Deborah Care Center
It’s a cold morning, with some of the mist that gathers in the valleys of the Palni Hills of South India (7000 ft. elev.) still lingering as our 40 young children (ages 2-5) come into our Deborah Care Center. They are bundled in their wool hats and sweaters, carrying their “Bethania Kids” backpacks. Most of them have come from very simple one room homes with tin-sheet roofs and no running water. Their parents, if they are able to find work, are day laborers and are some of the poorest in the area. Poverty, unemployment, alcoholism, abandonment and abuse are major hardships these children and their families confront. Inadequate clean water supply especially impacts the youngest children and the threat of infectious disease is always present.
While for many young children in this community, there is no option but to leave them uncared for and unsupervised during the day, for these precious children coming to Deborah Care Center, a nurturing and caring environment awaits them. Selva and her staff will feed them a nutritious lunch and healthy snacks. They will sing Bible songs and nursery rhymes, hear stories about Jesus’ love for them, and learn to read and write. Their growth and health status will be monitored with nutritional supplements and additional health care provided when necessary. They will learn appropriate social skills and basic hygiene.
At 4:00 p.m. when these young children return home, 40 school age children (ages 6-17) come running into Deborah Care Center full of pent up energy from a day at school. They are hungry and ready for the healthy snack provided. Supervised study time with tutoring from the staff assures them of doing well in school. They can learn vocational skills (basket-making, knitting and sewing) as well as receive Christian education. Their health and growth status is monitored to provide maximum opportunity for a productive and fruitful life.
Under the loving and caring leadership of the staff, each of the children at Deborah Care Center is given individual attention and watched carefully for academic, physical and emotional progress. Regular home visits are made to speak with parents and assess the children’s home environment. The staff also provides hygiene and other public health education classes for the families and the community.
With God’s abundant blessings and the continuing support and prayers of our sponsors and donors, these children are given a life of hope. It is reflected in their smiles and the sparkle in their eyes. They learn of Jesus’ love, even for them, and experience that love through the wonderful care and compassion of Selva and her staff.