by JMac for BISMumbai

Maher Ashram at Vadhu Budruk in Pune is the headquarters of the 48 NGO chain-centres founded by Sister Lucy Kurien, a Catholic nun of the Holy Cross Congregation of the Pune Province, to provide shelter and a safe haven to destitute women and children. On 19 January 2020, a group of 20 Salesian Cooperators, accompanied by their animator Father Ivan deSouza, nuns from the Convent of Christ Jesus, and 03 theology scholastics from DBYC Koregaon Road, ventured forth to find joy in Maher.

A short introductory prayer moment animated by the nuns invited the children to focus on God as the source of life and love. Regaling the boys and girls with action songs, yells and party games, the outreachers were familiarized with the wonderful concept of the children living together in groups, cooking as a family, and schooling in the institutions nearby.

Special lunch sponsored by the Cooperators through a fund-collection initiative, was relished by the entire group of outreachers and ashramites, who then proceeded outdoors for a few organised games. The bright-lit faces of the pleasantly surprised children when receiving gifts/prizes affirmed 'joy doubles when shared'. This was a wonderful day of interaction, growth and finding joy for everyone, especially for the Salesian Cooperators on their New Year outreach..