The story of The Kanji Project begins with an Indian woman called Maria Rayappan. In 1993, following a donation from a friend in the UK, Maria opened a children’s home for ten destitute children in the village of Kanji, Tamil Nadu, India. Maria realised that education was the key to escaping the cycle of poverty and St Antony’s School was built with help from UK supporters.
St Antony’s School now educates approximately 1700 children aged from 3 – 16 from many surrounding villages. In addition, the children’s home, Shanthi Lumin, provides a warm and safe environment for 60 girls.
The Kanji Project, with its Indian Partner charities, also funds the Sunshine Special School for children with learning difficulties, supports children’s parliaments and homework clubs in rural villages, provides medical aid to the poor and help with disabled rights.
We work closely with our French sister charity, Enfants de Kanji, who also support St Antony’s Foundlings and with whom we coordinate on decision-making for funding to different projects. Enfants de Kanji were formed in 2003, and have worked closely with The Kanji Project ever since.