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Not being able to feed your children is every parent’s worst fear. But for a mother like Meera, who earns just $4.70 a day for 10 hours labour, it’s a tragic reality.
This Christmas, join with us to help empower marginalised people like Meera to break free from exploitation and create the full, free lives they deserve.

“I want to give a good education to my daughter. I don’t know what she can be…maybe a teacher.” – Meera (23) has new hope for her childrens’ future thanks to the support of people like you.

Despite working 10 hour days on a coconut plantation, Meera and her husband’s meagre earnings are not enough to provide sufficient food for their two children. 

When our local partner first met Meera she was distressed – her 3 ½ year old daughter Sumitra was severely malnourished, weighing just 7kg – less than half of what’s recommended for a healthy child.  

Like mothers around the world, Meera was wracked with guilt over her child’s poor health.

“When my children were small, I was not around to breastfeed them, as I had to go to work. I think that’s why they are malnourished.”

But Meera is not to blame. 

Meera and her family are Indigenous people living in one of the 11 tribal and forest communities in Karnataka state, in southwest India.  

In 2006 when the Forest Rights Act was declared, tribal people were denied land rights. Left without land for housing or agriculture, families like Meera’s were thrust into extreme poverty and left vulnerable to the exploitation of local landowners who use tribal people as cheap labour for the cashew, coconut and prawning industries in the region. 

Together, we can help right this injustice. 

This Christmas please help our local partner provide vital healthcare, education and training to empower tribal people to develop healthy, independent futures.


Since the first Australian Jesuits travelled to India in 1951, they’ve worked with vulnerable communities in the Hazaribag Province to create real and lasting change. Now, Jesuit Mission has expanded our reach to include other provinces in India, including Karnataka state where Meera lives. 

Partnering with North Karnataka Jesuit Educational and Charitable Society, we’ve commenced the ‘Sustainable Development of Indigenous Tribal Communities’ program –  a vital program designed to uplift tribal people, like Meera, living in villages across Karnataka state. 

The program provides:

  • Maternal Healthcare & Early Intervention Services: Pre- and Post-natal healthcare and education for women to help improve health, reduce malnutrition and to prevent developmental delays.
  • Education: Tuition Centres across the state provide children with education, health and nutrition support, along with life-skills training, higher education and child rights workshops for young people.
  • Community Leadership for Women: Training workshops help women develop crucial leadership skills.
  • Advocacy for Rights: Training to empower men and young people from tribal groups to justify their claims for land rights and secure their family’s livelihoods and future.

Eager for change, over 1,300 people in tribal and forest communities across Karnataka are already engaged in this transformative program. 

Thanks to the kind support of people like you, Meera attended the maternal health centre, where staff were quick to identify her daughter’s malnourishment. In the months since Meera joined the program, Sumitra’s health has significantly improved and she’s on her way to a healthy weight.  

As Sumitra slowly regains her health, Meera’s elder son is now enrolled in Year 1 at one of the program’s Tuition Centres, and for the first time Meera is beginning to hope for a better future for herself and her family.  

Please, donate today to provide life-changing support that will help people like Meera break free from the grip of poverty and exploitation: 

$75 can provide school materials for 10 tribal children  

$150 can deliver pre-natal and post-natal care education to 10 pregnant mothers  

$250 can fund a health camp for mothers and children aged 0-6 years  

$750 can fund a teacher in a Tuition Centre for tribal village children for one year  

Please, make your kind Christmas donation today.