On behalf of the trustees I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support ove r the last twenty months. Without you there would, without doubt, be no hope for the future of 150 orphaned children to move into the safety of a purpose built orphanage in Kancheepuram, South India. It has been a long time in happening, with a few hiccups and setbacks along the way, however, at last our dream is about to become a reality.......the building has begun!
In March this year, Lynn, Maggie, Lois and I travelled to India to meet up with Sophia and the children she cares for in a rented building. I don’t think we were quite prepared for what we found! The accommodation was shocking. It certainly was in sharp contrast to what most of us take for granted in this country. The children however, were delightful and so appreciative of our visit. It was without doubt a most humbling and emotional journey, one that has spurred us on to make a difference and get the children into a safe environment asap!
We have not been their only visitors. Matthew Smith, a final year student at Cambridge University, is a regular and familiar face in the orphanage. He has spent many of his holidays from university with the children. He does this on a completely voluntary basis; he pays his own travel costs and helps them on a daily basis doing anything from teaching to painting the walls and attending to all the practical domestic chores. He is much loved by the children and we at Cherishindia appreciate all that he does.
Johanna Wilbraham, an art graduate, also spends long periods of time with the children. She is currently at the orphanage, with her friend Jon from Australia and will be there until after Christmas. Thank you Jo and Jon!
John Gunn, our very good friend and Building Project Manager, spent a week in Kancheepuram recently, speaking with the architect, visiting the land and generally pulling everything together. He does all of this, including buying the children lots of treats, on a voluntary basis. We are so grateful!
Mike Connarty of Standard Life and his associates have been most generous in their fundraising and kindly made us their charity this year. Mike is going to India on business in December and plans to take time out from his busy schedule and pay a visit to the orphanage.
A friend of Nancee has also helped us to set up our Cherishindia website (www.cherishindia.org). Joyce Halsan stepped in and produced a web site of which we are proud.
The current economic situation has not worked in our favour and has resulted in our hard earned pounds not buying as many rupees! We are, however, now much closer to our dream of a permanent home for the children currently in the care of the Love Care Centre and this legacy will hopefully be a haven for homeless children for many years to come.
Elaine Duguid, Trustee of Cherishindia.