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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 dedicated chores.

Let's follow one of the
"Dads" 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!

Meet the Children
A Day with the Children
A Day with the Dads
The Future
Frequently Asked Questions
About Us
Write to Us
Road Map

Photographs on this Site: Courtesy Mark & Jude Lazaro, Lyn Fernandez and Ronnie Johnson
  • Morning Star Home Page
  • Meet some 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 .
  • A 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
  • A Day in the Life of a Morning Star Dad and Mom .... A glimpse of the life of the Morning Star Dad and Mom, a 24x7experience, that never ends with the sunset, that's when the responsibility and another dimension begins
  • The Dream that became "Morning Star" - the story of Morning Star
  • Addresses - of Didier Charitable Trust and Morning Star Learning Center
  • What are the Facilities - the facilities for the children at Morning Star
  • FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions regarding  Morning Star
  • The Future Plans - the next project for the expansion facilities for challenged children 
  • Contact us - Inquiry and Feedback Form
  • Visit Ronnie Johnson's " Bangalore Walla " Home Page
  • Return to NEW PAGES of Morning Star
Road map Please Click on this << Ikon for the Road Map 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.