The Order of the Ministers of the Infirm began in August 1582 when its Founder Camillus de Lellis had an inspiration to create a group of pious and good men who would serve the sick voluntarily with the same love a mother has for her only sick child. In 1586, this group obtained the approval of the Pope who gave it the status of an Order with the name ‘Order of the Ministers of the Infirm’. Today the Ministers of the Infirm are known throughout the world as Camillians. This Order is made up of priests who work mainly in the sphere of spiritual care for the poor sick even when they are infectious, even at the risk to their own lives. Faithful to this commitment, hundreds of Camillians have died serving the sick infected with plague.
In 1997, Camillians in India started programs for the care and support of people living with HIV/AIDS due to the stigma and taboo associated with the infection, and a consequent denial of hospital treatment and rejection from the society experienced by those infected people through multiple locations across South India. In 2002, Camillians started the care of HIV infected orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) though an “interventionist” model providing them lodging, nutrition, education and healthcare with establishment of the Sneha schools for children with HIV in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Learn for Life Foundation (LFL) began its partnership with the Camillians Sneha Trust in 2012 by raising awareness about the need for holistic care for vulnerable children with HIV from disadvantaged communites. LFL is one of the primary supporters of the programs including
“In so many ways, Thomas and his family have been significant members of our Snehagram Family. I thank them for their generous support and compassion for this wonderful cause. They have touched the hearts of all our children” (Fr. Mathew Perumpil, MI Camillians, Founding Director, Snehagram)
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For more information about the partnership go to https://www.snehagram.org/partners/learn-for-life-foundation/