“From the cradle through college--everyone needs a home” is Agape’s philosophy, one that has evolved since I took in the first six orphans in 2003. Since then, we’ve cared for hundreds of AIDS orphans and some of my first kids have gone on to college, graduate school and the working world. These children, who had nowhere else to go, have thrived with the love, care and education we’ve been able to provide them. And there are more children who need our help.
Over the last few years, Agape’s Board and I have become convinced that the key to Agape’s future is to move out of the city into more permanent housing - where the children can live and learn in proper facilities without discrimination. We now rent 7 residential facilities and a separate school building. This poses several challenges:
• Daily transport between residences and the school
• Limited outdoor space for exercise and play
• Constraints on how many children we can take in
• The threat of eviction and rent increases
• Waiting for repairs or improvements
• Pressure from neighbors and others who do not like having HIV+ children nearby
With the purchase of a 10-acre parcel of land outside Hyderabad, we can build a gated campus that houses all of the facilities we need. While land outside Hyderabad is very expensive, we must remain within an hour’s drive of the local hospital in order to have access to discounted care for the HIV+ children.
With the thrilling success of our matching gift campaign in December 2017 which raised $300,000 for the land purchase, we can now move ahead with the purchase of the land, and seek the support of foundations to build the facilities we need.
My vision for Agape’s new home includes:
Dormitories: We can build housing for 500 orphans right on campus -- eliminating the daily transportation challenges to get all of the children to school.
School Building: With plenty of classrooms, a library, and computer, science and audio visual labs, we will have space to educate all of Agape’s children and have a place for our college students to study. The many donated supplies we use at our rented school can be used to customize each room for maximum benefit for our students.
Event Hall: A gathering place for all of our children can be a place for meals, assemblies, and celebrations.
Outdoor Space: A playground for the children to play safely, and a large lot of land will allow us to sup- port our nutrition needs and even generate income by growing fruit trees, teak trees -- a valuable wood -- and vegetable or flower gardens. The gardens would also provide training and education opportunities.
Staff Housing: Being able to house cooks and staff who live far away, and house parents when they’re not on duty would benefit our staff and allow for easier coordination and support among the staff. We could also offer housing to Agape students who have gradu- ated and want to stay on to work with us.
Utilities: Low water tables in the state mean that we would dig deep bore wells and implement a water harvesting system, house our own water treatment equipment and outfit the buildings with solar array panels for our energy needs. The high capacity laundering equipment donated to us would serve the entire campus.
Training Center: For our graduates who aren’t college-bound, there would be space for a much needed trade training center, workshops, and even possibly a junior college. A junior college (comparable to 11th and 12th grade in the US) can help our students either prepare for college or learn a trade that can provide them with a means to earn a living. We could then begin to develop a placement center to help our graduates find jobs that will sustain them and give them a profitable future.
We are on the verge achieving all of this for Agape, and are so appreciative of your support and generosity.
Founder & Executive Director