Ps. Mathew started his ministry amongst the poor, with no money, in Goa. He had a desire to start homes and shelters for the underprivileged and since then, Ps. Matthew Kurian had been helping thousands children in need of care & protection.
Anita Edgar, a native of Britain, was on a trip in Goa when she saw many deprived children in need of help. The future for these young ones looked bleak. One Sunday morning, Anita Edgar visited Ps. Kurian’s church and shared the same vision with him. Together, they started a charity called El Shaddai Charitable Trust.
El Shaddai Charitable Trust was founded in 1997 to care for and nurture homeless and destitute children, giving them a better future. It’s Hebrew meaning is “Lord of Comfort Provider of All”.
Victory House, the first home was opened in December 1997 at the hands of Mr. Duncan Watkinson. This home provided a safe and healthy environment for slum and street children. This first property, situated at Chapora, near Vagator, was taken on a short lease. Gradually, the first batch of children trickled in; six children and soon more followed. They settled into the swing of things and enjoyed the love and care heaped upon them.
Shekinah House, El Shaddai’s second children’s home was opened in April 1999. Although Victory House was the first Home, the first house bought was Shekinah House, Assagao. Today, Shekinah House shelters more than 50 boys in age group of 8 to 16 years old.
In April, by the grace of God and the generosity of our sponsors and well wishers, we were able to buy a new Victory House at Saligao. Today, the home accommodates 65 boys in the age group of 6 to 12 years old who can then graduate to the elder boys home, Shekinah house.
Rainbow house is the girls home introduced in July 2001. Our girls shifted to this home from Shekinah House. The name denotes the seven colours of hope for all, no matter what background. There are currently approximately 47 girls aged from 8 to 16 years living in Rainbow House. Apart from their studies, these girls are also involved in learning stitching, embroidery, tailoring, and other fun activities.
After 53 years of happy and content marriage, the passing of his wife, Kathleen, left an indescribable void in Ted’s life. However, inspired by the words of Anita, Ted, aged 80, undertook a sponsored walk from Bristol to Ilfracombe, Devon, England, and raised funds to purchase and set up House of Kathleen. In April 2002, House of Kathleen was inaugrated for the little tots in the age group of 2 to 7 years old.When the boys come to the age of 6, they move to Victory House and and when the girls come to the age of 7, they move to Rainbow House.
Our fieldworkers realized that there was a need to build a Day Care Shelter for children in the street and slums. The first Shelter was named Asha Deep in April 2003, Panaji City. The name denotes that there is a “light of hope” for the street children of Panaji. Today it reaches out to more than 80 children.
On the 14th of November, 2004, Children’s Day, the ‘Manna Meals on Wheels Project’ was launched. It distributes a nutritious meal pack to children, women and sick people on the street, market places etc. with the slogan of “Let No Child Go Hungry”. We ensure that children get at least one hot, balanced meal a day. Every noon, in Calangute, Panaji and Margao, children await eagerly for the staff who distribute these lunch packets.
Reach World Wide Kerala 2005 – this is a community sponsorship project in the southern state of Kerala. Children from the ages of 8 to 16 years old are educated right from 5th grade to 12th grade after which they join regular colleges or technical institutions. Presently, 100 children are enrolled in this project. All these children come from scheduled castes or scheduled tribes. Many of them are sadly marked as the ‘UNTOUCHABLES’
In 2005, our second and third Day Care Shelters, Little Acorns and Stepping Stones were inaugurated in Calangute and Margao, Goa. As the children in these areas are the migrants from neighbouring states, they usually engage in begging and rag picking. The children come off the streets into the shelter for food and medical attention. Around 300 children are enrolled in formal and non formal school every year.
Chiraag Ghar, (House of Light) was opened in 2006, Nagpur, as a children’s home for 30 children of women who were forced into commercial sexual exploitation. This gave them a chance to break a horrifying cycle, mould a better future for themselves and their community as a whole. Always, our aim is to start homes and enable the respective community to manage it. We are proud to say that Chiraag Ghar is now independently run.
Faith Mission, started in June 2007, is a community centre located in Kottayam, Kerala. It is providing education and a daily, one time nutritious meal to the poor and undernourished children of Kerala.
Wells for Life, Karnataka was started in December 2008. The Wells For Life project of El Shaddai digs wells in underprivileged villages of Kerala, Karnataka, and Maharastra. Bore wells have been sunk to provide safe drinking water. The wells are dug in a public area where every person without any discrimination of caste or religion can avail water to survive.
The Tremara Community Center was inaugurated in March 2008 for helping the women and children with education, adult literacy programme, life skills, and vocational classes. The centre runs a preschool for the children from the same locality and also conducts awareness programmes displayed by the fieldworkers and teachers.
Bethel Children’s Development Centre in Adarhalli Karnataka started in June 2009. Adarhalli is a poverty-stricken village with poor living conditions. The first batch of children in our children’s home were from this village. Thus, El Shaddai decided to adopt this village and establish a community development centre. Today, it reaches out to 720 children in and around the village by providing education, nutritious meals, and counselling.
House of Norma was inaugurated on World Health Day, 7th April 2010. It provided the much needed love, care, protection and dignity to patients suffering from life threatening diseases. Now, House of Norma is a girls’ home open to all.
Goodnews Community Welfare Center is located in Moti Dongor and was inaugurated in July, 2011. The centre caters to empower children and women from slums by providing them with education and vocational training classes.
Ashraya Community Centre is located in middle of Zuarinagar slum, Vasco. It was launched in November, 2012. The center works to empower slum children and women in the community.
The centre aims at bringing the drop – outs back to the school by providing Non formal classes along with NIOS enrollment. Children are provided with nutritious meals. Women are being enrolled for Computers, Tailoring, Nail art, Mehendi, and Beautician courses to help them become more independant.
El Shaddai Charitable Trust was certified by Credibility Alliance on the 27th of June, 2013.
Roshni Nilaya, El Shaddai’s fifth home was inaugurated in the month of June, 2014, Revora Colvale. It is providing residential care to roughly 50 boys in the age group of 6 to 12 years old.
The Sahara Community Center at Old Goa was inaugurated on 7th June 2014 with the aim of promoting education, health, care, women empowerment in the remote areas through regular tuition classes, various vocational training and developing skills. Currently, we are helping hundreds of women and children.
Dream Centre was inaugurated on the 15 July, 2015 at Chintadripet, the biggest slum area in Chennai . The Centre has small group meetings in the slums towards Women Empowerment and creating awareness about hygiene, drug addiction, and diabetes. The Centre spreads awareness on child labour, child abuse, child marriage, and disease prevention during the monsoons.
Albert’s Community Centre at Moti Donger, Margao was inaugurated on 27th June 2015. It provides care, education and food for children facing financial issues and dropouts. The women of this area are encouraged to engage in fundraising activities to support themselves and their work.
El Shaddai was certified by Charity Aid Foundation, India on the 22nd of February, 2016. CAF India has successfully completed the validation process of El Shaddai Charitable Trust.
Verna House, our seventh home for an estimate of 75 children, has been started. El Shaddai has been working in South Goa for many years. We have come across many children who need care and protection. After great effort, we managed to acquire a home and renovate it. This home has been started for the purpose of rescuing children of sex workers in and around the slums of Verna to give them a new hope.
El Shaddai Charitable Trust was honored on the 17th of August, 2017 by Shri. Mauvin Heliodoro Godinho, the MLA of Dabolim Constituency and Dr. R. L. Bhatia, the founder of the World CSR Day with The Goa State NGO’s Leadership Award 2017.
When El Shaddai proudly set up its very first children’s home, Victory House, the charity warmly received an inaugural group of 15 children. These children and many more whose lives have been touched by El Shaddai’s programs over the years, have now achieved economic independence and stability in life. Our Children’s Homes lights a beacon of hope for many children as they are given a chance to expand their horizons in numerous ways.
Now, El-Shaddai is working with abandoned street children and those from economically poor or broken families in Goa and other parts of India. The organization currently cares for over 3000 youth in 7 states through 25 different projects.
Every child is very precious.
Every child is a success story.
For me, the opportunity to work with a child is a success.
El Shaddai world wide
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