The New Families Movement, an expression of the Focolare Movement at the service of the family, currently reaches out to about 14,200 children through 96 development projects being implemented in 45 countries. There are numerous requests and offers for adoption-at-a-distance, and new projects are underway to respond to the Southeast Asian Emergency.
India – Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu,with its capital in Madras, is situated in the southeastern part of the Indian peninsula. It is one of India’s 32 states and is among the most densely populated. The coastal population, which suffered the devastating effects of the tidal wave, has poured into the interior region creating an urgent demand for aid centers all over the State. However, adequate assistance is impossible due to the poverty of the area, aggravated by the effects of the catastrophe. Hence, there is urgent need for immediate financial aid.
– “Ilanthalir” Project
‘Ilanthalir’ is the name of an association created by Fr. Susai Alangaram, a Focolare priest with whom New Families has been collaborating since 1997. The Ilanthalir Association’s objective (see www.ilanthalir.org) is to offer education to poor or orphaned children in the villages. New Families is already supporting 600 minors with its support-at-a-distance program, and has offered to help 200 additional children who are victims of the tsunami.
– “Bala Shanti” Project
In Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, the Gandhi-inspired association called ‘Shanti Ashram’ has been operating since 1987, reaching out to the population of about 30 villages. Shanti Ashram aims to form people of peace in a pluralistic society like India, which is characterized by diversity of culture, religion and caste. It offers the children nutrition and health care. Shanti Ashram also took in the families and children who took refuge in Coimbatore from the damaged coastal villages. New Families has offered to help about 100 children, in addition to the 180 already being supported for several years now.
– “K. Gandhi Kanya Gurukulam” Project
Also the ‘K. Gandhi Gurukulam’ Association has been operating in Tamil Naddu (particularly in Nagapattinam) since 1946, offering educational and social activities in favor of poverty-stricken and orphaned girls. The association assists 1,700 girls of different religions, by educating them in various trades that will enable them to earn a living. Since 2003, New Families has been collaborating with the association by giving support-at-a-distance to 49 beneficiaries. After the disaster, the association has requested ongoing support for an additional 200 needy children.
Projects in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
– In Indonesia, a project to offer continuing support to 600 minors is taking shape; it is being managed by one of the Focolare centers in Medan (Sumatra).
– In Sri Lanka, 150 children, victims of the tsunami, are being helped through a partnership with the Apostolic Carmel Congregation (which has houses in various parts of the country and has been collaborating with New Families for infancy and childhood projects for many years now).
– Emergency aid is being sent to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands through the Bishop of Port Blair, a friend of the Focolare, who is housing about a thousand people in the parish courtyard, until a support-at-a-distance project can be implemented.
Those who are interested in supporting the projects could send a contribution of €216. The sum may be sent, preferably in its entirety, to the following bank account:
– Postal Account n� 48075873; or
– Bank Account n� 1000/2497 –Bank of SAN PAOLO – IMI – Grottaferrata branch (Rome) – ABI 01025 – CAB 39140.
– beneficiary: Associazione AZIONE PER FAMIGLIE NUOVE Onlus – Via Isonzo 64 – 00046 Grottaferrata (RM), Italy
Please specify the motive for the money order.