Vice president Moira Peden opened the meeting of Acklington WI by welcoming everyone and introduced Tessa Sayers who spoke to us about children’s homes in India.
There are two homes that Tessa and husband Chris are interested in and they are part of the Faith, Welfare, Trust (FWT). They are Christian homes for five to 18-year-olds mainly within the Chennai area.
There is a set class system in India that would be very difficult to change so those born into poverty would probably remain in poverty. Apparently, it is a Hindu belief in Karma and social states.
Women and children would always be at the bottom of the pecking order no matter which class they belonged to.
Tessa showed us many slides of children in the orphanages where they certainly looked happy and well cared for.
There is scope for children going onto further education at college/university but unless they can get funding they would have to be supported by their own families after the age of 18.
This would mainly be boys who would go into construction or engineering but some girls have gone on to become nurses and teachers but most girls would become wives. We also saw slides of street scenes full of rubbish. There were also many tented villages on the beaches.
Fund-raising was set up in 1986 to start the orphanages off and now need around £38,000.00 per year to ensure that everything needed is catered for. Most of the money comes from donations from Britain and Canada. The appreciation was given by Barbara Cock.
Tessa judged the competition for an elephant of any medium which was won by Sue Straughan; 2 Linda Aston; 3 June Barras.
Moira then opened the business part of the meeting whilst tea and biscuits were given.
Correspondence was dealt with. Menus were given out and members asked to make their selection for our birthday meal at The Old Storehouse, Amble on March 10. The raffle was then drawn before everyone went home.