When they first began their ministry, our partner's staff saw the number of women with HIV increasing at an alarming rate, but they had no way to help them.
Hospitals wouldn’t take them, preferring to save their beds for those without a believed 'death sentence.' Many of their children also have AIDS, contracted through child birth before the mothers knew they were infected.
In response to these problems, they opened Purnata Bhavan about 80 miles northeast of Mumbai in 1998. Purnata Bhavan, Hindi for 'House of Wholeness', is a residential care facility for up to 60 women and children affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS.
On the streets, these women would die within a few years, but when they receive nutritious food and medical attention to fight infections and other symptoms of AIDS, their lives are prolonged considerably, long enough to raise their children.
The children at Purnata Bhavan are helped to get back into the educational system. They receive on-site tutoring to prepare them for placement in local schools.
The women take part in vocational training and are also expected to contribute to the general running of the project.
Not only do they learn skills such as tailoring, embroidery, and candle-making, they also develop life skills such as learning to take responsibility and be accountable, all in a loving Christian environment where they can begin a relationship with Christ.
In addition to residential care, our partners help in reintegrating into society those individuals formerly in the care of Purnata Bhavan.
Children who need higher education and women who need some form of assisted living are enabled to live in safe dwellings in the city through partial support and in partnership with local churches.
It is hoped that a 3-5 year period in the city will enable them to achieve self sufficiency and stability and become part of local churches.
In addition to short-term housing, our partners also help provide health care, counselling, education and access to jobs.