‘When you consider the orphan population of India is the same as the population of Belgium, we are not out to change the world, just make a small difference’, emphasised Ashley Platen-Mills from Adventure Aid UK as they officially opened the doors to their new orphanage in Sattenapalli, India.
Now, thanks to the opening of the new orphanage, over 26 orphaned children will be homed, cared for and provided education.
‘We have been providing shelter, meals & education to 26 orphan children in our shelter home since two years with little donations’, highlighted Apt Social Service Society (ATP). ‘Now the building of the new home will realize funds otherwise used for rent on school fees and other essential items for the children’s benefit’.
Many of the children come from many different backgrounds, with stories that should not exist, but from their harsh backgrounds many of the orphans have flourished and developed with the care of the Sattenapalli orphanage.
In fact, one student, who has been at the orphanage for 1 year, is now studying nursing and working at a hostel. Divya like many orphans came from a family that could no longer support her.
‘After their father died, their mother & Aunt said to take them (Divya and her sisters) away and to keep them at the orphanage because their mother has HIV and does not know when she is going to die. This means that nobody is there to look after them. And not only this, but these girls’ lives will be spoiled if we keep them with their mother because men will force these girls into sex work’, admitted Mrs.Gathram the orphanage manager. ‘Now Divya is studying Nursing and entering her 2nd year’.
The new orphanage has been made a reality thanks to a joint operation of Adventure Aid UK and the Kapporet Trust after purchasing land in December 2014.
‘The building that the orphanage was operating from housed 25 children and was no bigger than an average UK living room, they moved to a larger building in July 2014, but with increased rent and no additional space for more children, it was clear that we needed to help’, acknowledged Ashley.
The total cost of the new building was £25,000 and this has been funded by Adventure Aid through their organised volunteer trips. Even after the build, the orphanage continues to be supported by Adventure Aid and budget costs are currently running at:
- Education fees (26 children X £ 2.5 X 12 months)= £780
- Education Materials-Books, schoolbags, pencils, etc =£200
- Uniform dresses & Shoes (26 children X £7.5 X 2 sets) = £390
- Food (26 children X £ 0.18 X 365 days) = £1708
- Fuel and Gas (£20 X 12 months) = £240
- Daily usages (26 children X £1 X 12 months) = £312
- Civil dresses (26 children X £5X 2 sets) = £260
- Health care- Medicine, First Aid (26 children X £0.50 X 12 months) = £130
- Electricity & Water (£13 X 12 months) = £156
- Warden (1 X£45 X 12 months) = £540
- Cook (1 X £40 X 12 months) = £480
Total annual cost to run the home = £5196
The charity who run the orphanage is Apt Social Service Society who are a small non-profit/charity organization established mainly to bring about social and qualitative changes in the lives of the under-privileged and desperately poor people of Andhra Pradesh, India.
‘We have been providing shelter, meals & education to 26 orphan children in our shelter home. The orphans have no proper care and protection, no education, no food, no clothes and medical care. These children need education, nutrition, shelter, and motherly care,’ highlighted APT.
‘Mrs. Gathram and her team have nothing but the best intentions for the children in their care and their objectives as a whole’, echoed Ashley Platen-Mills – Founder, Adventure Aid UK.
This small project continues to achieve big results and the benefits of the orphanage project include:
To provide the girls with a healthy & human environment; to restore human dignity and build up self-esteem; to provide them with facilities for food, recreation, medical aid, education and vocational training; to understand their physical and emotional needs; to spread awareness in the society about the problems faced by them; to make the orphans aware of their rights and to assure them that they are a part of the society; and to teach, counsel and raise children to make them responsible and productive citizens of India.
‘Nobody is there to take care of these orphaned children. It is my responsible to give a good life to them. Every child has to have a safe and secure childhood, free from slavery, abuse and exploitation. Every child is uniquely endowed and every child deserves to develop his/her innate talents’, concluded Mrs Gathram.
Ashley and Adventure Aid have said that they intend to keep on supporting this project with annual trips for as long as people want to experience the wonders of India and to have an adventure.
‘We operate similar projects, mostly education based in Nepal and Sumatra and will continue to partner with similar small children’s charities across Asia to provide our ever growing band of UK and Australian volunteers with new adventures’.