Introduction

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History

     

 Volontariat was created in 1962 by Madeleine de Blic at Pondicherry in order to help the poorest of the poor. It has been registered as a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization since 1966.

 In Belgium and France, friends of Volontariat formed Associations. These groups took the responsibility of raising funds for sponsorship and other requirements; they also provided informal marketing outlets for the fabric woven at Atelier Shanti, the Weaving Unit set up with rehabilitated persons. The money raised is used for providing health care and education to children and adults, training of youth for carpentry and other skills, the rehabilitation of handicapped persons, the care of resourceless old people and organic farming.

 Volontariat has come a long way since the sixties, but friends and supporters are always needed. Today, your friendship, support and your donations will be welcome for the following programmes :

1962

Creation of Volontariat.

Mobile dispensary was inaugurated. People in the village meet to discuss problems. Construction of huts with help from young students in France.

1966

Weaving centre for cured, but handicapped former leprosy patients.

Registration of Volontariat Association at Pondicherry.

1968

Touttipakam farm started for self-reliant food production.

The Community Centre was established in the heart of the village with a dispensary, kitchen, room for milk distribution, crèche and nursery school.

1977

A sewing section comes into being. Bags and patchwork quilts are made.

1978

New buildings are constructed on the farm to store grain, fertilizers and tools.

1981

The weaving and sewing centres are registered as an autonomous institution ATELIER SHANTI. An embroidery section is created.

1982

Selva Nilayam was opened. The centre contains a large dining room with a kitchen, a library, rooms for evening classes and workrooms.

Sponsorship system was introduced. A sponsor would finance a child's education and health costs.

1991

SHAKTI VIHAR was built with the help of an European project. Evening classes and craft apprenticeship classes have been conducted there.

1997

A programme to finance children who need heart surgery was started.

2000

Inauguration of AMAIDI ILLAM for the elderly and a small group of physically handicapped person. It contains a clinic.

Inauguration of THENDRAL ILLAM for aged resourceless persons cured of leprosy.

At this time, more than 1200 children benefit from our programs, 800 of whom are sponsored.