My Dear Benefactors, Friends and Well-Wishers of the Vicenta Maria Children’s Home (Regina Pacis),
It is true this update has taken a very long time but believe me, you are all in our daily prayers in gratitude for the help and good will we receive from you. A heartfelt Thank You, and may it help to bring you ever closer to God our Lord.
We have been very busy as always this Christmas season. As we do every year, we get the children to make things for what we call our solidarity sale. The proceeds of this sale go to other poor people more in need so that the children realize that God has provided them with our lovely, peaceful Home in which we live but there are thousands of people quite close to us who do not enjoy these things and live in abject poverty. The children in our Home learn to give even while they themselves are always on the receiving end. (I’ll talk about that later.)
This year, however, the aim of the sale has been different in order to save our own Home. The Home in which we live is on government leased land. It was a hundred year lease however it expired in the year 2002! We used to pay Rs. 1000/- lease rent per year (about $14). This amount was feasible for us because we rely only on donations and our volunteer work.
Immediately on expiry we applied for renewal of the lease however in the year 2013 we received notification from the govt. saying that our lease was about to be renewed and we had one of two options. One, that we could opt to pay a lease rent each year as before but this time at a new rate and that would be according to a new evaluation of the land we were occupying which would be Rs. 24 lakhs per year (about $34,000 dollars/year) liable to be enhanced every four years. The second option was to buy outright the occupancy of the land for life and that would be Rs 11 crores a onetime payment (about $1.5million).
Naturally we opted for the second to ensure long-term stability for the children and our Home - we hope to stay another 100 years or more! We are struggling to put together these eleven crores. However we trust wholly in divine Providence while we do everything in our power.
What the children did this year was part of the effort! We have dedicated this year’s sale to the above funding. Following (see below) are some photographs of the children’s work and of the children at work with the help of volunteers.
Soon I hope to be able to do a follow-up to inform you of the social and educational activities in which we are engaged at Regina Pacis which is the name of our House.
I want to share with you that there are many kind and generous people who like to celebrate the birthdays of their children with our children instead of having lavish parties in their own homes. Others, on the death of some loved one, decide to gift a good meal to the children in memory of the deceased and so there are many occasions when the children get an extraordinary good meal.
There are some good ladies of wealthy families who decide to spend some of their time in service and they come here regularly two or three times each week to coach the children in their studies. This is an extremely needy service.
In one section of the house we have a hostel for University students. Even this is a part of our social work because these young girls are from other towns in India where these educational facilities are not available. They find that the fee we charge is very economical. As part of their education they are required to give a certain number of hours during their study year to social service and they choose to give coaching classes to some of our children who are struggling with their learning.
So you see our Home is a beehive of activity in favour of the poor and needy young girls and small children to give them an opportunity for self development which they would otherwise lack.
We call down the blessing of God Almighty on all those who join us in reaching out to the poor and marginalized.
Thank you and God’s blessing on us all ,
Sister Margaret Mary