Seva Samajam Children’s Home is one of the first programmes of the Guild of Service. Historical personalities like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Lord Mountbatten and many others actively supported the home and sponsored children at Children’s Home.
Presently there are about 150 orphaned and destitute boys and girls. This is one of the few homes which houses both boys and girls. This has ensured many brothers and sisters continue their lives together instead of getting separated to different institutions.
The children attend the Lady Nye MRT 1 Special Higher Secondary School which is in the same campus. On completion of schooling many are assisted through graduation till they are placed. Many old students return to guide the younger residents.
The Madras Round Table 1 is actively involved with the Home and the children.
The Seva Samajam Girls Home was set up almost 60 years ago to provide shelter, care and education to girls. Families from far and wide come to the Home to enroll their daughters since it is a safe haven and provides good education at the MCJ Girls Hr Secondary School which is situated in the same campus.
The Home has helped groom girls who come from poor socio-economic backgrounds, broken homes or neglected families. These girls have made good their lives by breaking the cycle of poverty, entering professional fields and finding gainful employment. Most are happily married with families of their own.Many of them return to the Home to mentor the present residents and assist in raising funds.
Nutrition on Wheels was started to provide atleast one proper meal to over 5000 children across 22 slums in the city. Gradually the centres also started functioning as balawadis and crèches for the infants and toddlers of the poor families.
Today the project is involved in five activities – running crèches, providing micro nutrients to malnourished children, providing educational support and building balwadis and providing training to underprivileged women in artificial jewellery making, embroidery and beauty therapy.
After the tsunami in 2014, N-O-W, built houses, gave livelihood support, provided counseling service, job oriented training and built classrooms in the tsunami affected areas. Children from fishing and farming communities are given educational support.
This project was set up to offer economic security to hundreds of poor elders in their twilight years. Through this program, the beneficiaries in the urban and rural areas are given monthly provisions, pocket money and clothes. Day Care Centres are run at Otteri and Samireddypalyam. Provisions for the beneficiaries living in rural areas are home delivered for their ease.
The ‘Sponsor a Grandparent’ program is in association with Help Age International. Regular medical camps are held in collaboration with other welfare organizations and medicines are given free. 30 Elders Self Help groups have been formed in different localities in Chennai and Kancheepuram district.
In 2014, a Geriatric Health Care Centre has been opened with experienced doctors providing medical consulting services five days a week at the Samireddypalyam Centre for the Women, Children and Aged.
Various entertainment programs and outings are organized to keep up the morale of the elderly beneficiaries.
The Family Assistance Scheme is a sponsorship program which provides financial assistance for education to children from underprivileged backgrounds. Children are mostly selected from single parent families and to help maximum number of families, one child is chosen per family. The beneficiaries of the program are children from schools other than the ones run by the Guild of Service.
The Family Counselling Centre has been set up to assist women under trials and prisoners lodged in the Puzhal prison, Chennai. It provides counselling to the women when they are first brought to the prison. Most of them are distraught and worried about their children.
FCC also conducts vocational training programmes so that once the women are released; they can work towards becoming economically independent and stay away from unwarranted activities. Awareness and entertainment programmes as well as talent competitions are held on a regular basis to keep the prisoners in a positive frame of mind. Experts are invited to teach the women relaxation therapy to overcome depression and stress. Programs are also conducted for the prison staff.
Future plans include further counseling and vocational sessions, module on the Domestic Violence Act and other related programs to benefit women prisoners and their families.
The Guild of Service Working Women’s Hostel was started in 1974 to provide safe boarding and lodging for working women from the low and middle income groups. It aims at creating a home like environment for its residents and encourages communal amity.
Centrally located in Egmore, the hostel is always in demand because it provides accommodation and food at very nominal charges.
In keeping with its ethos of empowering the underprivileged, the Guild in 2014 has launched ‘Helping Hands’, a training programme for needy and disadvantaged women.
Through this Project, the Guild envisages to provide vocational and livelihood sustaining skills that will make women financially independent and self-reliant. The Project is working towards starting diverse skill development courses that will make these women employable or turn them into small scale entrepreneurs.
The first course under the aegis of Helping Hands which is underway is the ‘Home Assistants’ programme – a training programme to provide a professional home support service. This skill development program will train underprivileged women to be multifaceted and reliable home assistants over a 6 month training period.
The programme will be a boon especially to nuclear families with young children and to senior citizens who need help at home by providing a comprehensive and professional home support service. The candidates are trained in cookery, housekeeping, nursing, basic accounts and computers.
The ‘Home Assistants’ programme is being run in collaboration with ANEW ( a 17 year old Chennai based NGO) which has made its mark in training home nurses.