India – Hayden Hall

Hayden Hall

Vision: Human development through love and service

Poverty need not be a life sentence. It is this firm belief that prompts Hayden Hall to help poor people in Darjeeling, India, transform their lives. For over four decades, Hayden Hall has served some of the poorest people in the district, especially women, offering programs that range from education to income-generation to healthcare. The philosophy of Hayden Hall is simple but effective: help women help themselves economically and there will be a positive effect on their children and families.

Support is offered in steps: first to give poor people the chance to meet their basic needs of health, housing and food; second, to improve quality of life by enabling women to be involved in their own development through skills-training and other means; third, to offer windows of opportunity such as credit union and income-generating activities.

All the programs essentially reflect the original vision of Fr Edgar Burns SJ (1925-2010), the indefatigable Canadian Jesuit missionary who founded Hayden Hall: “a love for the poor, a belief in local lay people working for the development of their own people, and a desire to witness to God’s love for humanity.” The current team is firmly committed to this vision.

The origins of Hayden Hall date back to 1969, when Fr Burns and several of his students from St Joseph’s College provided humanitarian aid to communities affected by landslides and fires in Darjeeling. This led to the creation of a basic housing program, which eventually gave rise to Hayden Hall Social Centre, directed by Fr Burns until 2009.

Director: Fr John Susai Kennedy SJ

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