Bengaluru: Dream India Network has opened its 50th Foster Home at St. Elizabeth Children’s Home, Bengaluru on Sunday, August 12. G Manjunath, Chairman, Standing Committee for Markets, BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the new Home for eight children to be kept and taken care of by Franciscan Sisters of St. Elizabeth, an Italian Congregation.
Speaking on the occasion, Manjunath who is also the Corporator of Madivala area, said the Christian community not only runs hospitals and schools but now they have diverted their activities for the other needy of the society. Expressing happiness about the good works carried out by the community, he said, “This is to be imbibed and emulated” by other communities to help the needy, particularly children. He said he was close to churches, convents and other Christian organizations and extended a helping hand wherever required. He assured all support to the endeavours of the community even in future. He hoped and wished that more such Foster Homes would come up in the city and all over the State.
Manjunath lighted the traditional lamp along with other special invitees. Fr Edward Thomas, the Founder, mentor and adviser of Foster Homes, prayed and sprinkled holy water all over before bestowing a blessing on the children and all others present. He invoked the Holy Spirit on all those who dwell in the Home including seven Sisters. Fr Edward while welcoming the guests and invitees said foster homes should substitute their homes, meaning the children need to feel the love, warmth and care of the parents. Foster Homes should consist of small groups unlike other homes where the number could be between 40 and 70. Foster Homes with small number is more conducive.
Fr Edward who was in the commission of children’s welfare, Government of Karnataka, urged all present to have responsibility to take care of those eight children and other children in need. Dream India Network created a platform for dreamers, the first dream being to have as many homes as possible. All, communities and neighbours, should jointly take care of children of this sort. Fr Edward Thomas said he had contacted some ministers and MLAs for the purpose. Ramalinga Reddy, former Home Minister, who was expected to address the gathering could not make it due to traffic snarls was one of those well-wishers of more foster homes. Fr Edward also city CRI president plans thousands of homes all over the country.
Sr Emmanuella, delegate superior of the Congregation of Sisters, said the presence of so many for the function indicated their interest in charity and solidarity especially the holistic well being of the life of the children and youth. Calling upon those present, she said all joining together could change the life of those children, making great or small impact in their lives by giving little more love, a little more care and a little more support. Thereby, make a huge difference in their very existence, could make a difference in their social life as they grow to face the grim realities of future.
Sr Emmanuella also presented a brief background of her Congregation. Franciscan Sisters of St. Elizabeth is a Congregation founded by Sr. Francesca Casci on May 26, 1888 at Casalino, in the Diocese of Fiesole, Italy. It participates in the Divine call with the purpose of enriching the Church by total consecration to God, dedicating oneself to His glory and to the spreading of His Kingdom by means of the sanctification of the members. The Congregation has the main apostolic purpose of rendering service to the most needy: the poor, the children, the youth and the sick, giving particular attention to the abandoned. It also works in the local Church by means of Catechetical activities, home assistance and with the small medical, educational structures and homes for the sick and aged.
In mission areas, the Congregation collaborates with the evangelical projects making itself available to other forms of Apostolate, in conformity with the needs of the times and the areas, according to the directives of the Universal and local Church. The charism of the Foundress could be described as “Glorifying God through the little deeds done for the Kingdon of God.” The Congregation has its presence in four places in India: Kottapuram (Kerala), Madivala and Magadi (Bangalore) and Avadi(Chennai).
Biplov Datta, Director, Insoul Foundation, said the evolution has started and it would go on like a drop of water that falls on a shell, making it sprout and grow. Water could fall in drains, on road and in the river without any use. Biplov appreciated the love, care, protection, affection and safety the children get in foster homes.
James, founder of Building Blocks, said the country got liberation because of Gandhiji. So the dream will happen as Fr Edward has succeeded in taking care of 1000 children as of now.
Fr Vimal, H R Manager, St. John’s Medical College, said, among other things that those look after the children are the real parents and not the foster parents. He wished blessings of God on everyone involved in the good work.
William, Member, Minority Commission, said to serve the needy is the blessed job which he learnt from his mother, a teacher in villages. He said what is needed to be successful is only dedication and prayer.
Among others present on the occasion included Fr Thomas, St. Antony’s Friary, Vishvanathan, a leader of the area, Sr. Regina, Secretary, CRI; Sr Lissy Rose, Director, Foster Homes; Sr. Jayasree, Programme Coordinator, Dream India Network; Sr Sujatha, a well wisher and Dr. Nahim from St. John’s Medical College.
Children enthralled the guests, invitees and all others with their dances. Sr Evana proposed a vote of thanks. Sr. Annabel compered the entire programme.
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