We have visited the 4 centres in the same sequence as in february 2012.
This centre is located in the Pondichery area.
We were warmly welcomed by Fr Felix together with Savariammal and Johncy (sponsored since 2005) and younger chidren recently sponsored.
Thanks to her sponsoring, Savariammal will get at the end of the school year her diploma of BSC maths. She is planing to study one more year to become a teacher. She speaks good english and looks much more self-confident than in 2012.
Johncy is in college (first year). Her english is improving and she looks much more accomplished.
Abirami arrived early afternoon from Dindigul (300 km south of Vikravandi), together with her mum (arriving from Chennaï 200 kms north).
Abirami is sponsored since early 2005. She is now studying in a college to become a nurse. Her english is now almost excellent. Thanks to the sponsoring she will have a good job and we hope a good life. She said that as soon as she has finished she will take care of her mum, and her mum told her that she has to be good to others on return of the help she received.
We have met also Deepa and Siva, they have been sponsored since 2012, they came with their grand mother who is taking care of them after they have been abandonned by their parents.
Leema and Lila, twins, were also present, they are 7 years old. Their mother came with them, she is also the mother of 3 other girls, older than the twins.
During the lunch, the eldest girls were taking care of the youngest who were drawing for their sponsors.
Fr Felix gave us several files concerning girls to be sponsored.
This centre is 30 km south of Pondichery.
Florence Home Foundationis an organization related to Emmaus.
We met Deeni, sponsored since 2012. Her mother was present also. Deeni has successfully passed her exam and has reached High Secondary level.
We visited their "house", a small hut erected on the bank of a river.. To reach it we had to walk across the slum where FHF is located : We saw goats browsing on the grass among rubbish and a very young girl, naked wearing only a string around her waist, playing with an old adult shoe.
Deeni's hut has been distroyed by a cyclone, her family was given shelter by neighbours.
We also met Vimala, a young widow, mother of 3 girls who has been sponsored since 2013.
We brought back with us several files of families and girls to be sponsored.
We spent several days visiting this centre. We wanted to meet all the sponsored families. We had also to analyse all the files of the sponsorships (there had been many mistakes before). Our main objective was also to set up a new organization to
improve the management of the sponsorships.
All families attended the meeting organized at Udhayam's, but two (they were not aware of this meeting). They were located only on the night before our departure. Finally we managed to meet them few hours before leaving Trichy to get our plane in Chennaï.
The director of Udhayam is generally appointed for a period of 3 years. Father Nithiya was just appointed at this position 4 months before our visit. There has been also, recently, few changes among the staff and the person in charge of all the sponsorships left Udhayam not long ago.
All those changes have disturbed deeply the following of the sponsorships and mainly during 2013.
Consequently we decided to spare a full day of our stay to anlyse all the sponsorships files, one by one, with the help of two franciscan sisters (they understood the purpose of the exercice and were very efficient).
We spent some time also with Fr Seva whom we first met in 2012. Unfortunatly he had not been able to dedicate all of his time for the sponsorships : He had also to supervize orphanages and refugees camps, some of them being far from Trichy.
At the end of our stay, we met Fr Nithiya just back from some activity abroad.
After hours of discussion, he understood the importance of our action for the good of the poorest people.
The conclusions of our meetings were very positive since we have been able to set up a new organization insuring an efficient managment of the sponsorships.
Since then, Fr Nityiya has shown his strong involment and concern for the action of our association. He firmly comitted himself to continue supporting the association, even after leaving Udhayam's direction.
We brought back 3 files of families to be sponsored.
We had the great pleasure to meet again our friend Fr Isaac whom we met first early 2005 when we set up the sponsorships activity and again in 2012.
Fr Isaac used to be te Director of Udhayam in 2005.
He was succeded by Fr Sathian and Fr Anthony Francis.
The three of them had met many times the sponsored families in Trichy and they keep having news from them.
We met, with lot of emotion, for the second time since 2012, Visuvasammal together with one of her daughter. Her family is being sponsored since 2005.
We met also Vimala, an orphan, she came with 2 of her brothers, she is sponsored since 2013.
The two families came to meet us, it took them several hours of bus transportation.
We then drove to a nearby nursing college, with Fr Isaac and Fr Sathian, where we met our sponsored girl Abirami (from Vikravandi).
She will finish her studies to become a nurse within 3 years.. The studies take normaly 3 1/2 or 4 1/2 years depending on the diploma they aim for.
The students can enjoy vacation only a week for Christmas and a week for Easter...
They are in a boarding school where they can receive visits from their parents only the first sunday of the month ...
If they are caught speaking tamil, they have to pay a fine !
But they don't mind, they are happy to be given a chance to study...