act!orissa gives a home to around 50 orphans - in collaboration with an Indian partner. The aim of the association, its donors and supporters: To make the orphanage self-sufficient with the help of the Indian state in the medium-term. That is now in sight, but there is still a lot to do!
For more than a decade, act!orissa has been supporting orphans in one of the poorest states in India, Orissa. There are around 50 girls between the ages of six and 18 - half orphans or full orphans - who have found their way into the care of the house. Many of them come from particularly poor families who cannot feed their children adequately, or they lack both parents. The Germany-based sponsoring association act!orissa e.V. finances the orphanage in cooperation with the Indian cooperation partner TROOP („Tribal and Rural Organization for Orphans and the Poorest of the Poor“).
In 2006, students from Berlin, Flensburg, Frankfurt, Münster and Cologne founded the association. The core of the team remains onboard, and a number of new volunteers have joined in the meantime. As in the beginning, the support of the children as well as the expansion of the home and the promotion of the immediate rural environment are at the center of all commitments. Act!orissa also arranges work camps to give young people from Europe the opportunity to actively help on site. Today, the orphanage is figuratively and literally on a solid foundation, many girls have meanwhile been able to enjoy comparatively good school education.
Act!orissa accompanied the orphans through turbulent times: A few years ago, the association helped the orphanage move from a rural region to Cuttack, Orissa's second largest city. The reason was religious tensions in the countryside that made the local situation intolerable. A house was rented in Cuttack - a safe temporary solution. In the meantime, the orphans have found a new home in rural Mangarajpur: act!orissa and its Indian cooperation partner have acquired a property and built a new house - with a garden, play and learning areas. With the support of act!orissa donors and contributors, the girls finally grow up in a safe environment.
What started as a student project is going so well that now the next chapter of the association's work is coming up: After securing basic services and establishing an adequate infrastructure, the orphanage should support itself in the next few years and get by without support from Germany in the medium term. Once this basic foundation is established, the Indian state takes over a larger part of the funding. That is why act!orissa is currently investing heavily in the infrastructure of the home and helping with its further expansion. It is a good opportunity for all donors and interested parties to participate in a particularly sustainable project. You can find out what you can do and how you can get involved here on the act!orissa website.
What's happening now
After we were recently able to complete the new hall, which is mainly used as a dining hall and recreation room, there are already new opportunities to expand the home and thus be able to accommodate more children: Chabila has successfully applied for the support of a large Indian insurance company, which will construct a school building and a sports/recreation facility, as well as purchase a minibus, with a small cost contribution from our side. The new school building will also be used for an IT project, in which an expert from Germany will teach computer skills to children and young people at the home; this is a great step forward, because IT training improves the job prospects of graduates immensely.