See the Jewels of Southern India

We’re pleased to announce that our next Friends of Goodwill tour departs on 22nd February 2019. The journey to Southern India takes you to the lush landscapes of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Except for when visiting the Goodwill villages, you will have the fully guided services of Rithu Destination Management who will be helping you to explore this most beautiful part of India at one of the best times of the year to visit, when the weather is cooler, less humid and dryer.

The tour operator is based in Kerala and has been in the travel trade for decades. Most of them have lived and worked in Europe and are fully aware of what western travellers want.

This is what one of our supporters had to say about the tour he joined two years ago: “It is a truth universally acknowledged” – to coin a phrase- that a visit to a foreign country is greatly improved if you have some personal contacts there. And so, it is if you go on a Goodwill holiday to India. You will enjoy all sorts of pleasures of the tourist kind, but you will also, and perhaps more importantly, experience the unique joys of sharing in the lives of the children in the Goodwill Homes. Standing out in my memory: the dreamlike joy of a night on a Kerala rice boat, the exquisite dancing of the teenage girls in the Pattiveeranpatti home, the sight of one elderly gentleman in our party who met a 25 year old woman, with her own child, whom he had sponsored when she was herself an orphan in the home and had travelled hundreds of miles especially to see him. But speak to others who have visited the homes and they will have different and equally vivid memories. It is a personal and a group experience. And for those who have never been to India before, be assured, the accommodation is ideal, not lavish and extravagant, not marble hotels but comfortable and clean lodges. The plumbing- let’s be really fundamental- is ‘European’, to coin a euphemism. The food is excellent. The Indian travel agent who looks after the party is outstanding in his care and efficiency. And the Goodwill Homes? It is a privilege to be allowed to share in them.

My wife and I went on the Goodwill visit two years ago. It was a memorable experience: a dozen in the party and all sorts of tourist type pleasures. But best of all is the chance to visit the three Goodwill Homes, to meet the children and to spend four days getting a sense of the wonderful work being done by the staff to provide these youngsters with the start in life they otherwise would miss. For those of us who have been supporting Goodwill, albeit modestly, for many years it is a great reassurance that what we hoped was happening is indeed the reality. If you are not already a Goodwill supporter, it is a chance for you to decide if it is something that appeals. If you’ve never visited India and heard possibly discouraging stories, fear not: accommodation is ideal, the tour guide is truly excellent and the only creepy-crawly we saw was a snake charmer in a car park”.

For more information, contact the Administrator on 0117 3250 550 or email at

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New Library for TORP School

Although financially, Goodwill’s Tribal Outreach Project might not be the largest it is perhaps the furthest reaching, connecting over 200 students from villages in the hills of Tamil Nadu and providing them with clothing and education. Visitors Mary and Myles recently witnessed some of the work that TORP does and were very impressed by the scale of TORP’s success. They visited 5 schools with children of varying ages and also met the lovely women who are part of TORP’s project that teaches young women to sew and to weave bags – skills that can help relieve a life of poverty. As special guests, Mary and Myles opened a new library at KC Patty school and Mary even gave a dramatic rendition of one of the new stories. We would like to commend Selvam and his team for the great work they do… thank you!

Credit: Gemma Daubeney

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Essex students face cold weather…all for Goodwill

After a long winter break, the Goodwill Essex society held another fundraising event on campus selling Valentine’s cards, homemade toffee apples and yummy French crepes.

The ‘Goodwill Essex’ Society was the brainchild of Axelle Favre who has been visiting the charity in India with her parents since childhood and flatmate, Lou Doquet.  This summer, members of the Society are planning a trip to India.

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Catching up with Goodwill students

Over the last few weeks, Canford OC Gemma Daubney has been catching up with some of the old students from Goodwill Homes.

At 18, the youngest she has met so far are 3 girls – Jinitha, Nivetha and Srimalar – who left Pattiveeranpatti home in 2017. Last week she visited the girls at their new college, the Mary Matha College in the Theni district.

Gemma says : “Jinitha is studying B.Sc Maths and is a fun and energetic girl, and her teachers clearly enjoy her presence in the classroom. Although Jinitha lives on campus in a college hostel she returns to the Goodwill home on holidays. Nivetha and Srimalar are both B.Sc Chemistry students. Nivetha is a talented girl who excels both in the classroom but also in cultural activities; her latest achievement is a 1st place award at District level for speaking. She lives with her parents nearby and catches the bus to college every day. Srimalar is a bright girl with a calm, collected manner that makes her a very focused student. Srimalar, an orphan, also lives on the college site and, like Jinitha, returns to Goodwill on holidays where she is swept quickly back into the warmth and family of the PVP home. The girls were clearly very proud of their college and all agreed that friends and teachers were their favourite thing about their experience so far.

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GAP Year Student at PVP

Canford OC Gemma is currently in India visiting the senior girls at PVP Home. She tells us in her own words what she has been up to, today.

“Today I visited the girls’ school at Pattiveeranpatti but due to the public exams that are fast approaching I only spent an afternoon there. The diligence and focus of the older girls who are preparing for exams are admirable. Every evening at Goodwill and today at school the determination of the students and commitment to their studies is almost tangible. Exams might be 3 weeks away but each day the children have revision tests or science practical exams and at Goodwill, it seems that every 12th standard girl has a textbook permanently glued to her side!

At school, I attended an 8th standard Science and English lesson. Both lessons had a clear focus on language and ensuring the students understood the English words as well as being able to recall examples and repeat pronunciation. The teacher was excellent and continually asked the children questions to keep the learning active. During the English lesson I couldn’t help but add to the definitions given in the textbook and before I knew it I had been asked to teach. With the help of the teacher and some large gestures, the class and I struggled through some Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I am realising what a privilege it is to have English as a native language and what a challenge it is to teach and learn (although I’d take 26 letter in the alphabet over Tamil’s 247 any day)! Before leaving I was put through my paces in games and was taught a Tamil version of hopscotch that required a fitness and agility I definitely don’t possess! The school is a busy place and not every year has a taught class for every hour of each day but, despite this, the children are perfectly happy to engage in independent or joint study. My overall impression is one of keen enthusiasm and I am grateful to have been allowed to the school at such an important time”.

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In Memory of a Loved One…

You can now make a donation in memory of a loved on Leaving a gift in memory of someone special – a loved one, colleague or friend is a lasting tribute and means their memory will live on through our work amongst destitute and orphaned children in Tamil Nadu. Your gift will ensure that we can continue to provide our children with a lifelong gift of education.

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Sponsorship Appeal

Do you have a friend who could sponsor one of these children?

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An old Boy gives back

We were recently contacted by Ganeshkumar who left Goodwill Children’s Homes 10 years ago but he has not forgotten the support he received. He is currently working in a factory and last year had the chance to work abroad for a year. He is very grateful to Goodwill for the care and education they provided to him and now that he is able, has started to donate to his old home.

It is a fantastic sign that our former children feel such a connection to Goodwill and wish to assist us in continuing to help children like them.

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