Assisi Snehalaya

Assisi Snehalaya
Conventual Franciscan Friars
ThirumalayamPalayam P.O. - 641 105
Coimbatore Dt., Tamil Nadu, India
Tel. (0422) 2656594
Fr. Ferdinand Melappilly
Fr. Christy Kallupalathinkal, Guardian
Fr. Titus Thekkilakattil
The beginning of Assisi Snehalaya with its care and research Centre for HIV/AIDS has, its conception in the Circular Letter of the then Provincial Custos dated 22 August 1999. In the letter, he stated, “India is dying and is waiting for our response”, and launched the idea for the first time that the Custody should identify itself with the outcast of today, the HIV/AIDS affected people. In the Ordinary Custodial Chapter 2003, the members accepted the suggestion of the then Provincial Custos and included in the Four-Year Plan of the Custody to plan for a Project for HIV/AIDS affected people. In his Circular Letter of June 29, 2003 the then Provincial Custos invited those Solemnly Professed friars not in formation who want to opt for this Project to contact him. Friars Ferdinand Melappilly and Giles Veliyana offered themselves for this Project. The Custodial Definitory discussed the modalities of this Project several times. Various lands were proposed to the Definitory for the Project through the search of Friar Ferdinand who was asked to search a suitable land for this Project. Finally, the Definitory decided to purchase the 21 acres and 84 cents of land at Rottikaundanur in Coimbatore District in the state of Tamil Nadu.

A Friary was established and blessed on 8 November 2004 and the first members of the community were friars Ferdinand, Giles and Raphael. In December, the extension of the friary began and friars started to do the ground work for the project. The Friars organized awareness programme, workshops, community oriented program etc on HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, a project proposal was given to Caritas Anthoniana for the construction of the Centre. The project was approved and the construction began in December 2005, which included the medical department and rooms for the patients. V. Rev. Fr. Marco Tasca, the Provincial of Padua, and the present Minister General of our Order blessed the foundation stone. It is with great gratitude that the Province of St. Maximilian Kolbe, India remembers the Province of Padua for their generosity in contributing for the first part of this project of serving the poorest of the poor.

The friars could develop a good rapport with the people around and the officials, which enabled us to go forward admitting the first patient in June 2006, even before the completion of the construction. On 3 September 2006 His Excellency Mar. Jacob Manathodath, Bishop of Palakkad, blessed the first part of the Centre. Mr. P. Munivelu DIG of the Prisons, Tamil Nadu inaugurated the administrative block and Dr. K. Mahadevan, Head of the Department of STDs, Coimbatore Medical College, officially inaugurated the Medical Department.

The blessing of God worked through the hands of our beloved benefactors of Malta that we were able to construct the second phase of the project namely, the patients’ ward, the kitchen and dining hall. The inauguration and blessing of the second phase took place on30 November 2007. Ms. SupriyaSahu IAS, the Project Director of TNSACS, together with Mr. Frangisku Attard, the sponsor of the the second phase did the inauguration. Fr. Ugolino Xerri, the Mission Promoter of Malta officiated in the Blessing ceremony.

With the completion of this second phase, we are able to accommodate 50 patients, most of whom are children. The Centre is fortunate to have Dr. K. Mahadevan, who is giving his medical service to the Centre. We refer all our patients to the Government Hospital, Coimbatore for their medical care. The Centre is at present a member of Coimbatore NGO network (CNN) an organization by Non-Governmental Officers (NGO) for HIV/AIDS.

The aims of the Centre:

* Providing integral health care for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) to improve their quality of life.
* Providing compassionate care and support to those who are in the last stage of life with HIV/AIDS.
* Extending psycho-social and spiritual service to PLHA and community based care to them.
* Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS through awareness programs and informational support.
* Providing training programs for animators and health workers.
* Net working with other NGOs.



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