In March friends from New York, Miche and their daughter Violet, were in Kanchipuram and did a photography course with the children. Luckily, shortly before they came, we found a place in the city itself (for a few months, the orphanage had to move to a nearby village). Now the orphanage is back in town, close to the „collector’s office“.
Miche and Violet also took all children to the swimming pool of their hotel, and a few girls have actually dared to go into the water – of course with clothes, this is quite normal in India.
All were terribly sad when Miche and Violet had to travel further, but as a momentum the children kept copies of the pictures they shot, and now these pictures decorate the whole house. Miche’s friend also donated a camera to the orphanage – maybe one or the other or the children will now become a photography specialist?
After that, all the children had to prepare for the exam – and everything went well: Jambulingam has passed his exam, and has applied to three Polytechnic colleges, to study engineering. Gopalakrishnan has passed class 10 and is now entering the Shankara college. The girls Anu and Renuka go now to the Krishna college and specialize in banking there. Sharavana also has passed the 10th class and now goes to the Paccajjappa College, where he specializes in IT.
Ute Huesken visited the orphanage again in July, when she was attending a workshop in Pondicherry. Here is her report:
After the orphanage was housed in a small village outside the city of Kanchipuram for a few months, we have fortunately managed to again rent a house in Kanchipuram itself. The house in the countryside was indeed spacious and beautiful, but the long routes to the schools were very cumbersome and time-consuming – plus it was difficult for the trust members, to just go and visit the children. So it was a lot more lonely in the countryside.
The new house in Kanchipuram is small but fine – and in a pleasant district with many small houses with a garden, and the neighbors are all very nice and helpful. They take much part in the lives of the children in the orphanage. Often neighbors come by to bring sweets or something useful, or just for a chat with the children or the caregivers.
In February we again received the status of „charitable organization“ in India – it was not so easy to juggle the intricate and obscure Indian bureaucracy. But Mr. Subramanian has again managed to get this status for us!
Five children joined us this summer:
Vanmati is a 11 year old girl, whose parents have been dead for quite some time. The grandfather, with whom she lived since then, also recently died. Her teacher has recommended her to us – she’s a very sweet girl and an avid Bollywood dancer!
Anita is 8 years old, she came along with her brother, Shivakumar who is only 5 years old. The mother of the two children died some time ago. Her father is a coolie who earns too little money to support his children. The school principal brought the two children to our attention.
Dipika is also new to the orphanage. She is 8 years old. Her single mother is Washerwoman and can not pay for their 5 children with her meager income. But they tries to visit Dipika every day at the orphanage.
Also our „old timers“ bring us much joy: all children, without exception, make great progress in school.
Again, the running costs have risen – and although the local Indian trust can take care of many of the additional costs, we have to increase our monthly support: the vegetables, milk, and rice have become more expensive. In addition, the rent is now higher because we live in town again. We decided also to raise the salary of the employees to adapt them to the higher costs of living.
Overall I can say that I enjoyed the visit very much, and above all that I see and feel how well the children do, and what a successful project we have put together here.
A HUGE thanks to all of you who have helped!