Building a small, secure home for a family means that children from Bethel or Joy Home have somewhere safe to live when they visit their family or it may even enable them to leave our care and return home permanently. Here is the story of one little house….
One 8-year-old girl at Joy Home comes from a very deprived background. Her father works as a labourer, making thatched roofs out of coconut leaves. He earns about 50 rupees per day (around 50p), which is not even enough for one meal. The mother suffers from a severe mental illness and can often become aggressive, hitting people and throwing things. Because there is no one else to care for his wife, the father often has to tie her to a tree whilst he is at work. There is an older daughter who also suffers from mental illness, but in a less severe form.
The family has a hut with no solid walls or floor. In the rainy season the roof leaks and, without proper walls, water comes in from all sides. Snakes, poisonous insects and other vermin have easy access to this rudimentary shelter. The only cooking facilities are an open fire in one corner of the hut.
A basic house of this kind typically costs around £500 to build, while a longer-lasting brick-walled house costs £1000. This one-room, concrete-based house with a corrugated metal roof, window grills and a cheap basic door is not much to look at. However, for our family it was an impossible dream of shelter, security and dignity, which India Direct has made a reality!