Inaugurated in 1999 at the request of the archbishop of Pondicherry, the Arul Ashram was created to provide a contemplative male presence in this diocese whilst being accessible for the students of Pondicherry University. In addition to these aims, it quickly developed into an hospitable centre for AIDS patients, who often came to live out the end of their lives, supported by the the help and prayers of the sisters of St Joseph of Cluny, and of the brothers of St Jean. Today we house around thirty adults, men and women.
Subsequently, many children with AIDS came with their mothers, before being left orphaned. From then on, the need to create a home for these children was urgent and gave rise to the creation of Jeeva Nivas, also known as Shanti Bhavan Children’s Home, in 2006. This orphanage, now overflowing with life, is home to nearly fifty children (orphans between five and twenty years old). It was initially supported by an American volunteer, Carol Collins, who spent her days caring for the children.
After eight years, Carol passed on responsibility to a new team composed of the brothers, sisters of St Jospeh of Cluny and supervisory lay staff. Nearly a hundred people currently live here thanks to the kindness of your donations, for which God knows the needs are great.