NewDawn India is a Christian charity providing the funds for the work of Vidiyal (meaning New Dawn in Tamil). Vidiyal operates for the benefit of all in need, irrespective of race, caste or creed.
There is a special emphasis on projects for children, healthcare, education and training. NewDawn India and Vidiyal have no political affiliations and merely offer Christian love and care.
The Trust was founded by Neville Cooper in 1990 and now has five trustees from our church, a treasurer and a team of enthusiastic supporters. Its main purpose is the relief of poverty in southern India, particularly in the slums of Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
The Vidiyal Street Children Programme Sreet
It is estimated that there are 30,000 children living rough on the streets or in the slums of the city of Madurai. They survive by rag picking, scavenging in sewers, which run right past their homes, and begging. The caste system keeps these families in poverty. Over 300 children come daily to the Vidiyal drop-in centres which operate in seven of the Madurai slums.
The centres are run by Jim Jesudoss and his wife Dr. Sharmila and their dedicated team. Here the children receive unconditional love, as well as material needs and medical care. They are placed in local schools and training workshops, several moving on to higher education, which would not normally be accessible to them. To assist with this, Vidiyal offers extra support and tuition before school prior to the examination season. Outings and educational visits are part of the programme for all those who attend the Vidiyal drop-in centres, as well as opportunities for sport and a building of self-confidence and esteem.
The Sponsorship Scheme
NewDawn India runs a sponsorship scheme from the UK which is co-ordinated by our Sponsorship Secretary, Sandra Davies. Over 160 children from the slums have sponsors who correspond with them and follow their progress. The children respond so well to the love and interest shown to them. Vidiyal ensures that the children are able to send cards/letters to their sponsors about three times a year.
We ask for a regular donation which covers the cost of education. If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please contact Sandra by email at email@example.com.
Housed in the Vidiyal centre is the nursery and kindergarten school. Parents of the slum and street children are very keen for their youngsters to have an education so demand for the places is high. The money for staff, equipment and children’s uniforms is provided by NewDawn India.
The Reception Home
Vidiyal also hosts “ChildLine” for the city of Madurai. This service has been instrumental in assisting many children and bringing some out of danger into a place of safety. Vidiyal provides a secure home for these rescued children where they feel safe and accepted, while the best possible long-term solution for the child is found. Whenever appropriate, the children are returned to their families.
Other Areas of Support
NewDawn India funds a tailoring centre for young women, some of whom were previously panning in the sewers. Once they achieve a satisfactory standard they are presented with their own sewing machine so that they have a chance to earn a living and provide for their families.
The support of Vidiyal and NewDawn India extends into the slum itself, offering love, care and practical help to elderly people and the families of the children from Vidiyal. Mother/child and father/child camps are organised to support the mothers in caring for the children and to encourage fathers to become more involved with their youngsters. NewDawn India funds these camps as well as those specifically for the children.
NewDawn India receives no government grants or financial assistance in either the UK or India. Voluntary contributions from individuals, churches, charities, businesses, schools, and other groups fund the work of the Trust. Tax efficient donations under the Gift Aid scheme are encouraged whenever possible. The Trustees and fundraisers are happy to give presentations to interested groups on the work in South India. Please contact the Trustees for further details.