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Maher, in the Marathi language, means "Mother's Home": A haven of hope, belonging and understanding. Maher’s mission is to help destitute women, children and men from all over India exercise their right to a higher quality of life, irrespective of gender, caste, creed or religion.
This incredible book, full of tales of hope, hard work, and triumph, tells the stories of some of the many people touched by Sister Lucy and the organization she has built.
Maher started out as a single shelter for women in need but quickly met with an influx of underprivileged children also pressing for help and provision. These children quickly outnumbered the women and Maher found itself expanding to encompass an ever-increasing array of programs to support the healing, growth and educational needs of the children. It also became clear that strengthening villages and families meant they could help many more. Beyond the gates of Maher, their services range from awareness programs to self help groups, Balwadis (Kindergartens), tutoring classes, and skills workshops. Maher was not only created to help victims of domestic violence but to train the poor and illiterate to become self-reliant and consequently independent of Maher.
Maher has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1997. Today Maher is officially a UN registered NGO (Non Governmental Organization). Maher is present in over 85 rural communities around Pune as well as other locations within the state of Maharashtra, and has so far expanded into five other states in India: Kerala Jharkhand, Karnataka, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Over 4000 women and children have passed through the Maher experience and come out brimming with self-confidence and dignity. Those who cannot be reunited with their families, because of a trauma or other complications, continue to be looked after under Maher's watchful care, and many stay on, fully rehabilitated to work as housemothers or assistants. Many others gain skills and means for thriving independent lives. All residents receive the highest quality diet, medical attention and psychiatric counseling available, irrespective of their gender, caste or religion. All human beings and all religious faiths continue to be given equal weighting and all major festivals are celebrated with the same fervor.