A Day at Joshua Care Centre, Kallukulil, Tamil Nadu
The 30 children in the early childhood program (ages 3-5) begin arriving at 8:30 am, bundled up against the morning cold. Every day begins and ends with prayer. The children are taught scripture verses, action songs, Bible and morality stories and how to pray. During the day they also learn discipline, basic hygiene, and correct social interactions with staff and fellow students as well as numbers and the alphabet. Play is included as part of their days, with dancing, music and drama being their favorites. They are fed two nutritious meals every day along with healthy snacks. Were you to visit, you would be treated to dances, songs and recitations of the Lord’s Prayer, the books of the Bible and Bible verses. When the children’s parents pick them up at 4:30 pm, they are very grateful that their children have spent the day in the protective care of Bethania Kids.
When the children graduate from the early childhood program and begin school, they return to Joshua Care Centre from 4:30 to 6:30 pm for after-school care. This ensures the 40 children (ages 6-14) continue in the healthy habits they already learned and that they will succeed in school. They are fed a snack, get help with their schoolwork from the two teachers on staff, play music, and continue to hear of God’s love for them.
Hold the Hand of a Child in Need
In July 2012, the FIMRC (Foundation for International Medical Relief for Children) began to provide weekly medical services to the children of Joshua Day Care Centre. Mr. Arun Selvaraj, the Director of FIMRC; Dr. Arun Kolhatker, a local physician and orthopedic surgeon; and the FIMRC medical team are assisted by the staff of Joshua Day Care and After-School Care in conducting medical examinations of the children. Minor sicknesses such as colds, coughs and fever are treated at the center, while more major problems are referred to appropriate hospitals depending on the nature of the ailments.
Serving the Needs of the Community
On the recommendation of the staff, the FIMRC team under the leadership of Mr. Arun Selvaraj has provided smokeless chimneys to 60 village houses. These smokeless chimneys carry the smoke from cooking fires outside the house, creating a far healthier environment and reducing the incidence of chronic respiratory problems, especially among the children. In the parent meetings held by the staff of Joshua Care Centre, the importance of education is stressed, and now every child in the community is educated. There are teachers, lab technicians, electricians, pastors and hotel management personnel among those who have benefitted from the services of Bethania Kids. The importance of the toilet facility is also stressed in parent meetings, and now in the Kallukulil area each house has a toilet.
The day care curriculum is primarily activity-based, and the children enjoy learning. The children are taught songs, Bible verses, rhymes, numbers and the alphabet. They have regular games and extra-curricular activities. Their performances in local celebrations is stunning! When the children reach five years of age, they graduate from day care and go to government-run local schools, where the medium of instruction is the Tamil language and the fees are affordable. The children who graduate from the day care program are confident, focused and leaders in their schools.
Meet Kathiline Maria Benita
Three-year-old Kathiline Maria Benita is typical of the children who attend Joshua Care Centre. Living in severe poverty, when she first came to Joshua Care Centre she was lethargic, sad, and underweight with multiple health problems. Temper tantrums were her primary method of communication, with the result that she would often hurt herself and others. With the loving and compassionate care of our staff, nutritious food and medical treatment, she is now gaining weight and showing positive behavioral changes. She plays well with the other children and shows interest in learning and interacting with others. Because of Bethania Kids’ Joshua Care Centre and the support and sponsorship of people like you, Kathiline’s life has been transformed.
Joshua Care Centre Staff
The staff at Joshua Care Centre are motivated to serve through their love of Christ and the children they care for.
Teachers: Sumathi G, Sahaya Anushuya A; cook: Velankanni R; Assistant: Mary M
History of Joshua Care Centre
Mr. Prem Kumar (the late husband of Ruby Kumar, a Bethania Kids staff member) and a local pastor invited David Granner to a cottage prayer meeting in Kallukuli, where the Joshua Day Care Centre is now located. David gave a message that evening about Joshua. When they finished the prayer meeting, many children surrounded Mr. Kumar and David. The children were very poor and needy. David suggested starting a day care center, and they named it Joshua Care Centre, remembering the topic of the Bible study.
Mr. Kumar and Mr. Nithiyaraj, Advisory Committee members of Bethania Foundation at Kodaikanal, were instrumental in buying a piece of land on which to build the center with the available local funds. In February 2004, the new building was inaugurated, and the Joshua Care Centre began serving needy children.
How Can You Help?
Joshua Care Centre children, parents and staff pray for your generosity and pray you find peace in the love of Christ. You can help in the following ways:
- Pray for the children and staff of Joshua Care Centre. They pray for you daily and give thanks to God for your love and generosity.
- Make a gift of $35/month or $420/year to Sponsor a Child (one or more) at Joshua Care Centre.
- If you are a church or an individual, it is possible to sponsor the center for a week, a month or a year, covering all the expenses required.
Hold the Hand of a Child in Need
There are countless ways to participate in this vibrant ministry and share God’s love with the children at Bethania Kids.