Youngsters to help out at Indian orphanage

December 21 2016

A GROUP of youngsters are travelling 5,000 miles next summer to work in an orphanage which has strong links to Downend.


A GROUP of youngsters are travelling 5,000 miles next summer to work in an orphanage which has strong links to Downend.

The team of 12 young people from Christ Church Downend will head to India with youth leaders for a16-day visit.

They will work with the Christian orphanage Haven Home in a town called Vizianagaram, but will also help out with rural village projects in the Andhra Pradesh province.

The orphanage was set up by an Indian Christian couple in response to a vision from God. It is funded purely through charitable donations, mainly from the UK. 

The orphanage has strong links with this area due to one of its main fundraisers and advocates, Martyn Poole, living in Downend and establishing funding from local groups and organisations. 

Haven Home seeks to provide a home and schooling for poor and orphaned children from the surrounding rural mountain villages, where they receive a nutritious diet, medical care and schooling. The orphanage's vision states: "We are committed to feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, visiting those in prison, providing clean water and showing the love and compassion of Jesus Christ."

The exciting visit will follow 12 months of intensive work building links between the young people and the children in the orphanage.

Helen Barnett, from Christ Christ Downend, said: "In the mountainous areas surrounding Vizianagaram are many isolated rural communities of the poorest caste of people in India, known as Dalit. The children of Haven Home come from such villages. 

"During the visit, as well as working in the orphanage, the team will travel into the mountains and spend time in some of these villages, providing its people with food and supplies and medical education.

"The biannual youth mission trip is a highlight in the busy youth work calendar. In advance of our trip we aim to raise money to fund a much-needed bore-well for one of these villages, and assist with its installation on site. Getting accessible clean drinking water is still a problem in isolated communities in India.

"Working in partnership is the vital and exciting component of the visit. It is hoped that by working together with Indian Christians, it will enable us to learn from each other. By striving towards common goals; living, eating, working and praying together, it will help cement lifelong friendships."

The youngsters have already kicked-off their fundraising drive with a free showing of the film Miracles from Heaven at Christ Church Downend which took place at the beginning of December.

Donations from refreshments raised an impressive £246. If anyone would like to support the team or join any other fundraising events, please check the youth website