I am a ‘grandmom’ to about 50 kids
Meet Mrs Sabina Solomon. In 1998 she lost her husband. Her husband’s family was managing and running an orphanage at the time. With 3 young kids of her own to look after, the orphanage became an additional responsibility on her shoulders. However, she reconciled to the enormity of the situation in front of her and took charge. In 2007, she called the home Angels Orphanage and has had 50 children every year that can call this place home. Over the years, many of them have grown up, got jobs, got married, and a couple of them have even come back to help or work at Angels.
“Children as young as 2 months are brought to us.”
Over the years Mrs Solomon has seen many cases and every imaginable type of domestic background that necessitates a child brought into an orphanage. She says that she has seen children as young as 2 months that have come to her. Sometimes mothers themselves bring their children as their home situation made it difficult to bring up a child due to alcoholism or violence. Sometimes kids are brought in by the local area councillor. But irrespective of the circumstance, they are all welcomed. And they all stay until they finish their education.
“I am confident about having made the right decision.”
Angels Orphanage is like a large family. It is centrally located, and their children are enrolled in the schools nearby. Once back ‘home’ at Angels, they are all encouraged to do their own work and cleaning up. And even though they have staff – who live on the premises – to help, all the children are welcome to pitch in, even with the cooking. The centre has 2 dorms, a kitchen, 2 large common areas, toilets and bathrooms, washing areas, and open spaces in the front and back to play. At the end of the day the kids have a home, they have space and they look happy. This gives Mrs Solomon the confidence that she has made the right decision.
“Now it looks like a bungalow. I am thankful for something good when it happens.”
The Orphanage is largely dependent on donations to keep going. They recently inaugurated a new dining hall and kitchen thanks to the drive of some students from Vidyashilp Academy, with the Support of Group Pharma. The dining hall is large, airy and has become a place for everyone to hang out, even while not eating. It has become a talking point for the kids at their respective schools and this feeling of pride ensures that they also contribute to its upkeep. Donor initiatives such as these are what keep the place going. Today, through word of mouth they are able to get toys, sports equipment, clothes and even regular volunteers to coach the kids with their studies. And while Mrs Solomon would like to do more, such as plant more trees on the land and get some transport to ferry the kids around, she is aware and thankful for the goodwill amongst the community.
Angels Orphanage, No 13, Anath Ashram Compound, Opp St.Xaviers High School, Old Cemetery Road, Shivaji Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560051 Phone: 080 6534 8406