Alisha comes from a difficult family, she is the daughter of an abusive father who abused her mother. After years of beating and torture by her husband, the mother worked hard in a textile mill in Chennai to get her children out of this dire situation. But it was difficult to be able to guarantee a hot meal on the table every day for one’s family and at the same time think about a secure future. Meanwhile, Alisha had become a teenager and the house was no longer safe for her. Luckily, one of her mother’s friends told her about the Nambikkai House of Smiles.
Since that day Alisha and her mother have been guests of our House of Smile and slowly, thanks to the assistance of our operators, they are regaining serenity and the ability to think about the future. The young girl, along with the other guests of the house, takes computer and sewing classes and loves being part of a team that respects her.
“I had never eaten such a good meal in my life. I didn’t know anything about the concept of happiness, and of family, before arriving at the House of Smile” he tells us.
Nambikkai’s House of Smiles has been hosting girls and boys since 2007 and, like Alisha, offers them a safe space to study, learn new skills and plan for a future, in a safe and familiar environment. As in Nambikkai, in India CESVI has been present since 2007 with two other Houses of Smiles, two of which are in Tamil Nadu, structures managed together with local partners deeply rooted in the territory and in the surrounding communities, with scholastic support activities, recreational activities and recreational and counseling.
CESVI operators take care of ensuring a safe and stimulating environment for the boys and girls hosted in the Houses of Smiles, where essential needs, socio-educational services, and medical care are guaranteed. In addition, their commitment extends to the surrounding communities, involving women in training, awareness, and support activities to access government assistance programs. Counseling services are also provided to families in vulnerable situations.
The children of the neighboring communities participate in extra-curricular activities, such as the Children Clubs, where topics such as children’s rights are treated in a playful way to raise their awareness of these issues, where the children of the Case del Sorriso are invited to participate together in local school students.
On the occasion of the fourth “World Education Day”, established in 2018 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, on January 24th of this year we celebrated this day and addressed a particular thought to the CESVI projects dedicated to education which every year are aimed at improving the lives of children and accompanying them on a path to “Changing course, transforming education”(UN, 2023)
Since the beginning of the project, the CESVI Houses of Smiles in India have offered shelter and regular activities to more than 600 people, including about 400 children. Children who can now live in a safe environment, attend school regularly and live a life of games and smiles, suited to their age.