PARAMARIBO, SURINAM, October 18, 2013 (dbSuriname): The Maharishi Dayanand children’s home of the Arya Dewaker society in Paramaribo, Suriname is 80 years old. This milestone was celebrated with a Havan on October 18, 2013. A Havan is an ancient sacred ritual using fire as a medium to ask favors of God for attainment of various wishes and blessings. On this special day prayers to the Almighty power were offered for wisdom, blessings and happiness for the children of the orphanage. After the Havan service the children recited poems and sang. A lecture, recognition of supporters and a shared meal followed.
The children’s home was opened by followers of the Arya Samaj movement on this day in 1933. Over time its mission has transformed to also include care for neglected children: children from broken families due to various reasons which range from abuse, poverty or sexual abuse. The home currently offers shelter to an average of 50 to 60 boys and girls between the ages of 2 and 16 years old. Some of the youth have been sent by the Youth and Family Judicial Affairs Office of the Ministry of Justice and Police with whom the home has close cooperation.
The children receive formal education supplemented by a part-time tutor to help give motivation regarding education and school performance. There are expressive subjects, sports and games, Hindi teaching and music lessons. In addition, the children often get help from Dutch interns and volunteers.