Rainbow Homes provide shelter and schooling for homeless girls in India

The Irish nun Sister Cyril established Rainbow Homes in Calcutta. She came to be in charge of a number of private schools which she tailored to accommodate a group of girls who would be spending their nights at the school too. The classes are now made up of a mix of children from different social, financial and religious backgrounds. This is a unique situation bearing in mind the Indian caste system.

This format makes sure that each school can accommodate around 125 children at a relatively low cost (in comparison with having to build a children’s home). In addition to shelter and education, the children are provided with clothing (a school uniform), healthy food and medical care. When a new girl joins the school, she is tutored by an older child. They then work together to attain the correct level of education.

The Dutchman Ferd van Koolwijk of the Partnership Foundation took up Sister Cyril’s idea and applied it elsewhere in India too. There are currently 14 Rainbow Homes accommodating 1,750 children throughout India. A number of new homes are also planned. By setting up 50 Rainbow Homes, the Hyderabad city government wants its city to be the first in the world to have a structured, efficient approach to the issue of street children.

The goal is for the Indian business community and government to take over the initiative in the next few years, whether partially or entirely. True Blue has pledged its support for the Partnership Foundation for the next three years, to enable the further development of this great project.


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