Bethesda Children's Foundation was founded as a non-profit company in 2012 and became a charity in August 2013. Our aim is to support the long-term work with vulnerable children of Bethesda Mission Trust by raising funds from UK-based organisations and indviduals.
We have all spent time with the children and been amazed at the atmosphere of joy and love there. We've seen how the children are some of the happiest and confident we have met. We want to make sure the work continues with sustainable funding - that the children continue to have the food, education and other essentials they need.
The trustees are all committed Christians and believe God works through the charity to support Pastor Samuel. The apostle James wrote: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." (James 1:27)
For the current Trustees of the charity, and access to our annual returns, please visit the Charity Commission website
The organisation's expenses are currently met by the trustees so all money raised is used to support the work with vulnerable children of Bethesda Mission Trust.
Lumos is a charity founded by JK Rowling with the aim that "all children will grow up in loving, nurturing, protective families by 2050" - and there will be no more need for orphanages. There's a lot of information on their website. Thinking about the information on the website we've talked to Sam and the India team about their approach and the way the children come into the home in Metty.
The children who are cared for by Bethesda have come from family situations where they are not being cared for. They have been judged by the Indian Social Care Authority to be at risk, and need to be looked after away from the family.
Other possibilities like being cared for by extended family are considered before they reach this stage.
Once welcomed into the home the welfare of the children is carefully monitored by the authorities through weekly reports (which take a lot of time for the Bethesda staff to prepare) and regular visits. Following a surprise visit in 2019 the inspectors judged the Bethesda home to be the best in the district!
A committee of representatives of the children meets weekly to discuss ideas and issues that are collected from all the children. They are encouraged to maintain contact with their family and they can return if the authorities judge the situation to have improved enough.
Culture and infrastructure to allow for more fostering or adoption to families does not seem to be present in south India at the moment, we can pray that the situation moves towards this.
For now the Bethesda home represents the best chance these children have for a happy, healthy, supported, loving environment - and this judged by the Indian government authorities, which is not aligned with Christianity.