The story of Snehasadan

Founded in 1962 by a Spanish Jesuit, then headed since 1970 by an Indian Jesuit, this organization has always been focussed on helping the children of the street to build a future in regaining their dignity, irrespective of caste or religion. This long-time experience, the richness of his work with street children and the originality of its concept of family home held accountable by parents distinguishes Snehasadan from the other NGOs.

Snehasadan is headed by Father Placido Fonseca, Director since 1970, innovative, he has always adapted his work to the requirements of the reality and understood that street children are to be loved as they are and respected in their need for freedom. In 1986 the value of his work granted him the National Award of the Children's Aid, by the Indian government.

During his 35 years of commitment Father Placido Fonseca contributed to give a true childhood to children who eventually became full citizens in their country.

The 17 homes of Snehasadan

They are located in poor neighborhoods on the outskirts of Bombay: 11 houses of boys, 5 houses of girls and a home that welcomes single mothers with their children.

- Each household is managed by a couple of responsible-parents who take care of 20 to 30 children of the street with their own children, or by a small group of nuns. The mother receives a salary while the father retains his job outside.

Among these responsible parents, 3 are former children of the street who were raised themselves in SNEHASADAN homes.

- The houses are simple but hard-built. They consist of a large room where one lives, eats, does homework and sleeps. There is also a bathroom and a kitchen. Les maisons sont simples, mais construites en dur.

- The responsible parents have a room of their own and every children has a locker where he can store his belongings. Children participate to domestic tasks and cooking.

- Children who come to SNEHASADAN are free and can leave if they can not fit with the life of the house. They are welcomed irrespective of their caste and religion.

- SNEHASADAN provides the children of the street whatever they need to build their future. In the homes they have a family life, they are taken care of and educated until they can fly on their own.

Amchi Kholi and Nivara

In Amchi Kholi (Our Shelter) near Victoria Station and Nivara (The Nest) near the central railway station of Bombay, young people living in the streets or stations can find a hot meal for a small fee, a place where they can wash and rest safely.

Social workers teach them gradually how to eat in a more balanced manner, how to manage the money they earn by doing odd jobs. They can also attend literacy classes.

For some of them it is a first step towards life in a SNEHASADAN house. Several dozens of children come to these shelters every day. These facilities are also a point of contact for the mothers in distress who find themselves in the street with their children.

The technical school : Shilpalaya "the place for skilful hands"

Inaugurated on May 1, 1985, the school was held by Father Adolf, who died in December 2006. It ensures a high-quality vocational training for teenagers who are rejected from official schools. It consists of several sections: electricity, carpentry, welding, fitting, lathe machining.

Being in constant relationship with large companies, the school obtains apprenticeship contracts and often ensures a job to young graduates. His teaching is not restricted to young people from Snehasadan, but is also available to poor teenagers in the neighborhood.

Kusumvikas “blooming of flowers”

The Kusumvikas school grants allow about 150 children of poor families to attend a normal scholarship. These replace the revenue that the child would get by working. Every family who benefits from this scheme is followed by a dedicated social worker.