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Projects

Working in close collaboration with the director and staff of the Mercy Home the Strathaven and Madurai Mercy Home Trust has identified specific projects and helped fund these in part or in whole. These include :

 
 

PAINTING THE MERCY HOME

The first project was to paint the Mercy Home buildings with a damp proof paint, durable against the intense humidity experienced in this area of India. This has been completed.

 
 

AIR CONDITIONING FOR THE BABY ROOM

The second project was to install an air conditioning unit in the baby room. This project was deemed of extreme importance as temperatures in the summer can often reach over 40 degrees centigrade. The number of babies in the Home at any one time varies but over 20 babies aged between 1 day and 3-4 months can be grouped together. In these temperatures the babies are extremely fractious and unsettled, making the already challenging work of caring for them even more difficult. The high temperatures also lead to increased spread of infection between the children, a very undersirable situation.

In February 2005 it was proposed that installing an air conditioning unit for the baby care room would be a huge benefit, helping to improve both the health and comfort of children and staff alike. The overall cost of the project, including purchasing the unit and itís instalation was £417. Of this, Strathaven and Madurai Mercy Home Trust supplied £315. The project was completed in September 2005.

  Baby Sleeping  
 

NEW JEEP

In October 2007 a request was made by the Mercy Home director for help to fund a new jeep. The existing jeep had been in use for 7 years and, due to the poor road conditions and large distances covered, had become problematic requiring frequent expensive repairs. Not only was this a drain on resources but it meant that for many days the jeep was unable to be used by the Home.

The jeep is essential for the Mercy Home. The city of Madurai is 29km from the home (a journey which takes an hour in difficult road conditions) and it is in Madurai that the hospitals are located. The babies in the home are often in poor health, having been abandoned and so it is not unusual to have several trips to Madurai per day to attend hospitals. More importantly, in an emergency situation the jeep is required to be in good working order to get immediately to a hospital.

Therefore, in response to this request a new jeep was chosen. The total cost required was 643,672 rupees (7,651 pounds). Of this the Strathaven and Madurai Mercy Home Trust provided 4000 pounds. The new jeep was bought in November 2007.

  jeep  
 

UNIFORMS AND BABY SUPPLIES

During a visit to the Mercy Home in January 2008 a further project was identified. This was during an effort to employ simple measures to increase hygiene in the home and minimize infections.

Presently 8 girls are employed by the home to look after the babies, working along with 3 sisters. They wore their own clothes and had no protective uniform provided which not only meant their clothes became soiled and ruined but that cleanliness for handling the babies was not ideal. It was suggested that buying material and making a set of aprons for each girl would be benefitial.

Alongside this it was identified that cross infection between babies could be a problem in the home. Bottles for feeding, though sterilized by boiling in between feeds, were shared among the babies. The babies are also wrapped in cloth nappies (this is the cultural norm in the area) which, when soiled, are washed and reused. However, no specific nappies were used for each baby. So in conjunction with buying uniforms for the staff, different coloured material was bought to make sets of nappies individual to each baby and new bottles and nipples were bought which were marked to be used only for one baby. When a baby is adopted that bottle and nipple is discarded and a new one bought for the next new baby.

Strathaven and Madurai Mercy Home Trust donated 48,580 rupees (580 pounds) for this project and the materials were bought in late January 2008.

   
 

LAPTOP

Strathaven and Madurai Mercy Home Trust have recently raised money to purchase a lap top and software for the Mercy Home and have now sent it to India for a total cost of 1000 pounds.

Running the Mercy Home involves a tremendous amount of administrative work and currently a very old static computer is used. This system badly needed to be updated. Further, house visits for all prospective adoptive parents have to be conducted and these include formal interviews. Currently the information is hand written and has then to be typed up at a later date. Purchasing a lap top will therefore not only update the computer system available but will also allow a reduction in work load.

   
 

FRESH WATER SUPPLY

This was one of the largest projects undertaken by the Strathaven and Madurai Mercy Home Trust. The main water supply for the Mercy Home is piped from a local river. This water is used for all purposes around the home including, historically, cooking and preparing milk substitute for the babies. The only method of "sanitising" the water was to boil it.

It was proposed that a bore well located within the Mercy Home land would enable a more stable water supply (in an area suffering often from droughts water can be in short supply). It was originally hoped this water could be filtered through a purification unit to allow for clean, safe water in the home. Unfortunately the water found is too salty for this purpose though it can be used for many other purposes. In a compromise the bore well was constructed along with a motor house to pump the water to the home and in addition a purification unit was fitted to filter the preexisting water supply. This filtered water is now used for all the babiesí milk and also for cooking purposes. The total cost of the water project was £3000 pounds and this was sent in November 2005. The project is now complete.

  Clean Water for milk  
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