It was quiet day at Vathsalya Charitable Trust, the day we visited. Their CEO Mary Paul was out at a meeting with Government officials and while we waited for her to return, we spent time with the children at their in-house school. There were just 9-10 kids. That isn’t too many children. But for an organization like Vathsalya, it can only be a good thing. Vathsalya’s mission is “to find families for homeless children, as every child deserves a permanent family of his/her own.” So having lesser number of children at their center is testimony that more homes have been found.
Vathsalya believes that the love of a family is necessary for the healthy growth and development of children.
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How it all began
Vathsalya Charitable Trust was registered in 1988 but actual work began only in 1989. Mrs. Mary Paul is the current Managing Director and she’s been around since the beginning (although she did take a decade’s sabbatical between 1991 and 2001 to bring up her own two children).
The organisation was set up by a gentleman, called Mr. Shiri, in response to a need he felt existed in society in the late 80s. As Mary Paul says, “The motivation behind the organisation was really the need.” Prior to setting up Vathsalya, Mr. Shiri was working through the 70s and 80s with an organization called ‘Own International Children’s Services,’ which also worked in the field of adoption. It was more of a central agency that coordinated between adoption agencies in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
There’s no better way to understand the impact that Vathsalya makes and the lives that it touches than by seeing the progressive growth of its children through the years. Have a look at the following images and you’ll understand how this organisation is truely giving abandoned children better lives.
Whether you want to spend a day here or a month, Vathsalya Charitable Trust welcomes volunteers with open arms. If you are able to volunteer longterm, you can teach English/Maths/Science to the children. (Vathsalya runs an in-house school for their children who are yet awaiting adoption within families.) If shortterm, you can come by on a weekend and spend time with the children. Play games, sing songs, dance; just spend some time with these kids – they will welcome you with open arms!
On a separate note, Vathsalya also accepts donations in-kind. Baby items, like clothes, talcum powder, baby oil etc. are welcome. As are school items, like notebooks and stationary for the older children. And ofcourse toys for kids till 8 years will always help make the premises livelier.