In 2007 the Franciscan Family Apostolate (FFA) expanded its program to serve several tribal communities on the east coast of India in Andhra Pradesh and in the neighboring state of Orissa, India.
As in Kerala, our primary emphasis is family development through a sponsorship program over a three year period. Unlike, Kerala, most of the families served in Andhra are families affected by HIV/AIDS. Often these families consist of widows with young children who have been shunned by extended family and have no one to help in their support. Along with monthly assistance these families are initially provided with an asset (a buffalo, some goats, a roadside shop) designed to bring them to a modicum of economic independence. Healthcare and social services are also provided by the Canossian Sisters.
In addition to the sponsorship program, in effort to deal with the impact of HIV/AIDS upon these tribal populations, the Apostolate also supports medical clinics and outreach in both Andhra and Orissa serving the medical and nutritional needs of HIV/AIDS widows and orphans. In July 2013, a special program for the treatment of alcoholics was begun in Draksharama, Andhra Pradesh. It serves 500 people.
To learn more about how you can help a family in need in Andhra Pradesh, please click here.