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Operation Rainbow



This was originally called the Rainbow Project and was started by the Marist Brothers through the Marcellin Trust, an NGO (non-Governmental Organisation) formed by the brothers to act as an umbrella for their apostolic works for the poor. One of the expressed beneficiaries of the trust are poor children and HIV affected families. Assistance programs offered by the NGO include help with travel expenses,high protein food and medicine distribution

The Brothers had seen that the families of people who had HIV had become outcasts from their communities, because people did not understand the mechanisms around AIDS and HIV. The children became ostracised from school and people were unable to either keep their jobs or because of the illness were unable to maintain a steady job so they had no income.

There was a level of help available from the central Government but many agencies were unwilling to help because of various social factors in India.

The Marist Brothers offered to be an NGO and so began their Project. They began to recruit social work trainees from the local universities, and introduced them to the families as part of their training. They helped to distribute medicines as they became available, and arranged the provision of high protein food supplements to the sufferers to help build them up as part of the process of enabling the medical interventions.

However there was still the problem of the education of the children. Schooling is not provided free by the state in India, and fees are needed at each stage. The families of these sufferers are usually living at or even below subsistence level so school fees are beyond them. The Marist Brothers started to provide programmes of schooling for the children and have tried to encourage their friends to contribute in some way to these fees.

A group of people in Scotland have responded to this request by setting up standing orders through their banks to give the Project a small fixed sum each month, sometimes for a fixed period but often open ended. We are able to claim back around 20% of this from taxes in the form of Gift Aid so that a £10 donation is worth £12 by the time we send it out . In this way we are able to help around 35 children each year by paying their school fees.

The Marist Brothers send us frequent reports and photographs of events involving the families and workers in Operation Rainbow.