Bethlehem Ashram(A Care Home for Women and Children)
Started on 10th February 1998, Bethlehem Ashram is a home for the unwed mothers with their children and other abandoned children. The centre is located at Vandanpathal, near Mundakayam. Hailing from various life situations such as, poor family background, death of husband, illicit relationships, threats, misused by people, forced to prostitution, persecution by the family, AIDS etc. the children and women are rehabilitated in this center. Formal education is given to the children to empower them to mend their lives by themselves.
Presently there are 64 inmates – 22 women and 48 children. Out of this twenty seven children are below the age of twelve.The center had admitted more than 1200 inmates over the past 12 years and has successfully rehabilitated most of them. They are continued to be monitored and supported till they get integrated into the society successfully.The center has been an instrument in saving the life of hundreds of such people who otherwise would have committed suicide. The center also promotes life by giving awareness and dissuading people from doing abortions.
The daily needs of the Ashram are met partially from the generous contributions of the pious associations of neighboring places as well as individuals. Still, the center is forced to depend on other benefactors from far and near owing to the shortage of funds. Along with the director there are three religious sisters who are in charge of the day-to-day activities of the Ashram.
Facilities Provided at the Ashram
Unwed mothers are received in the center even during their pregnancy and provided with shelter, food, clothing and necessary medical assistance. So, they can have a safe and peaceful delivery at the centre. Over and above the material support, the centre also provides them with emotional, psychological and spiritual support to sustain and guide them to return the normal stream of life.
The children born at the Ashram are cared for and provided with postnatal care, food, education, clothing etc. Facilities for recreation, cultural programs, and interaction with children from the surrounding families, picnics, prayer and pious practices are also conducted in the centre.
Various Empowerment Programs
- Vocational training
- Skill training