(Internet Explorer Browser Version)

    The Didier Charitable Trust (Regd.)
A light in the lives of the forgotten
            Some of the Facilities for the Children of Morning Star ...
Morning Star founded by John Kennedy Samson, has grown from a small single room humble home in Anekal to NGEF Layout, then to Kothanur and finally to the permanent abode at Chagalatti Village, Jalahobli, Yelahanka. The first lodgings at Yelahanka was an old house on the East side of the property, more or less an out house consisting of three rooms, a bed room cum dormitory, a room for different activities, more a multi-purpose room, and another used as the kitchen. The first kitchen was outside the building, and later after some gifts were received, a proper kitchen with steel steam boiler that the meals were cooked in. This building is now being used for yoga classes , and study as there are some old school desks given by someone that the children could use. There is also a room where the children can watch video (VCR & DVD) programs like moves, educational tapes. The third room is still part a kitchen, and there are toilets also attached to the building. There is hot water available for the children, which is supplied by way of environment-friendly solar heater panels.

new block
As the number of children increased, this arrangement became quite inappropriate for the whole lot of over 55 kids (normal and challenged) to be packed into and so in 1994, after discerning the spending of the collection of funds which John had gathered over the years, a new stone building was built (see photo on left). It was first thought that this would be enough for the boys, in a way it was, but the Government insisted that more challenged children have to be taken in by Morning Star, and extra rooms have to be built separating the normal children and the challenged children.

What we find in the new building at present are rooms on the ground floor dedicated to a dinning room which has stainless steel tables, kitchen that has part of the old system which is run on gas was moved from the earlier location, the rest of the kitchen is being slowly moved, guest rooms, toilets, music room which has sound equipment like DVD and Audio players, ( a VCR, TV and DVD player is still to be moved from the old location) , an amplifier that is used to pipe music through some field speakers outdoors as well as indoors, microphones and a hand-held megaphone, special challenged children's room, a computer room which has 3 computers for the children to be trained on, library, office room which acts as John and Joy's room and has a computer that is connected to the internet through which email communication and browsing can be carried out, and a wonderful quadrangle courtyard ( 1 2 3 ). There is an upstairs that is the dormitory for the normal children, each child has his own bunker bed (1 2 ). The challenged children who cannot climb the stairs sleep in the dining room at night. Keeping this in mind, the plans were drawn out and a foundation was made for the 'extension' project for the challenged section.

The challenged children have a large medicine ball and a special imported limb-stretching chair that was presented to them, besides interesting indigenous wheel chairs made by Joy. They have a special Park on the North side of the property created for them called 'Gateway to Heaven', and this they have made into a garden, which they look after by themselves. The grow plants for sale or as gifts or people could sponsor these plants. This is the area that has its own benches , for the challenged children to dream their dreams , and cots put out for the children who cannot sit. A granite wall has been erected to prevent the erosion of soil from this area, and some of the talented the wall the children painted Children Have Painted this Wall . The whole area is very shady and a 'rock garden ' has been created to enhance the enchanting environment, making it a pleasant place for the challenged children to sit the whole day without any stress.

The grounds are quite large, the whole plot measures about 3.6 acres. Part of the land has already been built on,( the old buildings, the new building and the proposed expansion ), part of it is the Park, part of it is being used to grow coconut and arraknut plants that would help in generating funds for the self maintenance, some of the land is left for seasonal crops like ragi, vegetables, on some part of the land is where the children have their recreational animals and birds. Children are encouraged to play with pets and there are some dogs, cats, rabbits, hawks, pigeons, ducks around for them to engage with. The children also help in the field tilling the soil, planting crops etc. Part of the land is where the water is stored in cylindrical tanks and in the summer water is collected in a large ground level water tank that doubles as a 'swimming pool' for the children, before the water is let into the fields by way of pipes. Because of the slopes, there is the advantage of using gravitational flow of water and so unnecessary pumping of water is avoided except to the over head tank on the new building.

There are various modes of transport available at Morning Star. A small Maruti van which is used to ferry sick children to and fro to the doctors,  and to pick up the groceries and gifted items from people in the city . A good motorcycle that is used to go to town (city) as it is easier to ride in the city by bike than van as Bangalore has become a labyrinth nightmare of disorganised snarling traffic jams and one-ways. There are a few nice bicycles that some of the boys use to go to college.

The grounds also provide ample space for the children to play outdoor games such as cricket ( 1 2 3 4 5 ), volleyball, badminton, foot ball, and indoor games such as carom boards, chess, puzzles, dominos, soft toys, entechs engineer toys, and computer games
. Children with skills like painting and drawing are encouraged by providing them crayons, paints and outline sketch books and charts. Physical exercise is one of the important factors that keep the children healthy along with a good vegetarian diet. The practice of Yoga , and working in the gardens, planting trees, gardening, landscaping, swimming when it is feasible are other forms of  keeping fit. Children who are interested in drama, story-telling, singing  and bharatnatayam dance are encouraged to practice, and twice a week some of them are taken for dance classes in the city.

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
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.