Who calls the Vardha cyclone and why




"Amy Carmichel" help for children in India







Dec. 2016 / Jan. 2017







Dear sponsors, friends and sponsors of our sponsorship project,


it is high time for our December newsletter. I would like to begin with some current information:


First of all: We are currently looking for a co-sponsor for a student (engineer for mechanical engineering, bachelor's degree, 4 years) who is willing to pay a monthly contribution of 20.00 € over the course of the study period. The young man was accepted into our sponsorship program during the sponsorship trip in October. (If you are interested, please contact me at [email protected] or Tel .: 036374-21258 - thank you!). - The student is placed with effect from 01/21/2017.


Left: Current status of sponsorships / sponsorship application (both PDF)


Our students are now in the middle of the 2nd exam period for the current school year. The Christmas holidays will not start until December 23rd (last day of school) this year. The Christmas party in the boarding school will be on December 18th, in the kindergarten on December 22nd.

Since, as every year, there were still plenty of Christmas bonus transfers after the official transfer to India, I will forward a message to the Frolich Home on December 12th, with the donors and recipients concerned. If possible, Mano will try to pay out these funds.


In the office in Pandur, the desks are still bending because of the burden of the new "urgent" forms from the state home supervision and other government agencies that are received every week, which are usually filled out within a week, always under threat of a possible closure of the facility (see also previous Newsletters). So there will be no Christmas vacation again for the office (and Mano).


After the surprise devaluation of the Indian central government at the beginning of November, the country has remained surprisingly quiet. Although all 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were invalidated overnight (that was about 85% of the total cash volume in the country), there was no money at all ATMs and banks for several days, there was no uproar in the south (unlike partly in the north). Everyone seems to be somehow resigned to enduring the new situation and are joining the (unchanged) existing huge queues in front of the banks in the hope that there will be enough cash to exchange or withdraw the permitted Rs 2,000 a day.


Since 80% of the economy in India is based on cash and 60% of the population have no bank account, the country has been in a state of shock since the beginning of November - and has the goal of the whole as announced by the prime minister: "A central blow against corruption and black money" proved wrong from the start. The corrupt officials are of course just as happy to take the now slowly newly introduced banknotes as they took the old ones before - and the so-called black money does not even exist as banknotes, but 95% in house and property.


State mourning has ruled Tamil Nadu since that night. The Prime Minister passed away after a long and serious illness. Since this was foreseeable, public transport was almost completely shut down and the police were on standby the day before yesterday. We cannot understand that in Europe, but in India the death of a head of state is so perceived as a tragedy that it can lead to mass demonstrations (also of a violent nature) and even massive suicides by loyal supporters. For this reason, schools and universities have been closed since yesterday afternoon. Public life is suspended for 3 days


After the unsightly topics, I would like to pass on to the travel report of our sponsorship trip from October of this year, but I should report something nice from Pandur (which, of course, I like to do): The school partnership with the Gymnasium am Thie in Blankenburg is finally really good again this year Come running. The students and the school management are currently in weekly contact via Skype. A beautiful thing!




"Newsticker": Due to unforeseen events, here again some information updated daily:


12.12.2016: Cyclone Vardha is raging in northern Tamil Nadu


The cyclone passed through the Chennai region - with a top speed of up to 120 km / h. There has been a lot of devastation. Trees in particular have been uprooted and fallen.

There are also said to have been 2 deaths in the region, but not from the storm, but from the associated heavy rain.

The rain should also continue.

From the afternoon onwards, there were also large-scale power outages.


13.12.2016: Situation in Pandur


The Frolich Home Compound was hit worst. A lot of trees fell over here and some of them fell on the buildings. The building with the children's kitchen / dining room, the toilet wing, the sewing school building (staircase), parts of the manager's house (probably in the veranda area), parts of the surrounding wall and much more are damaged.

People were not harmed.


Some trees have fallen on the grounds of the boyshome. Otherwise there would be no further damage.


Some houses in the village were also damaged, but not as bad as on our compound.

The church is also damaged.


Electricity, telephone and internet will probably be out of order for the next few days.

This also applies to many cell phone providers.

Mano's cell phone was still working (the only one). That's how I got the information after all.


With the help of many people from the village, everyone is now cleaning up.

As soon as the internet works again, I get a short status report and some photos.


15.12.2016: Today I can finally deliver (even many) photos. Unfortunately all only as PDF for the time being - Situation in the girls' home (96 images / 12.2MB) / in the boys home (28 pictures / 2.79MB) in Pandur after the cyclone of December 12th, 2016.


According to current estimates, there will be no electricity for another 2, 3 or sometimes more days in many places.

The water supply has also failed over a large area, as the pumping stations connected between them are also without power supply.

Most cell phone providers are back on the air. However, many telephones are still "dead" because there is often simply no power to charge the battery.


18.12.2016:Here is a short video from today's nativity play at the Christmas party in Frolich Home. - It is admirable how far the cleanup has come in the last few.

Now we "only" have to be able to secure the repair work financially (tomorrow I should get the cost overview for everything) ...

As of today there is electricity and water in the region again.


19.12.2016: Today I finally received the statement of costs for the storm damage repair. Are required in total 3.300,00 €(in rupees = Rs 228,845.00).


27.12.2016: A big thank you to all donors! We reached the donation goal today!


The donation level is on December 27, 2016 (5:30 p.m.) = 3.489,00 €

Many thanks for the support!


28.12.2016:The collected money started its way to Pandur today.

There were now a total of = 4.134,00 € , as a number of other donations were received on the Amy account after the collection was completed.

According to information from Pandur, after the repair work began, some damage turned out to be greater than originally thought. So we now have some freedom ...

From Mano I should pass on the following: "The work is going on. Please say a big thank you to all donors, friends and sponsors!"- What I gladly did with this - and I agree with it once again with great joy in my heart.


Here are a few pictures from the repair work - 01/04/2017


Here are more pictures from the repair work - 11.01.2017


And again pictures of the repair work - 01/14/2017




(Addendum from December 7th, 2016) - The actual newsletter "postponed" here is another piece of information from Mano:

The officials of the Child Protection Agency (DCPO) in Tiruvallur have selected some particularly well-functioning boarding schools to run a program for Children's Day 2016 in India (that was November 24th). The Frolich Home was among these facilities.

A total of 14 (then probably 15 in real terms) of our girls practiced and performed dances, songs, play scenes and a lot more.

In the picture you can see them with the certificates and medals they received from the district administrator. (Unfortunately that arrived too late for me)




Here is the travel report. I thank Rainer Gerhardt for this:


Travel report PATENREISE 2016(01.10.2016 – 15.10.2016)


Also this year a group of 19 sponsors made their way to Pandur with our project coordinator Winfried Stelle (Winni). Some have already been there once or several times. For others like my wife Annett and me it was the first sponsorship trip and also the first to India.


Start with obstacles


We almost had to take our flight in Frankfurt without Winni. His visa was from 2015! Fortunately, he was able to get the correct document via email at the last minute. Things didn't go so well for Gerd (another fellow traveler). He was unable to fly due to a typing error (!) And spent one night in Frankfurt. The rest of us arrived in Chennai late in the evening. Here at the immigration control there was the next hurdle to be overcome. After Winni and part of the group had already gone through, they did not want to let the rest through, as we could not give the street and house number of the Frolich Home (but it does not exist). After an hour of discussion, they let us pass.


Happy arrival


In front of the airport we were welcomed by Mano (the manager of the Frolich Home) and a small delegation. After our luggage was stowed in the bus, we went to Pandur, where we arrived that night. After a short reception with hospitality, we took possession of our guest rooms (only one bed!). But we didn't sleep much. The music from the church loudspeakers woke us up early Sunday morning. We were excited about it. How will the first encounter with our sponsored child (17) be? When my wife came out of the house, she was immediately greeted by some children and asked for the name of their godchild. The name was spread in no time and our sponsored child ran up to my wife. To her delight, there was no fear of contact at all. Some time later, I was also given a warm hug by our sponsored child. Then it was time to unwrap the presents and the joy for both sides was huge. The trip was worth it for this radiant face!


Straight ahead in the text


First encounter with the sponsored child / school attendance (elementary school) / program in the VGR College (from left to right)

Photos: R.Gerhardt / Amy



Frolich Home - Pandur


The boarding school area made a very good impression on us. Mano makes sure that everything is kept clean. It was like an oasis for us when we returned from our excursions. Our rooms were simple but comfortable by Indian standards. Since we were already informed by our fellow travelers, we also had our (thin) air mattresses with us. So we were able to improve the sleeping comfort. The heat bothered us most, as it didn't get really cooler at night either. We also had our problems with the spicy food, although the kitchen team really tried very hard for our well-being and also responded to our wishes as far as possible. There was also butter, jam, honey and corn flakes for breakfast.


We also had great fun shopping with the sponsored children in the district town Tiruvallur, even if it was not so easy with several children (some had taken up to 5 children with them). Each child was given the amount they had received from their godparents and for which things could now be bought. Most of them already had a certain routine and so in the end everyone was satisfied.


Of course, the local schools were also visited again. First the primary school, our sponsored child was able to accompany us here. She was very happy to see her former teacher and showed us your old classroom. The kids were over the moon and lots of photos were taken. Our visit to the Johannes Kabi's High School. Some of us also paid a visit to the Boys Home (which has been under the direction of the Frolich Home for several years). We had brought a soccer ball for the boys, which was happily received. Unfortunately, we couldn't attend the college of our sponsored child, but this time we had it Dr. Radhakrishnan Center - Indira College of Education on the program (the college for teacher training at the VGR College in Pandur). We were given an incredible welcome there - we felt like guests of state. We were greeted with chants and a welcoming ceremony, received a gift, and then saw a student cultural program. We were very impressed.


If possible, the sponsored children invite their sponsors to their parents' home. So we also visited the house of Pragavathi's mother (father has died). We got to know part of the family. Pragavathi translated our English into Tamil. Since traditionally with the Tamils ​​everyone sits on the floor, two chairs were set up especially for us, which was a bit uncomfortable for us. But you can't refuse. In addition, we were treated to drinks and sandwiches. Another meeting with the families took place on the Sunday after the service. There was also a joint meal in the Frolich Home.


Baptism and confirmation service in Pandur


Another highlight was the service on the 2nd Sunday, which was also a baptism and confirmation service. We were allowed to be godparents for one of the children, as his godparents could not be here this year. We gladly took on this "task". I had borrowed a white wrap skirt from Paul (one of this year's volunteers). The women had already been wrapped in their saris early in the morning - a great sight! In the service we were allowed to sit next to Mano, who handed us her German hymnbook - so we could sing along with most of the songs in German.


Straight ahead in the text


After the baptismal service (right) / In the temple city of Tirumala (left)

Photos: R.Gerhardt / Amy Projekt 2016




After the obligatory trip to Chennai to exchange money in the “Spencers Plaza” shopping center, our first big trip (on October 4th) went to the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh. Here was our first stop Fort Chandragani. In addition to old temple ruins, there was a palace with a museum and a beautiful park to visit. At the entrance to the park we were "greeted" by a horde of monkeys. Here it was said: Hold on to everything and keep an eye on the monkeys! Then it went on into the city Tirupati. Here we strengthened ourselves in the (vegetarian) restaurant of the Hotel Fortune Select Grand Ridge. Then it went through the city to a collective parking lot. Here we had to leave our bus and change to jeeps. The journey to the temple city was only possible with these or with the pilgrim buses Tirumala possible. The trip was 24 km up the mountain on a new private road. It was noticeable that not the smallest bit of garbage was lying around here (as unfortunately everywhere else). Once at the top we had to leave the shoes in the jeeps. We then went barefoot on the temple grounds. Here a wide running track ran through the area like in a stadium. While we were doing this round we were an attraction for many of the pilgrims. "Where are you from? Ah - from Germany! “Countless pictures were taken with us - even by the local press! For us it was impressive to experience such a pilgrimage site - which, by the way, is the most visited pilgrimage site in the world. When we drove back it was already getting dark and thousands of pilgrims were still walking towards us. Some also slept right on the side of the road.


Our second trip to Chennai took us (on October 6th) back to Spencer's Plaza to exchange money (for the three "stragglers" who had only followed that night). Then there was a visit to the museum. But we decided to go shopping. After lunch we drove through Chennai to St.Thomas Mount, where the apostle Thomas is said to have found his martyrdom. We had a great view of the city here. In addition to the (Catholic) church and some monuments, there is also a church cafe and a children's facility. This is also where newborns are "given away" by their mothers. My wife was shown about 10 of these children (mostly with a disability). It was a moving experience for her.


The highlight for the children was of course our excursion with all the children from the Frolich Home to an amusement park in Chennai (on October 8th). After the picnic (an organizational masterpiece by Mano and your team) there was no stopping it. All attractions had to be tried out! At the end of the park there was a beach where we were allowed to “swim” with the children. Godparents and children rushed (with things!) Into the (quite strong) surf again and again full of joy. The smaller ones clung to us so as not to be torn away.


In the second week (on October 10th) we went to Chennai again, where we met Nepolean (he sometimes helps as an interpreter for German / Tamil during the sponsorship trips). This time it should now be possible to visit the port (after failed attempts in previous years). But although Winni had filled out all the required forms, it did not work again, because it was now of the opinion that we had to have an "international visa" to be able to visit the port. The planned visits to the park also failed because it was closed for a public holiday. So this year we came to visit the Cathedral of San Thome (Church of the Holy Sepulcher of the Apostle Thomas). In the lower church, where a finger relic is still kept, we witnessed the end of a mass. The following lunch in a very good (vegetarian) restaurant in Chennai was the best meal for us during our stay - even if we are otherwise more “carnivores”. Then we went shopping again in a super modern “City Center”. Only the high earners can afford to go shopping here. This is in stark contrast to the life of most Indians.


Straight ahead in the text


Bathing in the sea / Church service in the grave chapel (Santhome) / In the Gingee Fort - from left to right

Photos: J.Janus / R.Gerhardt / Amy Projekt 2016


Our last trip followed us (on October 12th) Gingee. We were able to cover a large part of the route (towards the south) on new 4-lane roads. Still, we didn't arrive until around noon Gingee gone at; so we decided to have lunch in town first. Afterwards we went to visit the fort. Here, too, we were warned about the cheeky monkeys. In addition to ruins, there are also some completely preserved buildings to visit on the site of the fort. Luckily there were the beautiful big trees here too, which provided some shade. It was definitely too hot to climb the mountain! (The facility of the fort extends over a huge area, up to the peaks of the adjacent mountains).


The next day we visited a nearby yoga center with Mano. In the meditation hall, we first received an introductory lecture from the head of the center and then took part in a meditation. There is also a kitchen with a dining terrace on the huge site. We got lunch there. Then we were shown the newly built infirmary and explained that everything is free here. Of course, that raised a few questions for us. Who is behind it all and how is it all financed? So we had mixed feelings about it all.


End of our trip


On the last day of our 2 weeks (October 14th) we had lunch together in the Frolich Home. Then we had to pack our bags and in the afternoon we said goodbye to Mano and the "extension group" who took the bus to the train station in Chennai. The five of us remaining spent some time with the children and then drove to the airport in Chennai that evening. The return flight went without any problems and for the first time in my life I was able to toast my birthday above the clouds.


Rainer Gerhardt


It remains to be added that the extension group named in the text embarked on a nearly 900 km long train journey to Kanyakumari (the southernmost point in India).

In addition to some interesting places in the region, we also visited Dohnavur. This is the place where the namesake of our project worked for many years and built a huge project with an orphanage, boarding school for schoolchildren, hospital, leprosy station, agriculture, etc. By the way, Mano was one of the orphans who were accepted into this project while “Amma” was still alive (Amy is only called “Amma” = mother on site to this day).

An interesting visit that would deserve an article in its own right. Unfortunately, none of the fellow travelers have yet found themselves for it. But that might have "blown up" the current newsletter a bit in terms of scope.


For everyone who is interested here is a link to my travel diary, as it was to be found in the Amy WhatsApp group ...


I wish you all a merry time in Advent, a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year 2017!


Best regards,


Winfried Stelle (project coordinator "Amy Carmichel")


(December 06, 2016)


A reminder:

If you want to be informed about news from the project work in the time between the newsletters, you can register for the Amy WhatsApp group with me (email to: [email protected]). The group should be an information platform, no loose discussion forum


For information:


The individual portraits of the children can be found via a fixed link on the “Our boarding school” page (directly accessible via the main portal www.amycarmichel.bplaced.net) ...

- And if you want to make a single donation or a small special donation, you are of course welcome to do so on one of our accounts (donation requests and donations are noted on the "Current donation requests" page of our website). Many Thanks!


Left: Current status of sponsorships / account details / current newsletter as a PDF file



Godparents wanted!(As of January 21, 2017)


Every year from April onwards, the new children are admitted to the boarding school at Frolich Home in Pandur.

In the last year there should be a total of 22 girls for whom we were looking for sponsors.

Currently it has become 17 because some of the girls could not get the papers now required by the government.

The sponsorship is now secured for all 17 girls.

Thank you very much to all new sponsors!

If you are interested in a sponsorship you can still contact us at any time: [email protected] or Tel .: 036374-21258.

A waiting list has already been set up for the coming year - and from time to time (and then mostly urgently) sponsors are sought for individual children.

The current status can be requested at any time and always updated via this link.

A sponsorship can be taken over for 17.50 euros per month - and ensures that everything necessary for our boarding school girls is covered.

Student sponsorships: For the 2016/2017 class, all new students are covered by their sponsors.

Those interested in study co-sponsorships can still contact us at any time (contact see below). I will then contact you if there is a specific need.

Such a sponsorship is possible for around 25.00 euros per month. However, since the required contributions are at very different levels here, there can also be larger deviations. (The student sponsors co-sponsor an already existing sponsorship. The fees are based on the actual costs of the study and the share that can be covered by the other sponsors).

If you are interested in taking on a sponsorship / student sponsorship, please contact me: [email protected]

My name is Winfried Stelle, I am the coordinator of the work in Germany. The work for "Amy Carmichel" is voluntary - and completely free of charge.

Current status of sponsorships(Link)




Donation request: (as of December 2016)


In addition to the current (urgent) donation requests, there are also those that are always up to date:


We have a Amy Foundation in India founded. This foundation was registered in Chennai in February 2011 under the name "Amy Foundation (India)".


The Amy Foundation is supposed to help that our work can continue beyond the limited existence of a private initiative (and that later also without dependencies from abroad).

In the first stage, the foundation should help to secure student funding and later also enable sponsorships in India itself - as a “vision”, it should at some point be able to fully bear the current financial tasks of the Amy sponsorship project. This goal should be achieved by 2025.


So that the foundation can (meaningfully) start its work, a foundation capital of 25,000 euros would have to be reached (= coverage of parts of the study costs), for the assumption of all (current) Amy costs around 156,000 euros at some point.

It will certainly take 15 years or more for full implementation, but the first stage (EUR 25,000.00 share capital) should be implemented by 2015 at the latest.


That is planning far into the future. But we think it is an important (and correct) step to secure the future of many children in the region around Pandur, because in the current development in the western states we cannot know how long the previous sponsorship system can (completely) last.


Please help us to achieve this important goal! When making a donation, please state "Foundation" as the purpose of the donation. Thanks!


Link / current status: Amy Foundation




The work here in Germany has risen sharply over the years, as has the number of children cared for through the project. This has contributed to the fact that the expenses e.g. for Postage and office supplies have increased - as has the postage for international letters, provided they are not in the standard format of up to 20 grams.

With the postage increases and changes also in the private postal services (e.g. in the number of items for reduced shipments), these costs increase extremely.

Around 400 euros a year are helpful for this.

Please note "office" when making a donation.

Many thanks to everyone who will donate spiritual gifts or money - or who have already contributed something to the support!

If you have any questions about our Art project work, please do not hesitate to contact me:

(Winfried Stelle, Project Coordinator Germany, "Amy Carmichel - Help for Children in India").




Appointment preview:(As of January 21, 2017)


Saturday, May 6th 2017: Patent meeting in the monastery of St.Wigberti in Werningshausen in Thuringia. - As usual, the invitations will be sent out with the donation receipts for 2016 (this is expected to take place by the end of February).



The Sponsorship trip 2017 is booked out.

All places have already been reserved for 2018.

(As of January 21, 2017). - I ask for understanding.


The newsletter for February / March 2017 is expected to appear at the beginning of February 2017.


The next transfer to India will be made in early / mid-January 2017.





India evenings are possible on request (please contact me in good time before the desired date!) at e-Mail: [email protected] - or Tel .: 036374-21258 (both Winfried Stelle).








Print version of the current newsletter (PDF) / travel diary sponsorship trip 2016 (W. Position)


Annual report 2015/2016 Pandur


Info extension




Sponsorship for a specific child in India: [email protected]







The homepage of the sponsorship project "Amy Carmichel - Help for Children in India"