Vanavil Trust was started in 2005 in the aftermath of Asian Tsunami of 2004 to support children of two Nomadic communities, Boom Boom Mattikarars and Narikuravars, in Tamil Nadu. After 17 years of working with the communities, Vanavil now has grown into an organisation with multiple projects that are aimed to support the education of the children from the nomadic tribal communities.
Vanavil stands for Child protection | Health & Nutrition | Holistic education | Livelihoods
Started as an anti-begging child care institution, Vanavil has in the seventeen years of its existence grown into
· Vanavil Children’s Home - A home and a safe space for 50 Nomadic girls
· Vanavil Nursery & Primary School - An alternative primary school with innovative pedagogy
· Vanavil After School Centres - Ensuring Schoolgoing, Supplementary education and Nutritional support to 700 Nomadic Children in 11 Villages.
· Nomad Higher Education Scholarship - 66 First generation Nomadic students in career oriented courses.
· Vanavil Livelihood Program - A Program to rehabilitate women of Nomadic communities from begging and creating alternative income generation possibilities for them.
· Railway Childline Partner - A partner of Railway Childline Project in Nagapattinam district to protect and rescue children who are in need of care and protection.
· Relief Works - Vanavil has always been first to respond in case of distress in the district. From Gaja cyclone to COVID second wave we continue to stand with the people of the district through various relief works like distribution of dry rations and strengthening the medical facility in the district.
*We are not affiliated with any religious or political institutions. We are a secular organisation.
An integrated approach to build a equitable and empowered society
The nomadic and marginalised communities attain Equality, Identity and Dignity
To ensure equality and dignity for nomadic communities by working for their protection, development and well being in Tamilnadu through Education, Livelihood, Advocacy, Health and Nutrition.
Fifty children mostly girls and a few boys below the age of 10 stay at the Vanavil Home. We take in kids with single parents, Family issues, homeless to keep them away from begging and child marriage. We provide them Food, stay, take care of their education till college. We attend to their health issues and run medical camps. We teach them crafts and vocational skills like tailoring, basket weaving and palm crafts. We Play ultimate frisbee and other games and have a cultural troupe. We run online classes for subjects to our children in collaboration with CLE Trust, Bangalore.
Most women from the Nomadic Communities seek alms in places of worship and large gatherings due to poverty and lack of viable livelihoods for them. They also tend to see it as a continuation of their traditional soothsaying and taking grains in return. The Covid19 pandemic hit them most as the lockdown meant no gatherings or worship. In order to ensure food security of the children and adults we With the the support of Ashwini Seetha Foundation we started running SHGs to give interest free loans to make these women into small vendors. Since they have amazing people skills sales works for them. We have given Milch cows to single women and Tailoring training including power machine training to younger women.
If ST and NT Communities are struggling to get primary education they are almost non existent in the Higher Education Institutions. Vanavil supports students from its School, Home and Afterschool projects with career guidance, College admission and a scholarship to cover their college fees and Hostel expenses. We connect them with mentors with whom the children can communicate on a regular basis for academic and personal support. Currently we support 66 students through this programme.
We are very proud that the first woman graduate from the Aadiyan community is a Vanavil Girl and now we have a Reporter from the aadiyan community. Our scholars are into Fine arts, Design, Sports education, Nursing, Biotechnology and more
Vanavil in collaboration with the District Child Protection Unit runs a Child Friendly Space in Velankanni, identified as one of the 51 places of worship in India where children need better protection. We stop women from begging with infants and little children who sell stickers as a way of novel begging. We work with the local police, Panchayat administration, CWC and local stakeholders.
It is the small change that makes the biggest impact.
families helped with relief materials during Gaja cyclone hit in Nagapattinam
single women affected by cyclone are given houses
Nomadic children’s education and health monitored with the help of after-school centres
Children provided with care and protection at Vanavil children home
Tribal children sent to college through our higher education support program
Principal @ Consltek, Inc California, USA
It takes tremendous amount of hard work, patience and compasion to create an environment like Vanavil and sustain it for more than a decade. Revathi and her team have changed the lives of hundreds of nomadic children. These children otherwise would have landed up in a very different and unfortunate situation.
Like every other donor, I also used to worry whether the money that we sponsor gets spent wisely to get the best value. It is very satisfying to see that Revathi and her team have been so dedicated to the cause, completely transparent in reporting and making sure that every Rupee is spent for the stated purpose.
Member, TN Education policy draft Commitee, Mathematician
I have known of the work of Vanavil for many years, and greatly admire the deep commitment Revathi, and her colleagues have shown. Progressive education for children from the most marginalised section is critical.
Expert Volunteer, Belouga.com
Vanavil is a very special place, A unique educational environment where the children can be themselves and learn through exploration and the arts.The children are curious and motivated learners who are creative problem solvers always quick to help others.
Former Vice Chancellor, Educationist
Working with the Boom Boom Maatukarars who’re steeped in age old customs and social invisibility is an enormously dedicated effort that will bear an imprint on the social scenario and in the larger goals of reaching equal quality of education to all the marginalised children equally.
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No.264, Public Office Road, Velipalayam, Nagapattinam 611001