SABHA’s bond with Bethania goes back to 2005 when, Bethania was fully supported by a community service
group at Atlanta International School. Shanta Kalyanasundaram, president of SABHA was at that time a
faculty member and leader of this community service group. Together with two AIS alumni, Zoe Meroney
and Kristine Vanijcharoenkarn, Shanta Kalyanasundaram started SABHA in 2007. Some of the tangible results
listed below were completed under their supervision.
Bethania Orphanage houses close on forty orphaned and needy children whose ages range from three to eighteen. Some Bethania children may have lost one or both parents. Many of them are at the orphanage because their parents cannot afford to take care of them. The orphanage is located in the small village of Kannivadi, Tamil Nadu State, South India. The nearest major town to Kannivadi is Dindigul. Over the past seven years, many alumni from Atlanta International School have independently volunteered at the orphanage, some even taking a gap year from college to do so. Parents and faculty members continue to be committed to the well being of these children.
SABHA set up an Educational Trust Fund in Chennai to make available college education to disadvantaged children who have earned a high school diploma, hoping that they can become self-sufficient adults and serve their communities. The trust fund also makes available vocational training opportunities to those who want to learn specific work skills. The colleges and vocational training centers are located in Tamil Nadu.
Service Areas – Bethania Orphanage
•Maintain Trust Fund in Chennai, Tamil Nadu to make available education and vocational training opportunities
for underprivileged children who apply for funding.
•Review applications for college and vocational courses.
• New furnished dormitories - 2005 November
• New water pipes for existing well - 2006 April
• Dining tables- 2006 June
• Purchase of bicycles for the older boys- 2006 August
• Solar energy panels -2007 January
• Beds for the girls -2007 October
• Construction of new bathroom –2008 October
• Purchase of two milking cows with calves - 2009
• Three new water storage tanks- 2010
• Construction of additional toilets -2011
• Two college graduates - 2007 June and June 2011
• Visit by SABHA president – April 2012
• Visit by volunteer member, Serge Petitpre - July 2012
Cakes for Orphans!
|Christiane Box||Parents - Tynke ten Lohuis and Sabine Meister|
Mrs. Christiane Box of Atlanta International School once again mobilized her German language students and their parents to bake cakes for the annual German Bake Sale to support the Educational Trust Fund in Chennai, South India. Thank you for your energy, continued dedication and committed support for yet another year.
Bethania Orphanage, April 2012
Personal Initiatives in October 2011
Mrs. Christiane Box of Atlanta International School once again mobilized her German language students and their parents to bake cakes for the annual German Bake Sale to support Bethania. Thank you for the two milking cows with calves in 2009 and your continued dedication and committed support this year to strengthen the Education Trust Fund.
Read Bethania Blog
Paige Brownlow and Kelsey Sanborn kept a blog while they stayed and worked at Bethania.
"The five minute drive off the main road down the bumpy, windy, dirt path to Bethania, nestled amongst the flat dandelion fields at the foot of the Mountains, seemed like years. We were so anxious to arrive, yet questions flooded our minds. How many kids would there be? Would they speak English? Would we feel accepted? Where would we stay? What would we eat? What would the daily routine be like? We were diving head first into a drastically opposite lifestyle than back home, with no answers. Yet the first smile from little 7-year-old Jenitha temporarily eased all of our worries. From day one the children called us sisters. Everyday our familial bond continued to grow and strengthen. It was hard to feel homesick when clearly we had a new home in Kannivadi with 37 brothers and sisters - the best children in the world."
Bethania, Fall 2008
To learn more, read their entire Blog