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How did this begin?

Through the work and legacy of Jean Watson

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Wellington writer, the late Jean Watson, founded the Illam (‘Home’ in Tamil) in 1987 to help poor children in Nilakottai, Tamilnadu, India. The DHAN KARUNAI ILLAM is now a model institution caringly built over 30 years with the support of mostly New Zealanders. The Illam is managed by DHAN a highly regarded Indian development organisation. 

Why do we do this work?

Poverty and illiteracy in India

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India is a growing economy. Yet most children get fewer than six years of schooling and one in nine is illiterate. Poor diets mean that 38% of children under the age of five are so underfed as to damage their physical and mental capacity irreversibly, according to the Global Nutrition Report.” – Economist magazine Jan 13-19 2018