India and, in particular, the Tamil Nadu area, experienced alternating and very serious phases also in 2022 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, in the spring of 2022, the country proved to be a worrying basin of infections and deaths due to the Coronavirus, with consequences on the return to school and the return to normalcy in the following months.
The recovery from this tragic situation is also taking place thanks to our presence on site. In Tamil Nadu, CESVI has, in fact, been present since 2007 with three Houses of Smiles, structures managed together with local partners strongly rooted in the territory and surrounding communities.
On the one hand, the CESVI staff is responsible for ensuring a safe and stimulating environment for the boys and girls housed in the Houses of Smiles, where essential needs, socio-educational services, and medical care are guaranteed. On the other hand, their commitment extends to 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. Children from neighboring communities participate in extra-curricular activities, such as the Children Club, where topics such as children’s rights are treated in a playful way to raise their awareness of these issues, or local book fairs and children’s rights meetings, where the children of the Houses of Smiles are invited to participate together with students from local schools.
The same spaces of the Houses of Smiles are at certain times open to members of neighboring communities in order to take advantage of the libraries or spaces dedicated to personal training, such as yoga training for children and other psychophysical wellness activities.
In total, the Houses of Smiles in Tamil Nadu offer shelter and regular activities to around 60 children every day. Children who again this year managed to pass the end-of-year tests and were followed in their studies by professional operators and trainers.
In addition, thanks to open activities and local work, the Houses of Smiles has reached and involved several hundred inhabitants of the surrounding area, generating a strong impact on the local community as well.
Jaganathan, one of the children of Jeeva Jyothi’s House of Smiles, who attended the 9th grade this year, tells us “I like my brothers here and I also like my schoolmates, I like going to school. I feel I have changed a lot, especially physically, emotionally and from an educational point of view. My family, friends, and relatives are very happy with my growth. Thank you for this great support from you ”.
Thanks to your support, in fact, Jaganathan and other children like him will be able to continue building a future. Stay by our side.