In early 2011 our founding trustee, Natasha Mansigani spent 3 months volunteering at Cornerstone Children's Home in Coimbatore, south India. After spending time at the project and hearing about the children's backgrounds and the hardship they had endured in their early childhood she was inspired to make a difference.
Having a background in the non-profit sector, Natasha worked closely with volunteers at the home to create a better standard of living for the underprivileged children. Together with trustee, Divya Hari, they moved 26 children from an unhygienic, cramped warehouse with no facilities into a child-friendly home. They set up the new home with the necessary amenities and enrolled the children into good government schools. See the impact we've made.
After setting up the project in India, Natasha returned to the UK to begin fundraising to support the monthly rent at the children’s home. Through the generous support of family and friends, the initial fundraisers were a success and in 2011 the charity was officially registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales. The charity is run by a small group of volunteers and there are no paid staff. The volunteers' main aim is to keep administration costs low and ensure supporters know where their donations are being spent. Meet the team.
In July 2014, with the support of Indian based trustee, Divya Hari, the Big Hug Foundation was registered in India. This was a huge step for the organisation as it enabled us to support and reach more destitute children and families in India. More recently, in 2016, we will be supporting two new projects in Kolkata, West Bengal. Both projects are in partnership with the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy through which we will be supporting more than 450 children each year.