How We Got Started
A very special woman, trained by Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity, was caring for some fifty disabled people when I came across her in a crumbling building in a poor fishing village in the south of India (writes Robin Radley).
Years later, in the 1990s, Sister Mary and I, sharing a dream about one day helping some of India’s homeless children, heard that all those in her care were one day to be transferred to a new home.
It could, we thought, allow us to go ahead and create an orphanage in her native State of Kerala.
So great was the need to bring love and care to children that the first group arrived at our Karunanilayam, home of mercy, even before it was completed. “What next?” I asked Mary after meeting those children. She replied, “One healthy cow and one well.”
Chiks, a small but very active charity, was launched and registered before the turn of the century. Today we are providing for more than 200 children in three orphanages, and we’re developing a farm . . .
For most boys and girls brought to us, or who appear at the gates after years of cruelty or neglect, life had been one of indescribable poverty. No proper home, inadequate meals, little or no health care. Seldom any education.
Sister Mary and other wonderfully driven Indian friends are, with Chiks’ support (from donors and sponsors), changing such young lives, bringing them health, education, fun and friendships. And the children can also look forward to a bright future, since we offer training for independence as they approach their middle teenage years.
Our Hill Homes
A few years after opening the original orphanage in Kerala, Chiks helped other strongly motivated Indians to open orphanages. We also
bought a neglected farm and today it is on-course to sustain those Hill Homes.
So, in addition to the Main Home (Karunanilayam) we are providing for children at two others that we founded at Munnar, on the Tamil Nadu border, and Carmel Matha Santhi Bhavan, on the road to Bangalore.
They are supporting about 150 children, largely from destitute tribal backgrounds – families often existing in wild and remote areas with no basic facilities. Mathew Manuel and his wife Molly, inspired by the late Blessed Teresa, started a Home for destitute adults – then together we launched a new house at Little Flower for the care of children. Brother Joy Daniel and his wife Dora are running the other Home, Carmel Matha Santhi Bhavan, providing for rescued street children.
2016 saw a medical center launched at Little Flower where our 120-plus children and 170 destitute adults live.
Farm production prospects are good – but right now the children’s Homes and the farm are threatened by the current financial situation.
Committed supporters are doing so much for the charity and the Homes but more help is needed or the future of our children, and all those who will surely follow in their footsteps, will be in doubt.