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Mukti Mission started reaching out across India when Pandita Ramabai brought in victims of the droughts in the late 1880s. This vision to expand their reach has continued through the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries. Originally, these projects were called Expansion Homes, today we refer to them as Orchard Projects.

There are seventeen Orchard Projects scattered across seven states of India, these projects care for children from extreme poverty, children of day laborers and children Most@RISK from trafficking issues - among others. In 2021 there are over 750 children enrolled in Mukti Mission Orchard Projects. All responsibilities for operation, staffing, and care are borne by Mukti. 

Each Orchard Project (OP) is named after a fruit or nut tree of India. We have done this to protect the privacy and security of the individuals enrolled and staffing these homes. Some of the OPs are daycare centers where children attend for the day, receiving nutritious food, tutoring assistance, and hope (Naval Orange, Tamarind, Musk Melon, Kiwi). Five OPs are classified as Community Development Projects where food is distributed, career training is offered, tutoring assistance is given, and hope is restored (Apple, Grapefruit, Lemon, Jujube, Sugar Appla). The remaining eight OPs are residential homes where the children live 24/7 (Melon, Strawberry, Nutmeg, Banana, Almond, Starfruit, Nectarine, Sapodilla).

The most recent OP opened is Sapodilla with fifty children living in a residential setting.

Currently, a new property has been purchased to move the Melon boys home from its current location to a newly expanded property. We anticipate this to be ready for occupancy by August 2022. The Strawberry girls home are seeking to purchase property near the Melon boys with occupancy targeted during 2024.

Your investments in OP allow Mukti Mission to operate these homes for over 750 children, and to open new homes.

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A Historical First - Provided by YOU!

 

The first expansion home (Orchard Project) was opened in 1993 as a pilot project for local tribal boys and girls. (This home is referred to as Nutmeg) Currently, there are 73 boys and 52 girls between the ages of 6 to18. This is a residential home. The home activity starts at 5:30 am when the children share devotions, followed by house cleaning activities. They attend school from noon until 5:00 pm, with a cooked lunch provided. After school, they play, do homework, are provided with a cooked dinner at 7:30 pm, study to close out their day, and then it's bedtime at 9:30 pm. (This is a typical schedule for all of Mukti's residential homes)

Nutmeg was started because the area is known as a sensitive part of India – due to extreme poverty, alcoholism, illiteracy, and also the harsh schemes of rich landlords and money lenders. This home is located among Tribal people who live deep inside the thickest forest, with 10 – 12 being an average number of children per family.     

In the Orchard Project: Nutmeg, a few children are orphans, some from single-parent families, and some come from poor families. They are very much attached to their tribal tradition. The children’s parents both work very hard and are mainly farm laborers, and woodcutters. They are exploited by money lenders who have taken advantage of their poverty and made them bonded laborers from generation to generation.

Nowadays there are communication facilities but initially, there were very poor transport facilities, without proper roads because of the hilly area and density of the forest.

The significant highlight and outcome of this Orchard Project are that the children are educated to post-graduation level. Currently, 4 children/adults are working in the Government service. The impact the project has accomplished is that the children are good ambassadors and have been able to share the love of God with their families. There is a significant decrease in crime, alcoholism, family violence, and a rise in nutritional levels. This has led to better health, improved maternal and baby health, general health and hygiene practices.