Francis and Alison moved to South West India in August 2007 to help the untouchables of Indian Hindu society, the Dalit people, the poorest of the poor.
They help transform lives through education and training opportunities, encouragement, care and love.
They have named their charity Tender Heart.
Many Dalit girls are sold into prostitution.
It is not sufficient to tell young women that going into prostitution is wrong, they need to see an alternative and some way of gaining dignity and of earning a living. Stepping Stone is one answer.
Francis and Alison have opened two tailoring training schools for women and hope to open a third.
Up to 17 women at a time attend a 6 month course where they learn how to do tailoring work . The course is free and the sewing machines are provided. When they graduate the girls are able to earn a reasonable living.
With the help of AMEN Micro Enterprise Scheme Donations, Francis and Alison have been able to set up a business enterprise scheme where the girls are provided with a sewing machine and equipment so that they can run their own small businesses
This equipment is a loan and the girls pay off this loan at an agreed monthly rate from their earnings. The money raised can then be reinvested in other tailoring graduates.
But the most urgent request from all the Dalit parents is for people to give help to their children- so that they will be educated and will not have to put up with the difficulties that they and their ancestors have had to put up with for generations.
Tender Heart run three preschools to enable Dalit children to reach a level of education so that they can go to state schools. They currently have over 170 children on roll and many more who want to come. Above picture, and below left, are of the children of the new school in Ghataprabha.
AMEN have introduced a Child Sponsorship Scheme to enable us to give pre-schooling to children from the slums. Please will you help? Email Janet on firstname.lastname@example.org for information. You can download an information leaflet by clicking here .