For the children most in need in the poorest communities where we work in South India, our Children’s Villages provide the family, home and community they would otherwise lack. We enable them to grow and thrive, preparing them for an independent life, free from poverty, when they leave us as independent young adults.

Headshots of three children from one of Reaching the Unreached

If you meet siblings Muniyandi (aged 9) and Santoshkumar (aged 7) today in one of our Children's Villages, you wouldn't guess from their smiles and kindness what brought them here in May 2016. After their mother died, both boys were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and their father, also HIV+ and penniless after paying for the family's medical expenses, was unable to look after them. Through medical support and the love, care and nutrition provided by their foster mother, however, their health continues to improve as they build a new life with their foster siblings within their new family and community.

Muniyandi and Santoshkumar are just two of around 850 children finding security, support and love in our four Children's Villages. There are 10-15 family homes within each village, each with a foster mother. The mother raises between six and eight children (sometimes including her own) up to the age of 13, giving them the comfort, nutrition and care they deserve. 

We will never turn away a child in need. Children are welcomed in our four villages regardless of creed and background.

Find out more about sponsoring a child

What makes a Children's Village family

  • The foster mother – often widowed or deserted women, the foster mothers are highly trained to be able to look after all the needs of the children in their care, including those who are HIV+. The mother is the head of the family and is someone, like any mother, the children can turn to at any time.

  • Brothers and sisters – growing up in large foster families, the children in our Villages benefit from the special bonds that develop between siblings. We keep siblings from the same birth family together, while adding new brothers and sisters of all ages!

  • The home – simple, well-designed houses with concrete block walls, a tiled roof, water, sanitation and electricity - enable our families to grow up together feeling safe and comfortable.

  • The Village – the families together form a community, sharing a playground, a village hall, a simple clinic (with a nurse on-site) and a shop run by the foster mothers. The community gathers together every evening to take part in multi-faith prayers in a hall where children are also able to perform local cultural traditions of dance and drama that they have learnt together.

The Children's Villages – and beyond

The four Children's Villages, the first of which was built in 1985, are located in Tamil Nadu. Anbu Illam (which means 'place of love') and Sirumalar ('little flower') are both in our home village of G.Kallupatti, while Miriam is a few miles away towards Batlagundu, and Nirmala is located in the town of Bodinayakanur around 50 km away.

Children in our Villages maintain contact with the outside world, both through their education in our schools and through regular contact with relatives.  At around the age of 13, they move into our hostels for teenagers in the Villages and continue their education with a housemother or  housefather. Later they go away to college (still supported by Reaching the Unreached) for further study or to learn a trade, returning during the holidays.

As they grow up and build a life they might never have been able to imagine, they will always be able to consider the RTU Village where they grew up as their home.

Help us to support more orphaned and destitute children in South India

Find out more about sponsoring a child