In the countryside, close to the village of Gotlam, and about 8Km to the north of Vizianagaram, in Andhra Pradesh State, we have located our childrens village of Shanti Nivas. ‘Shanti Nivas’ means ‘Home of Peace’, and the surroundings certainly support that, it is a beautiful site, full of trees of various types, including Mango, which are cultivated there. Apart from fruit, the site has a small dairy herd of cows producing milk for the site, the aim being to produce what we can ourselves and be as environmentally friendly as possible.The children are housed in 10 individual custom designed houses. Each house contains 11 children and a House Mother, she is responsible for being their ‘Mum’ and looking after them as her ‘family’, she also lives in the house with the children. Each house has western style toilets, showers, the children sleep in beds, they have cupboards to store their clothes, they eat at the ‘family table’ on chairs, with food prepared by the house mother. This is a family environment to raise these children that they have encountered before, some of these children did not know what a chair was for.We strongly believe that these houses are the best of their kind in childcare in India, and the authorities recently recognised this with an award.
Now you can see just how beautiful and lush this area is, nestled in and around in the many trees are the children’s ‘houses’, two of which you can see here, you can also see the solar panels on the roof, we have recently installed a ‘solar farm’ on two adjacent roofs, which powers the site normally, providing security of supply where this is not common.
Security of power supply is very important to the site as it is also the locvation of our ‘Pickford Memorial Hospice’. This building has 15 beds and is used as both a hospital for those on our sites with minor injury recovery needs, but more importantly as a centre for the chronically sick who have HIV complications or TB, which is still prevalent in India. Sometimes adults are admitted who have been found without support and they are given love and care, in addition to treatment, at the closing period of their lives.It is a very important part of our organisation, are we are very grateful to have it.In the picture you can see Mrs Elizabeth Pettersen opening the building in late 2018, her first visit since the hospice was built in memory of her father almost 10 years ago, she is pictured with director, Victor, his wife, Mary and some of the children from the site.
Brighter Future International Trust Country Head, Louise Timmins, about to open the final of the 10 houses in November 2018, helped by director Victor Parisipogula, watched by the children
Some of the 2018 visit team helping serve evening meal to the children outside as a special event for the visitors, which they are obviously enjoying.