Photo - CP Kumar and the children of his orphanage
Nellore, a city located in Andhra Pradesh, India has the second highest occurrence of HIV/AIDS in the state. 13% of the 14-28 year olds living in Nellore are infected. Sadly, most AIDS victims die before the age of thirty, leaving behind children and families. Besides the AIDS epidemic, poverty, political instability and corruption plague Nellore.
C.P. Kumar was from a large family of eight children. All eight children lived together in the cramped conditions of this hutch. As a young, idealistic man, Kumar completed his education from a free government school and decided he was going to change the world. When C.P. Kumar returned from school, he became aware of the horrible conditions in which the children in his town were living - conditions even worse than from his own childhood. He witnessed children on the streets while their parents were drinking away their wages and beating their spouses. C.P. Kumar realized that if action wasn’t taken, these homeless kids would cause huge problems for society.
On June 18, 1991, C.P. Kumar opened an orphanage for 10 orphans of HIV/AIDS victims. The orphanage is located on the very site where the thatch hut he lived in as a child was located.
C.P. Kumar and his family spend much of their free time at the orphanage. C.P. Kumar works as a clerk in the government during the day, but spends most of his evenings with the children. With the help of two staff members, the orphanage is now home to 25 girls and boy that range from 2-13 years old. The children attend free government school during the day, and also have tutoring in the morning (6-8am) and in the evening back at the home. Also, there is a pediatrician that volunteers to treat the children as needed.
With further funding, the Little Heart Orphanage hopes to add a second floor in order to separate the accommodation for the boy and girls. As these children approach puberty, the separation becomes culturally important. Additionally, the orphanage hopes to institute programs that will educate and raise awareness of the dangers of contracting HIV/AIDS.
A recent donation through GlobalGiving of $500 led to the installation of several new toilets and showers in the orphanage.
Photo - I get to play with the kids
Photo - the bathrooms that were built with GlobalGiving donation