Why are you going to this Indian Unitarian community?

In 2004, Dee Idnani was visiting the Khasi Hills and was asked by the Unitarian Union of Northeast India (UUNEI) if she could help the Unitarian Khasis by raising money to build an orphanage. At the time, there were almost 30 Khasi orphans who were living in great poverty. As in many places in India, there are few orphanages in Meghalaya, and all of them are overcrowded and religiously affiliated. The Unitarian Khasis felt uncomfortable sending their orphaned children to orphanages that would likely convert them to a new faith (and thus isolate them from their birth community), and instead did their best to keep the children with relatives and neighbors until a more suitable situation could be found.

Two years later, I was working at a Catholic orphanage outside of New Delhi. When Dee heard about this, she got in touch with me and we began working together to write a grant proposal and ask fellow American Unitarian Universalists for donations so we could realize our dream of building a Unitarian orphanage in the Khasi Hills.

In early 2008, we finally reached our fundraising goal, and have begun construction of the A. Margaret Barr Children’s Village! For the nine months between August 2008 and May 2009, I will be serving as a representative and adviser while the orphanage takes form.

One Response to “Why are you going to this Indian Unitarian community?”

  1. Dear Catie: My wife and I have just returned from a visit to the Children’s Village that you have contributed so much to it;s existence. We met with Rev. Nangori Suting at the Orphanage and at the Unitarian Church in Shillong. I have pictures to share with you so please contact me. Bob Fischer

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