to hundreds of flood victims in need.

Unmarked general donations allow us to allocate funds where they are needed most urgently. Thank you for your continued support!

School Sponsorship Program

We are deeply grateful to the generous families and individuals currently sponsoring the education of 63 village children through Aruna Partnership! Your contributions of $420/year make a huge impact, transforming lives.

School Sponsorship Program School Sponsorship Program

Our sponsored students face the challenges of extreme poverty and family heartbreak on a daily basis. Societal pressures often make it hard for them to stay in school. Through the School Sponsorship Program, classroom teachers and the school principal offer regular counseling to help students cope with these difficulties and graduate successfully.

Thanks to your support, over 96% passed the demanding government exams in 2015. This is quite an achievement when you consider that these young people are competing with more privileged students throughout the state of Tamil Nadu!

Since English is essential for getting ahead in India, high school subjects are taught only in English. This requires great dedication on the part of both students and staff. Although sponsored students have no chance to practice spoken English outside of school, they are reading and writing up to their grade level.

Education builds a better future - for a student, a community, a region, and the world. Share the joy of learning with your sponsor child!

Professional Training Program (PTP)

As India's middle class emerges and the national economic outlook improves, those living below the poverty line are often left further and further behind. The lack of economic, social and cultural opportunities places a heavy burden on students in our area. Without further training, job prospects are extremely bleak even for high school graduates.

PTP Instruction

Thanks to grants from the Moxie Foundation and generous support from 9 individual donors, 48 students are now receiving vocational training or higher education that will qualify them for jobs in their chosen fields.

Most were the first in their families to get a high school diploma.

All 48 PTP students are doing very well in their respective studies and are in good standing academically. 8 students will graduate in August 2016:

  • 3 Electricians
  • 1 Mechanic
  • 1 Fitter
  • 1 Nursing Assistant
  • 2 Special Teachers

Their training has opened up many new opportunities for employment.

One of the teachers has already been offered a job through her university practicum. Our PTP staff will assist the remaining students in finding appropriate jobs.

All of the PTP students express a great longing to support their families and serve their communities. You are helping them succeed!

Many more qualified young men and women need help. Please consider supporting one of our deserving PTP applicants today.

Om Shanthi Project

Om Shanthi Project

Our Om Shanthi Home for elderly widows demonstrates that a happy life for the elderly is possible. All visitors are surprised and fascinated; they love to come back to spend time again with these loving women. Being with the widows is like recharging your happiness-battery. Every visitor feels refreshed and energized. This is what I call 'The Widows-Miracle'!" Anna Etter, founder of Om Shanthi

Thanks to your generosity:

  • A much-needed counseling center for the younger widows is being built above the Shanthimalai Handicraft Center. There will be one big room for teaching and training, and an office for counseling and emergency services.
  • Om Shanthi Project
  • A staff member was hired to offer counseling for the widows and to expand our outreach in the villages. She will also teach the women to read and write and to speak English.
  • The Om Shanthi Old Age Home now owns a rickshaw for trips to town for groceries and for taking the women to the clinic. Roja, who may be the first female rickshaw driver in Tiru, comes from a very poor family and is grateful for this job so she can support her parents.
  • A Yoga instructor teaches our class of lovely grandmothers on Sunday mornings, to fulfill a new government requirement for public institutions. The willingness and flexibility of the elderly widows is a big surprise. Yoga must be in their genes!
  • The vegetable garden is thriving. Within the last year the widows sold 20 kilos of pumpkins, bananas and many papayas (all organic).
  • Kodimalai, our social worker, was honored at the International Women's Day celebration by the Lions Club in March for her outstanding work with the widows.

Girivalam Seva

Thanks to your donations, 480 trash barrels have been designed, fabricated, and installed at intervals of about 30 yards on both sides of the Giripradakshina Road. These barrels are regularly emptied, cleaned on the outside and disinfected inside and out by a crew of mostly women employees who otherwise would be destitute. The area that has been cleaned stretches over more than 7 kilometers. Gradually attitudes toward litter are changing, and villagers are gradually becoming more environmentally aware. See A Closer Look at Girivalam Seva.