17 December, 2017 Home Contact Us
How it all began
 
 In the year 1993 when visiting my in-laws in India, I was introduced to Mr Luke Aruldoss, the Director of the Captain Azariah Children’s Home in a little village of Athilvadi, Tamil Nadu, India. The children, aged between 4 to 18 years, were all living in a mud cemented hut about 20 feet by 20 feet. A wall with a small door divided the room giving the girls privacy from the boys. There was one outside toilet and the meals were prepared in a one room mud brick kitchen.
 
Some of the children in front of their
basic acccomodation in 1993.
Kitchen with open fire as source
of heat for cooking
 
In spite of these basic living conditions the children looked well cared for and healthy and most impressively of all they were all happy. I was struck by the contrast with the UK. Children in India with nothing are happy whilst children with comparatively everything always seem to want more – more clothes, more toys, more entertainment . . . . After a moving visit I said farewell leaving them with a promise to return some day to bring more help to the Captain Azariah Children’s Home.
 
It was not until 1997 when I was appointed the Headmaster of Stanborough School that he had the opportunity to take help to them. As part of the community ethos of the school the pupils voluntarily participated in an overseas project once every two years. The chosen project was to build a poultry house for the Captain Azariah Children’s Home, providing a source of food and income, helping them become more self sufficient. Nine students, two staff, one parent and I raised our own airfares, the cost of the building materials and chickens, and the cost of our accommodation whilst in India. After two weeks of hard work the poultry house was completed and was in full use within the next few days.
 
                                
Stanborough School students by the poultry house.
Stanborough School students in front of the boy’s dormitory they helped to build.
 
For the next community project the school board approved a team to travel again to India, this time to build the Boy’s Dormitory for the same children’s home. In 2000 a group of students, staff and a parent travelled to India and within two weeks finished and prepared the boy’s dormitory building, which was constructed by local builders prior to our arrival. Following the reporting of this school project in the Watford area, a number of individuals approached me to learn more about these past projects, my plans for the future and how they might be involved. With such strong and enthusiastic interest and support, I felt that this programme of helping orphans needed to be formalised by registering a UK charity. I asked a few of my friends if they would be interested in being part of an organisation to help orphans. All of them said yes! Having now put together a group of 11 trustees I needed to decide on a name. I kept coming back to the purpose for which the charity was going to exist – to stop the suffering of the orphans. That is when the name STOP – Save The Orphans Please was born.
Luke Aruldross and his children in front of the new Boys Dormitory

I now needed STOP International to be registered by the UK Charity Commission. With my friend the appointed Chairman, David Burgess, I began the work to draw up the Articles of the charity, submit them to the Charity Commission and in December 2002 the Charity Commission granted STOP International Registered Charity status.

Kish Poddar – Founder and Executive Secretary, STOP International

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“Real generosity toward the future consists in giving all to what is present.” -- Albert Camus (1913-60)
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