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The Family Village Farm (FVF) was founded in 1969 by Dr. Pauline E. King for orphans and the elderly in Kasam. The children mainly come from Kasam, which is a larger village near Katpadi, where the FVF is located (Vellore is the nearest city to Kasam and Katpadi). The children are from difficult circumstances, some having no parents or one parent who is not able to support them. There are ten to twelve children, a mother, and grandparents living in each cottage in a family-type group. The mothers and grandparents living with the children are also poor, who also come from difficult circumstances. This is a life-giving ministry for children, but it also provides a home for elderly adults. These adults provide “families” for the children and help to care for them while benefiting from the housing and support.
Global Ministries supports children and elders living at the Family Village Farm through its Child and Elder Sponsorship Program, which provides food, clothing, education, and training for each sponsored child. The Family Village Farm also includes staff housing, a bakery, poultry farm, a feed mixing unit (where the cattle and poultry feeds are prepared), and a dairy for the supply of milk to the residents. Young boys are trained to tend crops and fruit trees and the girls are trained in sewing. Girls are given training and the opportunity to make school uniforms, hospital linen, and garments for other local schools. These activities help support the FVF. The school also serves 300 non-resident children from nearby small villages. Additional training at school helps the children learn skills that will enable them to be self-supporting in the future. Boys can live at FVF until the age of 18; girls, if they do not have living parents, are allowed to stay at the FVF until marriage.
The King's Matriculation School serves the children at the Family Village Farm, many of whom are sponsored through the Global Ministries Child Sponsorship Program.
In addition to facilitating the child sponsorships, Global Ministries assists the Family Village Farm in their capital improvements and other needed infrastructure items. This support includes funds to upgrade the FVF restrooms, and the purchase of used buses for transportation of the children and staff. Global Ministries welcomes gifts to support FVF on an on-going basis with special gifts in order to meet needs and increase the quality of life for the children there.
Listed below are special ways in which your gifts can help the project:
- A gift of $30 per month would support a child through Global Ministries Child Sponsorship Program. Contact Linda Lawrence toll free at: 1-866-822-8224 ext. 3222 or email her at: email@example.com. You can also download a Child Sponsorship application.
- A gift of $50 could help provide food for one of FVF’s family groups.
- A gift of $375 could provide much needed upgrading for one of the 32 restrooms.
Update: February 2016
In 2015, over $52,000.00 was raised to build a compound wall around the Family Village Farm. The construction of a compound wall was a necessary requirement in order to renew their operating license. In addition, the presence of the compound wall has prevented stray animals, which may carry diseases, from entering the Family Village Farm.
This year, the government has declared all schools are required to build a compound wall surrounding their properties in order to renew their operating licenses. The King’s Matriculation School is raising funds for this project in order to continue in operation. A compound wall surrounding the school will also assist in preventing unwanted critters entering and will prevent illegal activities occurring on the school property during off-hours and holidays. The King’s Matriculation School is raising approximately $52,000 - $59,000 for the construction of the compound wall.
Global Ministries welcomes gifts in support of the King’s Matriculation School for this special project.
Family Village Farm continues to provide a loving community and education for children and elders in Kasam, India. This year, the Family Village Farm is committed to raising funds for several priorities, including additions to the facility and renovations to the facility. New priority additions include the installation of solar panels, purchasing new bunk cots, and completing the brick wall around the perimeter of the school. The Family Village Farm’s priorities for renovations on the campus this year include improvements to the kitchen, the cottages (homes), and the play area for older children.
As electricity is scarce in rural India, solar panels could provide an important source of energy for lighting and other devices. Furthermore, a contributing church has suggested purchasing bunk cots for children to sleep on. With new sturdy cots, children could sleep cozily and be well rested for lessons. Additionally, building a wall around the school campus must be completed prior to June of 2018 in order to comply with new guidelines issued by the local Department of Education in the government of Tamilnadu.
Currently, the cottages are in poor condition, and renovations would provide better homes for the children and the staff. All of the cottages are currently in need of basic repairs as well as major upgrades. This includes replacing the cracked cement floors with tile to provide flooring that is both durable and sanitary. Additionally, the renovation of the campus’s central kitchen will include the installation of a steam boiler system, allowing easy access to hot water for cooking and washing dishes. The current kitchen heating facility utilizes liquefied petroleum gas, which is much more costly than steam boiling and also poses environmental hazards. Lastly, renovations to the older children’s play area, including the basketball court, would provide an opportunity for the children living at the Family Village Farm to play in a safer and more exciting area to play and have fun. All of these priorities directly impact the daily lives of children living at Family Village Farm or attending school at the King’s Matriculation School.
Update: April 2019
The Family Village Farm (FVF) in Kasam, India was founded by Dr. Pauline E. King in 1969 to meet the growing needs of the at-risk orphan and elderly populations in the local area. Over the past few years, the FVF has been raising funds to expand its facilities in order to better meet the needs of the local community.
Currently, the FVF has been successful in raising funds to begin work on renovating its communal kitchen as well as beginning construction on a new chapel building. These funds will be used to expand the height and area of the kitchen, as well as to replace a damaged roof with a new metal one. In addition to the kitchen, the FVF is excited to use these funds to begin work on a new chapel building. This chapel will serve as a centerpiece of their community. Elders at the home gather every day for a time of devotion and prayer in the open spaces. Seeing the importance of these gatherings, the FVF is hoping to provide elders with a separate place for worship that can be used for a variety of services and gatherings. In addition to the construction costs of the chapel, the FVF has been able to provide lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, furniture, microphones, televisions, and other worship essentials for their new chapel.
Looking forward, the next two priorities for the FVF are building and renovating dormitory rooms for elders and the construction of additional bathrooms in the Boys Home. Currently, the FVF shelters around 21 female elders—providing healthcare and medical assistance in partnership with a local hospital. However, the FVF continues to face difficulties in meeting all of the essential medical expenses due to the rising cost of healthcare in the region. The current FVF facilities can only accommodate 21 elderly residents; however, over the past few years more and more homeless and abandoned elders have been reaching out for support. To accommodate this increased need, FVF is in need of a larger dormitory with elder-friendly facilities such as raised toilets and access ramps for easy access and mobility.
In addition to the renovation of the rooms for the elders, the FVF is hoping to increase the capacity of their Boys Home. Once the boys reach the age of ten, they are transferred from the family cottages to the Boys Home. The FVF Boys Home holds around 50 children, but there are only five toilets. The FVF is hoping to increase the number of restrooms to 20 to meet the growing needs of the community.
In the coming years, the FVF has many projects that they are looking to begin including installing a solar water heater for bathing purposes, building a basketball court, and increasing the number of guest rooms for visitors. The FVF provides life-giving ministries for children and elderly adults. These adults provide “families” for the children and help to care for them while benefiting from the housing and support. As Family Village Farm continues to grow and improve their campus, the FVF will be able to assist more members of their society seeking assistance. Global Ministries welcomes gifts for the Family Village Farm.
Update: April 2020
In the third week of March, the local district’s Social Welfare Office and Child Protection Office called together an emergency meeting of Directors from all child and elder residential care facilities in the district. As a result of the meeting, the Family Village Farm was ordered to send children home to their families, if their families were living. The following week, FVF sent home many children to be with their families, if this was a possibility. Additionally, the district offices ordered new guidelines for increased sanitation of all child and elder residential care facilities. This includes frequent disinfecting of hard surfaces, maintaining social distances from others, prolonged hand washing, and wearing masks in some circumstances.
Therefore, the Family Village Farm built a new wash basin at the entrance for hand washing. All surfaces of the campus are being disinfected twice a day, visitors are not allowed in the campus, and security guards are wearing masks. Also, the Family Village Farm cancelled all regular gatherings, including classes at the King's Matriculation School, prayer meetings, and Sunday services. Prior to the nationwide shutdown, the Family Village Farm staff gave a presentation on the COVID-19 virus, preventative measures, and good hand washing techniques where all children, house mothers, and elders were present.
Currently, the administrative offices have been closed until further notice from the government. Mr. Daniel, the Executive Director of Family Village Farm, and three wardens are staying on the FVF campus to look after children and elders still present at the home. All other staff members are working from their respective homes as they are able. Mr. Daniel sends daily reports to FVF staff members, on each child and elder on the campus. The wardens call families of children who were sent home every day to ensure their well-being. Currently, there are no positive cases at Family Village Farm or near the campus.
Update: May 2020
Below is an interview from author and photographer Rachel Beck and Global Ministries Child and Elder Sponsorship Program Manager Linda Lawrence about Family Village Farm. In it, Rachel and Linda reflect on their relationship with Family Village farm and what makes Family Village Farm such a special place.
Update: June 2020
To date, there have been no cases of COVID-19 identified in any of the children, housemothers, and grandmothers currently living at Family Village Farm. Lockdown restrictions continue to be in effect, with some relaxation of the restrictions, including the opportunity for public transportation to operate at 50% capacity, and shops can be opened from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
With permission from the district officials, the Family Village Farm office resumed work on June 1, 2020. Ten staff members who live outside the campus, work in the office while wearing face masks. Staff members are not allowed near the cottage area, and the staff follow strict hand washing, social distancing, and sanitation protocols. Outside visitors are not allowed on the campus until further instruction from the government. Officers from the Social Welfare and Child Welfare board have visited the Family Village Farm twice during this lockdown period to ensure guidelines were being followed and residents were staying well.
Although the administrative offices are returning to work, the government has asked for Family Village Farm not to return the children to campus who were sent home until clearance from the authorities. Therefore, the house parents continue phone each child to check on their well-being. When children do return, the Family Village Farm will place the children under a 14-day quarantine and check their temperatures daily before they can return to the cottages. The house parents already are preparing the dormitory and classrooms in the junior school building for the quarantine period.
The Tamil Nadu Education Board has announced that 10th grade board examination will begin on June 15. There are eight 10th graders who live at Family Village Farm and attend school in the area. In order to take their 10th grade exams, the government has permitted for these students to return Family Village Farm before the exams, and are being placed in quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival.
For information on the the life and ministry of Pauline King, founder of the Family Village Farm, go to Pauline King Corner.
For more about Child Sponsorship, including information about sponsoring a child at Family Village Farm, go to Child Sponsorship.