The Work We're Passionate About
At DAIA, we believe that children are our future, and that their education plays a vital role in lifting communities out of poverty. Our after-school tutoring program was established for students who cannot afford private tutoring, and those who need a safe place to study, away from disruptive homes. Currently, there are 3 tuition centres established around Tuticorin (in Jothibassnagar, Kamarajnagar, and Vellapati). Around 65 students regularly attend, and numbers are growing with every month.
Every child deserves a chance to put their ideas into the world, and kids from low-socioeconomic households are no exception. Although financial aid isn't one of our larger programs, it is provided for individuals who show promise in academic excellence, and have as much enthusiasm and hope for their futures as we do.
Our empowerment scheme is one of our most successful and sustainable programs, with many beneficiaries over the last 19 years. Through this scheme, we encourage individuals from low socio-economic areas to begin small businesses to support and build their communities. We offer assistance in rearing chickens and goats, or starting fish stalls, tiffin stalls or pettishops. Ladies from low-socio-economic homes are also offered tailoring lessons so that they may start their own tailoring businesses.
At DAIA, we understand that starting a business on your own can be quite overwhelming. That's why we make sure to offer initial support (like how to set up a business and how to keep it running smoothly) as well as follow-up support for the first 6 months after a business has been launched. We also provide equipment where it is needed (sewing machines, animal coops and feed), so that new business owners have everything they need to get started.
Embracing Elders Program
At DAIA, we want to reach out to senior citizens who are living alone, or have been left to fend for themselves. In a culture where grown children are expected to care for their parents in their old age, it can be difficult for senior citizens who don't have children to rely on, or for children who already struggle financially. So, as a part of our Embracing Elders Program, we offer a variety of support to our elderly, including groceries, nutrition powder and medicines every month, and basic health check-ups when needed. We take steps to advocate for them, especially those living in low socio-economic areas or those living with HIV/AIDS, and connect them with government services.
Every month, we organise a medical day camp for people living with HIV/AIDS in Tuticorin and Kovilpatti. Around 135 patients usually attend this event, and everyone receives a basic medical check-up from our volunteer doctors, nutrition powder, and medicines that help alleviate symptoms (e.g. folic acid tonics). A warm meal is shared together before the camp formally ends. Get in touch with us to learn more about the details of our camps, and how you can help!
High School and College Programs
Our high school and college-based awareness programs were established because of how important it is to discuss HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases with younger audiences in a safe, unbiased environment. At DAIA, we know that unhealthy prejudices and stigmas can be eradicated with the right guidance, and that's what we aim to give these students. Events often focus on the how's and why's of disease transmission, and work to educate young people about disease prevention and management.
Our adult awareness programs are very similar to our high school and college awareness programs, but are slightly tailored to suit older audiences. We provide a safe environment to discuss HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in adult life, and also allow room for more mature conversations about disease transmission, prevention and management.
Operation Christmas Child
Every year, DAIA partners with Samaritan's Purse to distribute Christmas presents to children in low-socioeconomic areas of Tuticorin. This is part of a global operation, where children from all over the world wrap goodies (and a whole lot of love) inside shoeboxes for children who are less fortunate. At DAIA, we have the honour of placing these boxes in a child's hands, and watching as they open it. Get in touch with us to learn how you can be a part of this wonderful cause!