Last February, after a couple of Italian volunteers spent a few weeks in the Poonjeri Irula community an anomaly caught our attention: there was a group of children wandering through the village streets during the day, apparently without attending school and unsupervised by adults.
The investigations unveiled a critical situation. Coincidence has it that within the timeframe of a couple of months, a number of children aged two to thirteen lost one or both parents, leaving them in a state of semi-abandonment.
After this discovery, Malar Trust India staff organized a meeting with the community. This resulted in the decision to launch a project similar to the day care center Panjartheerthi: a meeting point where an assistant welcomes the children in the morning, checks that they are clean and have school uniforms in order, prepares breakfast and sends them off to school.
Malar Trust has rented a small room with kitchen and hired a second shift teacher from the kindergarten Malar Trust has run for years as a chef and supervisor. A second woman in the village bathes the children and accompanies them to school.
The day care center for orphans of the Irular community of Poonjeri was inaugurated in February. This center welcomes about fifteen children with family problems plus two girls who have been granted access to the canteen even if coming from families with both parents on the advice of the pediatrician who reported symptoms of malnutrition.
All the children received a backpack, exercise books, school uniforms and clothes. Since February, members have started to regularly attend school and even follow the Malar Trust afterschool program .
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