It was a poignant reunion at the Relief Foundation on Sunday as several children of the the city-based not-for-profit organisation, who were once rescued and rehabilitated in the past, came together as adults. This was the foundation’s first event to kickstart its 25th anniversary celebrations.
From 1998 to 2008, the foundation had worked with the juvenile justice system in Tamil Nadu and had started a transit home in Chennai. “On Sunday, around 25 children we had worked with in the past joined us for a reunion. Most of them are now in their thirties and were children we had rescued, ensuring that they got access to education, got rehabilitation and social status,” said Vidya Shankar, founder, Relief Foundation.
As Relief Foundation co-managed some juvenile homes in the past, many children they worked with were those in conflict with the law and in need of support once they came out of the homes. This included educational access, contacting their families and rehabilitating them, as well as facilitating foster care and adoption processes.
“A boy for whom we had offered educational support for is now in his forties. He came today and spoke to us about how he has become successful. He came to us as an adolescent in need of guidance and support, and we were extremely happy to see him do well,” she said.
Two women, who were rescued by the foundation when they were children, attended the event. They are now an engineer and a business administrator. “Every person, who attended, had a story and it was an extremely emotional and heart-warming reunion for us. The Foundation has worked with over 200 to 300 children directly as well as thousands of children in the co-managed juvenile homes in the past, improving their quality of life and education,” Ms. Vidya said.