Who are we?
Nambikkai Illam is a set of 2 homes for deprived children near Chennai (Madras) in South-East India, one for boys and one for girls. It provides shelter, safety, education, and a loving environment to around 60 children aged between 5 and 21.
‘Nambikkai Illam’ means ‘Home of Hope’ in the local Tamil language. Nambikkai Illam is run by Faith Welfare Trust (FWT), a Christian charity set up in 1987 and registered in the UK (registered charity number 327557).
FWT has also provided funding to build Faith School (350 miles north of Chennai) which opened in 2004 and supports the education of around 300 poor children in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh.
The UK-based FWT trustees are: Alistair Coomer, Joy Smith, Tessa and Chris Sayers, Elsie and Brian Tugwell, John and Rachel Fisher and Helen Webster. The local NIT trustees are: Mr R Prabakaran, Mr Dhyaneswar, Mr Dinakaran, Mrs Soundrakumari, Dr Esther and Mr Livingstone.
Why a children’s home in India?
India has some of the poorest people, with adult incomes often as low as $1 US per day. Under these conditions, social problems are rife, and the weak suffer most.
The children who are admitted to Nambikkai Illam come from a variety of backgrounds, although all have suffered some kind of deprivation. Some have no parents, others are children of single parents, or they have been left with grandparents who cannot cope. Some are sibling groups.
Our aim is to make known the love of Jesus Christ by providing:
- a safe home and loving environment for deprived boys and girls
- an education which will enable the children to go on to further training or education which maximises their opportunity for earning a living wage and escaping the poverty trap.
Many have been abused, parents are alcoholics or suffer illness which makes them unable to care for their children. Some come from large families where their parents earn too little to support the whole family.
Vengadu village is home to the boys. It is located near the town of Sriperumbdur. The girls are about 2 km away near the village of Navalur. The accommodation is basic, but much better than the homes that the children will have come from. It is a haven of safety, love and stability which many of the children have never experienced before.
Nambikkai Illam is staffed by professional, caring wardens and support staff, many of whom are Christians. They show the love of Jesus Christ through the care they give for the children, supported by regular prayer, Bible teaching and church attendance. The staff and Trustees review all the applications for placement and make the difficult judgments about which children to take into our care.
When the children are admitted to Nambikkai Illam they receive clean clothes, good food and loving care from the staff. They are educated at local schools and are taken there and back in our own buses. On a Sunday the children attend a church service in a local church building, often led by a member of a local Church of God at Pernampet or Pallavaram. As the children reach the age of needing training or further education, their needs are assessed so that they can be placed appropriately.
Faith School is purpose built to serve the poor and underprivileged community in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, giving a good English Medium education with Christian principles. Some students come from Christian families but most of them are Hindus and a few Muslims.
The school day runs from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm with one hour break for a free cooked lunch, 6 days a week. Before starting class work the students attend a time of prayer, singing Christian songs and Bible reading, concluding with the national pledge.
The school year begins in June and at present there are around 120 students. All national days are celebrated: Independence Day on 15 August, Republic Day on 16 January, and Independence Day on 26 January. The students take part in local and government competitions.
Faith School has 8 spacious classrooms, 9 English Medium graduate teachers, a bus driver and 2 student caretakers.
One-off donations can be made by cheque, made payable to Faith Welfare Trust and posted to the UK address below. To set up a standing order, please use this form:
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ContactFaith Welfare Trust c/o Tessa and Chris Sayers 37 The Village, Acklington Morpeth Northumberland NE65 9BL
The following address may be used to send Christmas cards. For a current list of names, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faith Welfare Trust is UK registered charity number 327557.