The Martin family has been actively involved in humanitarian work in the Indian sub-continent for the last three decades. Through coordinating sponsorship from abroad and directing it on a local level, they have been able to provide grassroots relief efforts. They share two recent examples with us:
We were able to purchase a baby warmer* for a local orphanage where we regularly provide volunteer services. The events that brought this about serve as a novel idea for anyone looking for ways to get involved, but for one reason or another don’t know how that is possible in their situation. (* A baby warmer is a special lamp unit that is used to keep premature or underweight babies warm right after birth).
In this case the sister of a co-worker who lives in Holland had been raising funds for one of our programs. She explained to her neighbors about different programs we undertake, and one neighbor who was pregnant with her fourth child decided on a course of action. Rather than friends giving her baby shower gifts, she asked for monetary donations to be used towards the urgent needs of orphaned newborns here in Chennai. We then put this money towards the purchase of the baby warmer. This orphanage presently cares for 40 infants, mainly abandoned female babies, and has a license for international adoptions.
We also assist a home here for elderly members of the Anglo-Indian community. Through sponsors in Europe, we have been able to supply some major needs for them, which include reclining chairs for all 50 residents, specially designed and adjustable beds for a new wing, and a solar heater so that the residents can have a hot bath (since the home was not able to afford an electric bill.)
This facility is located on a large property, but due to financial constraints it has not been maintained or developed. During the present monsoons, the residents have to wade through 2 feet of water to go to the kitchen to collect their food, which is located in a different building from the one where the residents reside.
A local architect has volunteered his services and drawn up plans to renovate the kitchen and improve and beautify the property. Partial funding for this project is currently being raised via coordinated sponsorship from residents of Senior Care Homes abroad.