‘Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression’
-Dr. Hiam Ginnot
In December 2004, the earthquake in the Indian Ocean on the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a deadly Tsunami , which affected the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and caused hundreds of people to be killed and many hundreds were left homeless, among them children.
In response to this tragedy, MATT Home was established on 12 January 2005 to render services and relief to Tsunami-affected female children in the Cuddalore region, in commemoration of Mr Matteo, of Italy, the Home is named. The Commissioner of Social Welfare recognised and registered MATT Home under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000.
“I Alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”
– Mother Teresa
From 2005 January 80 children have been admitted to MATT Home, and of those, 48 children were restored with their parents and / or relatives after completion of their education or rehabilitation.. The Home provides for female children in need of care and protection living in and around Cuddalore. At present, 32 Children aged between 4 to 18 years of age are accommodated in the Home, and four other children (Anandhi, Ramya, Mageswari and Anusuya) live with their parents, but are being supported through payment of their educational and other expenses.
The Home caters for girls who come from various difficult circumstances, such as those rescued from child marriages, various situations of physical and/or sexual abuse, child labour, and begging, among others, referred by the Child Welfare Committee of Cuddalore and who are accommodated temporarily for up to four months.
The children’s inborn talents and multiple abilities are developed through various extracurricular activities, opportunities and classes. For example, Yoga is taught by Mr Balamurugan, YOGA Master of Cuddalore and drawing training is provided by Mr L Arasan from Arabi Arts in Cuddalore. The children of the Home are provided with ample recreation facilities, such as television, audio player, computer, monthly outings to the beach, temples and other interesting public places, a once yearly picnic/tour, sports such as cricket, volleyball, bicycle riding, games such as Carrom, Chess and and coin collecting.