VIDIYAL NEWS
01.01.2020 – New Year Celebration organized by Muhangal (Faces) Volunteers Forum
02.01.2020 to 04.01.2020 – General Body Meeting – Six months review
03.01.2020 – New Year Meet for staff and volunteers
04.01.2020 to 26.01.2020¬ – Theater Group: Play Production for the 25th anniversary
05.01.2020 – 24th Pongal Sports Meet
06.01.2020 – Vidiyal Nursery: School Reopening 06.01.2020 – Vidiyal Nursery: Day of Pink
11.01.2020 – Managing Committee Meet 11.01.2020 – Say No to DRUGS sensitization series 11.01.2020 – Mothers Meet 11.01.2020 – Vidiyal Nursery School : Parents – Teacher Meet
12.01.2020 – Fathers meet 12.01.2020 – Ripple Circle – Social Action forum 12.01.2020 – Tamil Forum
13.01.2020 – Reception Home: Pongal celebration & Pongal Sports day 13.01.2020 – Vidiyal Nursery : Day of Caps
15.01.2020 – Pongal Celebration
16.01.2020 – Thoorihai – Drawing & Painting Forum
17.01.2020 – Image – Movie Club
18.01.2020 – Project Staff Meeting 18.01.2020 – Health Care: General Medical Checkup for Children at our Child Resource Centres
18.01.2020 – Picnics – Places of Nature’s Bounty Beginner – Kuruvithurai River Primary – Kutralampatti Falls Junior – Vaigai Dam Intermediate – Rameshwaram
19.01.2020 – Full rehearsal for Anniversary
21.01.2020 – Vidiyal Nursery: Field Trip to Thirumalai Naikar Mahal
22.01.2020 – Programme staff meeting
25.01.2020 – Managing Committee Meet
26.01.2020 – Reception Home: Republic Day Celebration 26.01.2020 – 25th Anniversary of Sakthi – Vidiyal, Community Celebration
29.01.2020 – Feast for Elderly

Dream Come True

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A Dream Come True

There was a boy. When he was just 10 year old, he had a dream. He had a dream for his friends. He had a dream to widen the horizon of his friends living in this little Indian village called Kombai. He had a dream to break the chains of slavery and caste oppression. When he became an adolescent of 17 years, he nurtured his dream and walked with little children in the Cumbum valley. He opened the doors of his house for the mission to achieve his dream. His passionate dream to educate 10 children from excluded communities and there to liberate them from the clutches of poverty, discrimination and oppression was achieved with due commitment. This unshaken dream grew bigger and bigger, made wider and wider and finally turned into a beautiful banyan tree called VIDIYAL. Vidiyal provides a safe environment, a wide range of opportunities including opportunities to think, express and participate in decision making. This enabled children from excluded communities and children from disadvantaged backgrounds to discover themselves and grew into their full potential and blossom with a range of hues. The dream of this little boy called Jim became true.
When Jim was 10 year old he was living in Kombai, a village located at the bottom of the Western Ghats. At a very early age, he was exposed to the social evils prevailed in that village. He was totally stunned by the rural poverty and the casteism clubbed with untouchability prevailed in the society. He had friends from cross sections of the society and noticed some of his friends were treated differently. He felt sad and angry when he came to know that some of his friends did not even have a single proper meal in a day. He made strong bonding with children from oppressed communities and listened to their inner voices. Following the models of his parents and grandparents, he willingly shared some of his resources with his friends.
This has become the base for his zeal to work for the children from disadvantaged backgrounds. After completing a master’s degree in commerce he came to Madurai and started his career an accountant in Madurai YMCA. But his dream was alive which forced him to look beyond the books of accounts and audit statements. He volunteered in programmes for children and assisted Mr.Harris C.Manikam the then programme secretary of Madurai YMCA. Seeing his interest to work with children, Jim was promoted as the Assistant Secretary with responsibilities of running the Boys Home. He developed a range of skills to work with children. Camping was his favorite programme.
In 1993 ‘Achievers Unlimited’ a women’s group in YMCA under the leadership of Dr.Taj was actively involved in organizing programmes for children. Jim was secretary in-charge of this group and organized the ever historic Sunshine camp for underprivileged children at Presentation Convent at Kodaikannal. This camp was historic for two reasons. The first one was that he met Master.P.Muthukumar, a 13 year old boy from Melavasal, who took Jim to the Melavasal community later and brought him the opportunity to understand urban poverty and social exclusion in the urban context. The second reason was that the team that worked at this camp became friends and joined hands in the journey of Vidiyal. Asha, Christopher Ramesh and Anita are still serving in the board and they are a great source of support in carrying Vidiyal’s mission. The success of programmes that Jim anchored had opened a new avenue to undergo formal training in social work in the YMCA training college at Bangalore. He had chosen to work with street children of Bombay and Bangalore as part of the specialization in field work. He came back to Madurai and partnered with the children living in Melavasal slum. He joined hands with Dr.Belinda Bennet, his sister and founded Vidiyal as part of Sakthi.
Earlier he met Mr. Neville Cooper, who had a vision to lift children from poverty in South India and stayed in connection. This constant interaction between Mr.Neville and Jim led to their vision becoming one. They joined hands and started working together. Neville and his team of dedicated supporters, inspired by the work raise funds through New Dawn India – a ray of hope for Vidiyal children. Jim continues his journey with children, but his dream is no more a dream of him alone. Now Vidiyal has a shared dream, a shared vision with aerial roots spreading and our children, our volunteers (Muhangal), our alumni (Olirum Muhangal), our communities, members of our board, our partners in England, the New Dawn India and the Maduraits are very much part of this shared vision.