Happy Birthday Haven!

From 2003 to 2013, Haven's ten year journey is one that has changed lives forever and created communities enriched with a continuum of care and support.

Why Haven? Hundreds of years of custom and practice, where education and care have been purposely kept to a non-existent standard for the people of rural India, have ensured that these people remain illiterate and ignorant of their rights to a basic, decent living environment. Since its inauguration, Haven’s Community Centre has been offering hope and opportunity to the local villagers and their children who live in abject poverty. Haven’s programs, which also include a Learning Centre that the children daily attend, aim to help these children and adults to stay healthy; they allow the children to reach adulthood with the skills and mindset to become productive, healthy individuals capable of breaking the cycle of poverty.

Haven’s programs reduce the impediments that prevent vulnerable children and adults from leading healthy lives. They provide a continuum of care and support to help the villagers succeed in their daily existence which is full of toil and hardship. The programs provide enrichment, giving the local population the opportunity to learn and thereby contribute to the well-being of the whole community. The free primary care offered at our Medical Centre facilitates faster treatment and recovery and thus contributes to a healthier community which is more willing and better able to learn. There is no other affordable healthcare that is available to the poor in this district. Through education and training, with the correct medical and environmental facilities, Haven's ongoing objective is to prevent and eliminate most of the common ailments suffered by the local communities.

In a country, that it is often described as a sub-continent, the problem of poverty in rural India is overwhelming. How can a small organisation aim to make a difference? Looking back to the beginning to where Haven is today, it becomes clear that there are some fundamental reasons as to how we managed. By having a core group of like minded people who share the same dream, who are not interested in fame or personal glory, who loyaly remain as volunteers so that every penny raised is directed to where it is needed most and not drained by prohibitive administrative costs, has provided Haven with a stable footing from which we have been able to grow.

By keeping our numerous projects, whether in the UK or in India, small and manageable; by insisting on a tight control of all of our finances; by being completely "hands on" and, crucially, by having the wholehearted daily back up on the ground from the staff of MBCF, our partners in West Bengal, Haven really has managed to make a difference. To date 200,000 people have had the chance to improve the quality of their lives. The numbers are a testament to our success, albeit a small one in a huge country, and give us the courage and inspiration to go on. Haven means to continue and we already have our future projects and medical camps planned for the start of 2014. Can we last another ten years? We hope so, and, with your continued support, perhaps we can celebrate together in 2023.

To commemmorate our 10th Anniversary, Haven's achivements have been compiled into a stunning, visual record. Watch the video and see for yourself where Haven is today.



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