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The Didier Charitable Trust (Regd.)
A light in the lives of the forgotten
A Day in the Life of a
Morning Star Dad and Mom ....
Even before the sun
rises, and the sparrow chirrups and twitches it's eye, ruffles it's
feathers and decides it's time to catch that proverbial worm, those
who are in-charge of Morning Star children have risen and started their
Let's follow one of the
on his daily schedule. One really cannot call them 'foster
' because they are so dedicated and loving to the children, more
than their actual mothers and fathers could be, that the word
really does not fit their calling. We will stick to just 'Dad', although
they have to double up as Mother's too ... real Mrs. Doubtfires
!! Dad's job
is a 24x7 continuous session that never ends and a real circle of life.
The day does not end when the sun sets, it just starts into another
dimension of challenges, and this is the most critical part of their
life, as responsibility becomes more acute at night especially for
the challenged children. The responsibility of over 55 children of
mixed backgrounds and influences can be quite exasperating even to the
most professionally trained and hardened commando, but these Dads
have been doing it for over 17 tireless years, day in and day out, adding
children to their family as the years passed on.
There are only 'three' of them,
John Kennedy Samson and Joy Honorius
. They take
the jobs and divide them in rotation so that at any stage the absence
of one does not let the children suffer, because there is no option
for backlogs, when a job has to be done - it has to be done there
and then, no excuses, no passing the buck, no looking back to see who
is watching - nobody is, it's just a case of 'I, Me and Myself'!! And
one must remember there is no backup! I have to take care of all emergencies,
I have to develop a good quick response presence of mind, I have to
at all times have an attitude of love, kindness, service and patience.
It must also be mentioned that there are a few of the older normal children
who help out as ''daddy's little helpers", and they are the support group,
just like any normal family. Oh! Yes!, we do have our own 'modern' children
at home who think it is not their duty to lift a finger to help in out
in own homes. They should come and see how these children all do as much
as they can to be independent, even the challenged children are encouraged
in this way of life.
Starting from the early
morning routine, normally village life is on a different schedule than urban
counterparts. Rising times could be earlier, but these days with the unscheduled
times of 'call center' culture, the times cannot match. A typical day at
Morning Star for the 'Dads' start at the early dawn, when they arise at 5'o
clock. After the standard wash-up, they stick to a routine of morning exercise
that is so essential for the rigorous work of the day ahead. One of them
would be delegated to 'kitchen duties' and starts preparation for the breakfast
for the children. The exercise routine is linked with the cleaning of the
premises, and this means sweeping the building floors, the immediate approach
from the gate through the compound, the park section.
After this starts the 'dad duties' such as pressing out the children's uniforms,
cleaning the shoes. Making sure all the children have baths, and some of the
older normal children help the dads to bathe the challenged children as it
sometimes becomes difficult for a single person to do so.
Breakfast is always in shifts as the college going boys eat at 6.30 am,
and the challenged children and normal school going children eat at 7 am.
The dads have to feed the challenged children, and with the help from some
of the little 'helpers' who are capable of doing so.
The division of work is very systematic , John normally takes care of the
challenged children, Joy looks after the smaller children, and John or Joy is the
'Chef' and the kitchen is his domain. He has a few of the boys help him by
rotation weekly. The breakfast that is prepared consists of cereals like idly,
poori, dosa, upma, chapatti, lime rice, some times porridge with ragi as
the main ingredient. Some of the boys take their lunch boxes, filled with
what was prepared for the breakfast. There is a maid that comes at 8 from
the local village, she checks the rations and prepares lunch for the challenged
boys and the others who are at home.
Although the lines are clearly demarcated, the whole movement is based on
'team work' and that will include 'mom' duties like washing of the clothes
of the children, the usual morning rush of dressing them up, and making sure
they are 'spick'n'span' , and smart for school. The children do look smart
when they take off for school in their uniforms.
All and sundry have to go through the schedule of 'exercise' so that the
circulation of the young blood is pumped up, this would include the dads,
and all the children as much as the challenged children can do. For them it
is a bit like physiotherapy.
The schedule from post school to lunch is cleaning the kitchen, dining hall,
toilets and bathing places, arranging the cupboards and book shelves, making
the beds. This can be quite trying as the clothes and the bedding of the challenged
children may need an extra attention.
Post-lunch till tea, the schedule goes on to outdoors where work on the
property is taken care of, and typical 'mom' duties again come into play
like arranging the washed clothes, change the clothes of handicapped children
if it needs and arrange the tea, snacks.
Post-tea till supper, this is the time that the school children come back
at 4 pm, change their uniforms, take tea, snacks, and Joy then take
charge of the children for their studies and prepare them for the next day
classes. The dinner time for the challenged children is at 6 pm (not
all the children can eat by themselves, and some have to be fed in a particular
manner so that they can eat and swallow their food without it spilling all
over), and after this, one of the dads leads the common prayer which is scheduled
from 7 to 7.30 pm, followed by dinner for the rest
As each child has a separate bed, so there is no need of doing a 'roll call',
just a glance would let any of the dads know if all the children were asleep
and accounted for. It has been a routine as in any family for the children
to unwind before bed time, so there is some time spent on drama acting, story
telling and other methods to relax the child.
The day does not shut down, in fact it just starts in a new dimension, where
the critical charge to take care of so many children of various ages
and backgrounds, who have been through so much earlier in their distress-filled
may have a turn or more during the night also the challenged children have
to be checked by the dads at various intervals during the night to perhaps
change their clothing and mattress. Sometimes, there may be a child who gets
sick, and so the dad has to take the van and take the child to a doctor or
hospital that is located near the home. In general the children are very healthy
and so this occurrence is rare.
The weekend brings about a slight
change in the schedule for the dads, as a small group of committed and empathy
touched software engineers come in on Sunday mornings to teach the children
mathematics, science subjects and optionals, besides computer basics and programming
to children who show an aptitude.
The cock crows, and the sparrows
chirrup, and it's time the sun popped up and one has to rise and shine because
it's the next day and you cannot loll in your bed, the circle of life
goes on and on, for a day in the life of a Morning Star Dad!
on this Site: Courtesy Mark & Jude Lazaro, Lyn Fernandez and Ronnie
Please Click on this
<< Ikon for
to Morning Star
The Map is not drawn to scale, but gives an approximate
direction with landmarks that you would see enroute. Take care
of speed breakers that have been placed on the road to prevent
trucks from over speeding.
of the Challenged Children of Morning Star ...a few lines
and photographs on some of the Challenged children and those who
have been successful in bettering their lives
Day in the Life
of a Morning
Star Child .... A daily
child's routine, covering school days, holidays, weekends, both
for the normal as well as the challenged child
in the Life
of a Morning
Star Dad and Mom ....
A glimpse of the life of the Morning Star Dad and Mom, a
never ends with the sunset, that's when the responsibility and another
The Dream that became "Morning Star"
- the story of Morning Star
- of Didier Charitable Trust and Morning Star
What are the Facilities
- the facilities for the children at Morning
- Frequently Asked Questions regarding
- the next project for the expansion facilities
for challenged children
- Inquiry and Feedback Form
- Visit Ronnie
" Home Page
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