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Welcome to Karunai Illam

The Karunai Illam Trust is a New Zealand incorporated charitable trust. It was set up to support the work of Jean Watson, a Wellington writer, who in 1987  established a children’s home in Nilakottai, Tamil Nadu, south India.

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Living Below The Line starts tomorrow!

LBL is starting tomorrow and we are really excited.

We expect some of you are planning to take on the challenge of living on $2.25 a day for five days. It is an interesting exercise; ideal for people who want to lose weight, save money or practice planning skills. To help you get by Jean has been putting together her ideas in a food blog.

Food Blog – Living Below the Line


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Live Below the Line (LBL) fund raising campaign!

Building on the success of The Journey to raise funds for the new Illam complex, our next fund raiser will use the LBL challenge to raise further funds to meet our $200k target.

What is The LBL challenge? Its living on food for not more than $2.25 a day for up to 5 days in September. Participants will appreciate what it means to live on this small amount which is what many in the developing world can sometimes afford. Supporters pledge matching amounts to the participants and these proceeds go to the Illam through the LBL charity.

Living on so little is not easy but its possible. Are you and your friends up for this? 

More information on LBL coming soon - watch this space! 


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The JOURNEY - a special event to fund raise and commemorate 25 years of Karunai Illam!

A dedicated group of volunteer supporters are helping organise The JOURNEY on 2nd March 2013; an event that brings together artists who will be showcasing their donated art works (for sale),
, with all proceeds going towards the building and construction of a new children’s home for the Karunai Illam Trust. The event will also include a mix of both Indian and New Zealand performing artists, who have all donated their time to make this event a unique and educational experience.

Please go here to get a ticket: JOURNEY TICKET

Feel free to follow our facebook pages to see the updates on artists, musicians and other exciting things coming to The JOURNEY

Facebook The Journey

Facebook Karunai Illam



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Our children's home is called DHAN Karunai Illam. The DHAN Foundation is our Partner organisation and the word DHAN stands for Development for Humane Action. Karunai means Grace, and Illam is Home.



Tamil Nadu, India

Nilakottai, Tamil Nadu

(Click to view maps)