Park Grove Methodist Church
Madurai Sevashram Girls Home
Igniting minds - defeating poverty
Founded almost 50 years ago, Madurai Sevashram initially provided a safe and caring haven for destitute women and children. Here they found food, shelter and support, with some basic school classes for the older girls. Later, with help from the Rotary Club of Madurai, it became an orphanage for girls, although the amenities were very basic and numbers restricted by scarcity of funds.
In 2005 JHC entered the picture, beginning its happy association with what we now know as the Madurai Sevashram Girls' Home.
Through sponsorship we support 120 of the 150 girls in residence, and as well as a good education the girls enjoy much improved facilities including a senior girls' study room, computer room, library, office space, staff and storage space, re-siting and extending the playground, plots for growing vegetables, and most recently a lovely garden to provide a quiet area for peace and study. In addition to our support, local donations have included meals, school bags, slippers, and school uniform, while donations from volunteers and sponsors have included clothing, sleeping mats, and suitcases.
Of course there are basic rules to keep 150 schoolgirls happy, focused, and achieving, but their happy, relaxed yet obedient demeanour clearly shows as they go about their daily tasks, enjoy their leisure, or chat excitedly to visitors.
All girls will complete primary and secondary education. After 10th standard some do return to their families, while others continue into higher secondary school, vocational training, or college courses. Opportunities for these girls increase dramatically and not only do they compete with boys in a wide range of training courses and further education leading to better jobs, but by virtue of their gender and low caste can obtain preferential course admission and later employment. For the most vulnerable girls from the poorest families, all it takes is opportunity and caring support. That is where the Madurai Sevashram lives up to its name; abundantly and effectively continuing to provide that essential safety net - defeating poverty and igniting young minds.
3 of the girls we sponsor have their home at MSGH and are very happy there.