Love, care and concern for the marginalized and displaced people who are unable to alter their own desperate situations of life are at the heart of our society, and the reasons why Balamma Satram, Holy Family Home for the Needy was founded. It is an Anglo Indian project, the vision and dream of Fr Sarveswara, a Roman Catholic Priest from the Diocese of Cuddapah ( now spelt Kadapa ), Andhra Pradesh, South India and the response from Mary from Coventry in the U.K.
In 1997 Mary had been co ordinating a sponsorship programme in the state of Andhra Pradesh for orphan children to receive shelter and education and in the year 2000 she was introduced to Fr Sarveswara who shared his vision with her to help the aged, physically and mentally challenged and orphan children. The following year 2001, Mary made her first visit to India where she was met with the challenge of a life time; it had to be” all or nothing.” On her return she sent enough money back to India to buy 26 acres of land and then approached family and friends as well as her church family in Coventry in the West Midlands and Consett in North West Durham to help raise funds to begin the construction of the village known now as Balamma Satram Home for the Needy.
From 2002 several churches in both these areas have supported the project and in 2003, Fr Jeff Dodds offered his support through his parish appeal and then he made his first visit to India in 2005 returning every two years up until 2016. The project is supported now by church appeals and individual donations here in the U.K. In India we have the support of the Carmelite Religious Sisters and in January 2018 they signed an agreement with us and the diocese to continue their service and support for 50 years.
OBJECTIVES AND OUR MISSION
We aim to reach out to those in need of all ages. The high standard of our care and the Christian Ethos of all our services gives each individual the comfort of knowing that they are loved and cared for.
All our work is Christ driven. Following in His footsteps and working in His name ensures that our work truly epitomises His command to “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”
Through our service we offer a sincere independent hand of friendship and support to everyone without judgement or prejudice.
Our achievements have been to establish a secure home for the destitute old people who have not been able to look after themselves or who have been abandoned by their families. We have cared for widows and given them work in the Holy Family home for the Needy.
We have created a sponsorship program for 30 children ranging from primary education to university level and given basic education to others in the area.
To put it very simply ” THIS PROJECT HAS CREATED AN OASIS IN THE DESERT.”
EMPOWERMENT OF PEOPLE (MEN AND WOMEN)
Development of India lies in the development of the rural sector. In the Kadapa region there are 70 per cent of the people living below the poverty level and 50 per cent cannot read or write. The majority of the poor are deprived of basic amenities like water, housing sanitation and health care. The situation is due to the socio-political system in the Indian society. With these facts in mind, our project work is to improve the living standards of the aged and destitute; working among them necessitates addressing the inhuman social and economic situation that they find themselves. Our mission is to reach out to more of these aged and deprived people in a pastoral, social and educational apostolate.
In other words “CARE FOR THE PEOPLE WHEN OTHERS DO NOT”.
The successful running and the maintenance of the home is our future aim and to maximize the work already started. In India as the rich get richer and the poor are becoming poorer so our future work will be to house as many displaced aged people and orphaned children as is possible with the funds which become available.