News Update: March 2010
Orphanage in Haiti
||Embracing the World is starting an orphanage in Haiti in order to care for children who lost their parents in the earthquake of 12 January 2010.
ETW has rented a four-story house in Laboulle, a suburb in the hills outside of Port-au-Prince, which is in the process of being converted into an orphanage. The requisite applications have been filed with the Haitian Government. ETW will initially assume care for 25 orphaned children.
Amma launches orphanage in Kenya, Africa
Amma inaugurated Amrita Watoto Boma, or Amrita Children’s Home. Spread over 11 acres on the banks of the Athi River, this orphanage will ultimately be home to 108 children, providing them with shelter, food, education and healthcare. During the inauguration, Amma distributed new sets of clothing and school supplies to the first 54 children (between the ages of 6 and 14), who are now staying at the orphanage.
Orphanage projects in India
In 1989, Amma was asked to take over an orphanage and school whose owners had gone bankrupt. The
children were in an extreme state of neglect and malnutrition, and the buildings were unsanitary and in a
deplorable condition. The Ashram immediately set about caring for the children, rebuilding the orphanage
and re-establishing the school.
Today there are 500 children living at Amrita Niketan. Half of them are from poor tribal communities.
With the nourishing food and loving care and encouragement they receive from a dedicated staff, the children
gain confidence and are given a new start in life.
During the school holidays, many of the children visit Amma’s Ashram and join in the daily activities. They have developed a span, lasting relationship with Amma and say that they feel she is their own mother.
The children at the orphanage excel in music, sports and dance. They are well-known in their district for their
talents in panchavadyam, Kerala’s traditional temple music. Though generally taught only to boys, the orphanage
also encourages girls to learn this art form. The children also study traditional dance dramas like
koodiyattom, poorakkali and kolkali, as well as musical instruments like the veena and tabla. In state and
local cultural competitions, the children often win first prize. The children attend the Amrita Sanskrit Higher
Secondary School, which is located next to the orphanage. More than 35% of the orphans go on to pursue
higher educations, all of which are fully sponsored by the M.A. Math.