First steps in building the new “dreamhome” Illam for DHAN-Karunai Illam
Our trust’s Chairperson Michael Harris has just returned from staying in the Illam for 2 weeks. There he saw the culmination of the donations and efforts of so many of you in raising funds to build the new enlarged School building. Michael confirms the need for a new Illam building complex in which both boys and girls can live together with support staff – where visitors and volunteers from NZ and elsewhere can stay and experience the special atmosphere of this remarkable children’s home established by Jean Watson. Up until now the 30 girls have been living on the outskirts of Nilakottai, some 1½ km away from the 14 boys who live on the ‘garden land’ in a rural setting. The present arrangements limit any growth in numbers or achieving a better balance, and the boys to some extent are “out on their own”.
Karunai Illam Trust and DHAN Foundation and its staff all agree to move swiftly towards building a new ‘unified’ Illam (children’s home). The choice of site was effectively settled while Michael was there with Jean - a spacious site has been chosen on an open area within the garden land. The children have made suggestions as to what they would like to see included in the complex, as have the staff. Right now, options as to layout and building arrangements are being worked through. Hopefully there will have been progress towards finalising outline plans by the time Jean returns to NZ in early December 2012.
Now it is over to us here in NZ and our supporters overseas to raise the money to make the ‘dreamhome’ a reality for the children.