Child Development Programme
DMI Child Care
The Children development programme of the Society of DMI was first initiated at Keechalam, which is situated 13 Kilometers from Tirutani in Thiruvallur District. Fr. Arulraj the then Parish Priest of Pandravecu gathered the children in the evening to study and developed the habit of going to school. He had identified a few street children, child laborers, and orphans and helped them to get an education. There were 10 children accommodated in the orphanage at Perambakkam for their education. After founding DMI, this home was shifted from Perambakkam to Keechalam with 15 Children in the Year 1988 and thus became the first Children’s home of DMI.
It was named ‘Kartharina’s Children’s Town to acknowledge the support of the Katharina parish, Germany. Now, we have enrooted our Children Homes and Mission centers in more than 18 districts spread across 5 states of our country, India. The Care Homes for the children are to give them an alternate safe and conducive environment for them to grow. Our goal is to help each child feel confident and competent and to develop a sense of passion and purpose in life.
Why children home by DMI?
All the children’s homes were promoted to serve a particular demand in a particular context. To highlight a few; the home at Keechalam was started to serve mostly the Dalit children as they were affected by caste discrimination and other social problems like negligence of children, dowry system, and poverty.
Female infanticide and foeticide were very high in Usilampatti, Madurai District, and hence, home at Chetiyapatti was started.
In Nagapattinam and RM Thurai, the homes were started just after Tsunami hit the land and left many children homeless and parentless.
Marco’s home in Ottanthangal was started for taking care of the physically challenged children.
The Valikandapuram mission center was started for the children affected by HIV/AIDS.
In all these contexts the prime focus was the protection and safety of children from various abuses and then, the education of children.
Vision & Mission
Our vision towards the DMI Children development programme is to make the abandoned and deserving children to become “Fully Human and Fully Alive.” Our mission is to enable the poor and neglected children, especially Dalits and Tribal children, to experience the love of God and to enhance their educational aspirations endowed with the ability to become fully human and fully alive so as to change makers in the society.
Children Homes & Mission Places
38 Years of Service
✧ 1988(84): Katharina’s Children’s Town
A home for Dalit and most deserving children at Keechalam, Thiruvalure District
✧ 1989: St. Arockia Home
A home primarily for tribal and Srilankan Tamil refugee and Dalit girl Children at Kavunji, Dindigul district
✧ 1989: St. Joseph Children’s home
A home for the children who are affected by female infanticide, deserted and most deserving children at Chettiapatti, Madurai diocese. (started in 1981 by the Madurai diocese and adopted by DMI in 1989)
✧ 1992: St. Joseph Children’s home
A home for poor, orphan, semi-orphan, and deserted Children at Saswad, Maharastra.
✧ 1994: Neethiyar Karunai Illam
A home for Dalit and poor children at Kodikottai, Sivagangai District.
✧ 1995: Anbu Illam
A home for Dalit and poor children at Annai Nagar, Pudukottai District
✧ 1995: Marco Home
A home for the differently-abled children at Ottanthangal, Thiruvalure District
✧ 1996: Children’s home
A home for Dalit and poor children at Andamans Nicobar Island.
✧ 1997: ASRC Home
A Home for differently-abled children at Elupatti, Tanjore district.
✧ 2001: Karunai Illam
A home for differently-abled, especially, to continue their high school and higher education at St. Thomas Mount.
✧ 2005: Amali Illam
A home for the children who were affected by Tsunami at. R.M.Thurai, K. K. District.
✧ 2006: DMI Children’s Home
A home for the children who were affected by Tsunami at Nagapattinam.
Aims and Objectives
- To provide a homely care which ensures protection, love and affection to all the children in the homes.
- To facilitate all support to the children to enjoy their right to education till they complete their higher and technical education.
- To provide psycho-social and spiritual orientation to the children under DMI care, so as to develop their overall personality.
Providing a safe and healthy environment for deserving children (Physically disabled, children abandoned and left on the street) through care homes is the primary concern of the DMI Children Development Programme. The Care homes meet the basic needs of these children with all the required facilities and maximum focus on their education.
DMI Care homes become another home for these children where they are grown up with love, care and concern without any differences. DMI Care homes are equipped with facilities required by the Juvenile Justice Act. DMI Care homes provide space for the children to study, develop their talents and skills and to grow with values and responsibility in life.
We also teach, train and motivate every child to be fully human and become fully alive to be the change-maker in society. Children are also provided with physical, psychological, intellectual and emotional care and integrated emotional well-being.
Periodic Medical Service is rendered to our Children, and nutritious food is provided to sustain a healthy physique and mental psyche. Once in three months, we arrange for a general medical check-up and record the physical fitness of every child in our DMI homes. Similar medical care is also provided to all other children at our mission places through medical camps. We also organize Eye check-ups and general health and hygiene camps.
Faith formation is one of our primary duties to inspire children beyond their culture and religion. We deepen our children’s faith in God and His Abundant Mercy through community celebration.
Thirty minutes of regular prayer both in the morning and in the evening is organized for the children.
The sisters who take care of these children teach them the values and principles of life. Eucharistic Celebrations and catechism classes are arranged for the Catholics while the non-Catholic children have their moral classes. These efforts have helped them to develop human values and to have respect for everyone’s faith and to lead a life of harmony.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
DMIs believe that education alone can liberate people from human bondage and ignorance. Thus, educating the children is one of the primary concerns of DMI. The children of the poor, marginalized and less privileged families in our mission are provided with better education facilities. Most of the children in the care homes are the first generation admitted in the schools for their basic education. The younger kids are given assignments.
Children, as they complete their higher secondary studies and are willing to do their higher education (UG/PG) are encouraged and supported with the necessary aid. Our Founder Fr. J.E. Arul Raj says, “No child should go uneducated since the child has no money or no possibility to get an education”. Keeping this in our mind, we strive to give education to all the deserving and underprivileged children from our operational areas. Special focus on hilly areas like Kavunchi – Kodaikannel and Thekkampattu – Salam and children from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes communities are given primary focus. Uniform and other educational materials are provided every year. So far, we have reached out to 6777 children in our operational areas.
Vocational Skill Training
Vocational learning opportunities play a critical role in skill development and employability. Along with the care, safety and protection “Vocational education and training, allows our Children to gain practical experience in their chosen career before they even graduate.”
Our DMI Children who finish those rigorous programs are provided with the credentials and training they need to get started right away in their chosen career path. Our DMI children gain an excellent opportunity to build a strong network that will enhance their learning experience and the rest of their professional careers. Our Vocational programs enable children, after completing their higher education, to explore ample employment opportunities and achieve financial independence.
Children Expo (Competitions & Creative Learning)
We constantly help our children through competitions and creative learning. It helps to define accomplishment not just as winning the activity, but as setting a goal for something they put their minds and accomplish. In every competition organized, we reinforce the message that “it’s okay to lose but the effort they put in is more appreciable and an acceleration to success.”
Cooperative games teach children to problem solve as a team and help them learn the lifelong skills of working for the common good of the group.
Workshops and Awareness Building (Health & Hygiene, Leadership, Time Management, Legal Advices)
The workshops are designed to be fun, challenging, and thought-provoking. They aid Children develop transferable social skills, such as listening, responding, cooperating, supporting each other and eventually developing their self-esteem. DMI sisters organize various workshops in their own respective homes and mission areas with the primary motive of helping children to develop their knowledge and personality.
Workshops introduce a new concept, new thinking pattern, awareness of a subject spoken and thus spurring children to investigate it further on their own.
Workshops like health and hygiene, Leadership, Time Management, Rights and Legal guidelines of children, and teach about safety aid children to develop an efficacious leadership and personality.
DMI Children Alumni Association
One of the main purposes of DMI Children Alumni Associations is to support a network of former DMI Children who will, in turn, help others in need. DMI CDP Alumni Association aims to bring together our past pupils to relish their past life spent in the DMI Homes and mission places. It’s a time of coming together to share their memories and a gesture of gratitude to the DMI CDP Mother. It is also a time to recall and get revitalized by the mother who helped to shape their life to reach the heights of successful professions. This offers a space to renew our mother-children bond as well as promotes a variety of career services like resume workshops, job postings, and online resources for every DMI CDP alumni member. Most of these services are offered free of charge to alumni members.
India is a competitively growing country in technology and economy. Yet on the other side of India, we have a large number of people struggling with unemployment, and poor housing; still, many others struggle to have even their three-time meals in a day. In addition to this, inflation, hikes in the price of commodities, and high fee structures in educational Institutions have been severely lumbering the education and development of children from poor and rural areas.
Hence, DMI supports Children with a scholarship to pay their fees in schools and colleges. Children studying in Government Schools are also aided with scholarships for buying new clothes and other stationary articles so that they feel equal with their peers.
We are ever grateful to God Almighty for His providence and strength to us to stay committed to our services to the poor and abandoned little children.
Our heartfelt gratitude to generous-hearted people who contribute their small savings to aid these children in need of Educational care and empowerment.
The whole of life and labour of every DMI bears witness to the joy of loving God and serving the poor.
The News Media has witnessed and flashed our DMI Children Ministry from time to time.