Familia

Familia was founded by K.C. Thomas, the most inspirational and humble man, in August 1977. It all started in a remote village, Shikarpur, on the Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal. From the very beginning Familia had a policy to save homeless and abandoned children and raise them in a family environment with foster parents, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties. Familia was an effort to provide the nearest alternative to a natural family to homeless and unwanted children, who for various reasons would miss out on normal adoption. Since then, it has grown and there are now four families (with 16-20 children in each) plus an old age home for senior citizens to both give the children a grandparent figure in their lives, as well as helping those elderly who would otherwise be on the streets. They have more recently built an ambitious school both to provide education to the Familia children and poor in the villages as well as contribute towards the financially sustainability of Familia Home. Familia has an excellent relationship with neighbouring villages and provides many outreach services such as a crèche so women can work, women empowerment sessions and medical help for malaria etc.

In 1980, Familia established itself on a large farm in Bhaluka village, 55 kms north of Kolkata. Since then, nearly 200 children, both boys and girls, have lived in the foster families. For every one of them, Familia was a new birth, a new beginning without which many would have been lost or died having been abandoned on the village path; mainly girls. Much of what the children eat is from the farm.