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A Model of Hope for Oppressed Women Everywhere
Echoing the spirit of Mother Teresa of Calcutta,
Like Sister Lucy Kurien, I witnessed a human being burned to death, which changed my mission in life forever. I watched Patrick electrocuted in the electric chair, and Lucy watched Renuka and her unborn child burn to death after being set afire by her husband. After the tragedy Lucy was driven to begin Maher, and I to abolish the death penalty. Now you get to read these incredible stories of lives transformed. But watch out. After reading these pages you may well never be the same again.
by William Keepin, Ph.D. and Cynthia Brix, M.Div.
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“This lovingly written book is an inspiring and beautiful story of the practical love of the oppressed, destitute, and downtrodden of India manifested by Sister Lucy Kurien and her supporters. It raises searching questions . . . for those serving in countries suffering from centuries of abuse of the poor.”
– Father Thomas Keating, founder of Centering Prayer,
“This inspired and phenomenally beautiful Maher project brings practical and spiritual healing to discarded and destitute women, restoring them to dignity and security. Having personally seen the exquisite transformations that occur when people of all faiths...work together for the common good with tenderness and cheer, this book brought tears to my eyes and profound rejoicing to my soul.”
– Ashley Judd, Hollywood Actress and Board Member
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Maher is an interfaith shelter and resource center for battered and destitute women and children located near Pune, India. The Satyana Institute supports the Maher project by raising awareness and assisting in fundraising for the project. Since its inception in 1997, Maher has provided refuge and rehabilitation to over 1,320 battered women and their children. Today there are approximately 100 women and 400 children living at Maher and its fourteen satellite homes in surrounding villages.
Maher is the word for Mother's home in the local language of Marathi. Transcending religious and caste barriers in all aspects of its work, the Maher project demonstrates the power of interfaith collaboration to redress oppressive social conditions in Indian society. The goal is not only to provide refuge from domestic violence and abuse, but also to eliminate their causes in Indian communities by providing essential skills and resources that ward off neglect, superstition, and poverty.
Funding.The annual operating budget for the Maher project is just over Rs. 7 million, which is equivalent to $160,000. Financial support came initially from funds raised in Europe and India. Satyana Institute organized fundraising tours in 2005 and 2007, which has launched a substantial base of support and funding for Maher in the United States.
Essential needs at this time are (1) increased resources for hiring much needed additional staff, and (2) developing improved support for traumatized and severely disturbed women. Long-term goals include expanding the proven Maher concept to other areas in India. The need for and potential of such replication is enormous.
Tax Deductible Donations to Maher can be made through the
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