Latest Event Updates

PEARL Learning Centre Inaugurated at Leelavathinagar

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25th April 2022 was a red letter day for PEARL. Fr. AMA Samy S.J, founder of BODHI-ZENDO inaugurated the PEARL Learning Centre at Leelavathinagar. He blessed the newly constructed building and Hemma, Chitra and James graced the event. Pearl welcomed all the guests, and honoured them with bouquet and shawl.

Fr. AMA Samy SJ, lighting the lamp along with Amala

Amala presented the report on Pearl Learning project from its beginning on 18the February 2019 until date. Unfortunately, the construction took longer than expected due to covid-19 pandemic, incessant rains and the non-cooperation of the building contractor. The new building has been dedicated in memory of the compassionate heart of HEIDIMARIE KERN whose vision it was to construct a learning centre here finally was realized today.  Amala’s mother PAPPAL’s memory is also associated with the new centre. Indeed our happiness has been multiplied.

Students who benefitted through the support of Pearl shared their testimony and appreciated Pearl for making them what they are today. Muniasamy, who was the student of Tuition centre and now the leader of the community, shared how the people were identified and received help from Pearl. He fondly remembered and articulated that it is the education that made the people live in a particular place and for that, on behalf of all people of Leelavathinagar, he extended his gratitude to Pearl for extending support for the education of their children. 

Hemma recollected the pre-learning centre situation of Leelavathinagar. She shared how children studied in the open space with lots of disturbance and suffered from a lack of lights, petty quarrels, traffic sounds, and rain.  She and Heidi had a discussion to sort it out for many years and today, it has become the reality of coming together and witnessing this learning centre which will continue to benefit many children.

She further explained the fact that each brick in this building reminds us that many people have contributed for this centre. She wished that the dream of the children should become a reality in the future. Finally, she requested the village people to utilize this centre in a meaningful way and protect this centre for the purpose it has been constructed.  We were personally touched by her speech particularly her saying that anything done should come from the heart rather than by intellectual reasoning.

Fr. Ama Samy addressing the inauguration briefly narrated how Amala started her voluntary service in order to reach out to the bird catchers’ community, particularly to educate the children. He made everyone understand that the centre became a reality due to the untiring work of Amala. She along with PEARL continues to lift up the people of Leelavathinagar through education. He wished the children that they must study hard, utilise the centre and other facilities well, become good citizens and reach better positions in life, including becoming leaders and politicians with service orientation to make bigger and better changes in their community and the country.

On this occasion, the students performed some cultural programmes. Florence proposed a vote of thanks. The entire village was present at the function.

An ode was recited in memory of HEIDI. The completion of the new building was due to the voluntary service of Thomas and Fr. Peter who were honoured on this occasion. The opening of the new building coincided with the birthday of Hemma who has been fully involved with pearl for the last 28 years.

We cannot complete this project without remembering and appreciating the role of our esteemed donors and well wishers who were the ardent supporters of this educational project.

Relieving the Poor and Desperate Families: Response of PEARL Trust to COVID-19

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Ever since Covid took humanity by surprise in 2020, the entire world turned upside down. Our motherland India and our State of Tamilnadu were no exception. The stringent lockdown imposed both nationwide and statewide created a state of abnormality. People had to stay indoors except for emergency needs. All educational institutions, entertainment, sports and other non-essential sectors remained totally closed. Even all places of worship were shut.

Realising that our priority communities stayed impoverished and so many poverty-stricken families were starving, Pearl plunged into the precarious situation to offer relief measures to as many affected people as possible. We alerted our staff members to go around and assess the alarming situation and identify those in dire need. We began reaching out to do whatever possible to relieve the sufferings of the poor.

Our activities and services during the lockdown and even after that were as follows:

  1. Giving food packages to starving families.
  2. Providing noon meals to Vaigai river bed children and elderly homeless individuals.
  3. Rendering medical support to seriously ill patients.
  4. Supplying mats and blankets to protect older adults from cold weather.
  5. Supporting the needs of transgender people.
  6. Helping physically disabled persons.
  7. Distributing cash for house rent to widows and
  8. Paying cheques to individuals for medicine

This table shows Pearl’s Relief Measures during Covid-19 (2020 – 2021)

Sl. NoBeneficiaries / AreaNo. of Beneficiaries
01Food Packets457
02Cheque (money) Medical46
03Cheque (money) for food52
04House rent to 5 elderly people60 cheque
05Noon meals for Vaigai River bed children and aged1002 packets
06Milk  for Vaigai river bed children60 litres
07Snacks to Vaigai river bed children40 days
08Noon meals to widows, aged and abandoned women3,250 Packets
09Noon meals for Leelavathinagar children375 packets
10Blankets200