Island of Hope, the orphanage of AID INDIA was established in 2006 in Virudhunagar. 100 children (boys and girls) between 4 and 18 years old live here happily as a family!
AID INDIA decided to establish an orphanage to give the helpless children in the region of Virudhunagar a home. Because of the poverty in the region and disorganized family situations, many children are orphan, semi-orphan or deserted. They can not go to school and no-one is taking care of them. The orphanage gives them a chance to live life as a normal child. AID INDIA takes care of their wellbeing, health and education.
Children in the orphanage are brought up in a special way. Humanist principles are followed in the orphanage. Non violence, indiscrimination and love for human being irrespective of caste, sex, religion and economic background are the main concepts they learn.
The children are going to school in the day time and are taking care of by the tutors in the orphanage the rest of the time. As well a Primary School (for children between 5 and 10 years old) as a High School (up to the age of 17) are close to the orphanage. For the smallest children a nursery school is available at the orphanage. Free time is spend on homework and playing.
The Bookfeeding Project
The Bookfeeding Project was funded in 2013 by Beatrice Barco, an Italian volunteer who worked for AID India back in 2011 and returned with many ideas to improve the organization.
The Project, still managed by Beatrice with the help of other volunteers, is supported by AID India and aims at providing abandoned kids with English books and textbooks in order to create a furnished library in the orphanages of Sathankulam and Virudhunagar. The Project was born thinking at all those second-hand books, unused old electronic devices (PCs) and outworn clothes that people store up in their houses and that they are unable to give away. Things that would help us improving the facilities of the orphanage.
We would like to stress on the fact that The Bookfeeding Project survives on private donations: we are an initiative which does not receive financial support by the local authorities or any typology of religious institution. We chose the hard path but we do not regret it!
The staff is made up by people from different cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs that joined up together to help others. For free.
For how long this project may run, we want to keep it like this: FREE from any institution, ruled by VOLUNTARY staff and POSITIVE.
We want to be the change we would like to see in the World.
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AID INDIA owned 50 acres of land without a definite purpose. To make use of the land, we decided in 2005 to establish a farm: the Ave Maria farm. The purpose of the farm is to gain profit out of the agricultural activities to support our other projects. A small group of 5 marginalized people works on the land and thus also benefits from the farm. At the farm are several water resources (open-wells and bore-wells) available. At present day the Ave Maria farm is cultivating bananas, coconuts (we have 1000 coconut trees of which 25 are giving yields and the others are growing), cotton and rice. We have a few animals on the farm such as goats and cows. In the future we like to use the farm in more ways. A goat farm, cow farm, verimiculture, mushroom cultivation, nursery gardens, poultry, and nursery plants are some of the many possibilities.
GRAMA VASANTHAM which means “Village Prosperity” is the name of our micro credit program. AID INDIA has implemented this program to empower impoverished women and people with disabilities. With Grama Vasantham over 7000 women and over 300 disabled people succeeded in improving their lives!
To obtain a small business loan, women or disabled people form a Self Help Group with neighbors and friends whom they trust within their village. The number of women organized in a Self Help Group is minimum 10 and maximum 20. For the Self Help Groups of people with disabilities the minimum is 5 and the maximum is 10 members. Self Help Groups meet regularly: weekly or once every two weeks. Within the groups is decided what kind of businesses will be started with the loan (depending on the skills of the members). A bank account in the name of the group is opened and two elected group members are responsible for the operation of the account. They make weekly or monthly savings equally and regularly to pay off the loan eventually. All decisions are taken unanimously. Some members also save extra money which makes internal lending among the group members possible. AID INDIA gives training to the group members in book keeping, accounting, savings, credits, meeting modalities, legalities, purchasing, production and marketing. The groups have 99% repayment rates (there are exceptions to this rule, for example during natural calamities like the Tsunami when repayment was simply impossible). Besides providing loans to the Self Help Groups and training them in business and skill manners we also benefit the Self Help Groups with health programs, literacy- and leadership training. In this manner, AID INDIA helps to ensure the overall (financial, health, and educational) viability of their lives.
With the help of the Grama Vasantham program, local people establish sustainable income generation for themselves and their families. It makes it possible for women and disabled people to start up small businesses. These give the people financial independence, self esteem and a better future for the whole family. Aside from enabling people to be financially self-sufficient the micro credit program serves many other purposes:
1. To give awareness to rural women and people with disabilities on social issues like violence and discrimination against them.
2. To make rural women and people with social needs aware of their legal rights.
3. To make them aware on family health, child care and maternal care.
4. To offer them training in trade and markets.
5. To offer their basic education by implementing the New Linquistic program.