Our Story
David and Azariah, 1983

David and Azariah, 1983

As then-president of Habitat for Humanity International, Rev. David Rowe traveled to India in 1983 to seek a place to start the first Habitat project in Asia. His journey led him eventually to the city of Khammam, where he was introduced to a much-admired local leader, K. Azariah, known for his compassionate work among the poor.  Habitat for Humanity ultimately started its work in India under Azariah’s leadership, and today stands as one of the most successful housing efforts in this part of the world, having built over 1,400 houses in the Khammam District.

Rev. David Rowe with K. Azariah, 2008

Rev. David Rowe with K. Azariah, 2008

Moved by Azariah’s service to the poor, Rev. Rowe felt called by God to support Azariah’s work, and thus FOCI was formed — to be a U.S.-based partner for Azariah’s organization, CSU (Christian Service Unit).  CSU, led by the example of Christ’s love for all, offers its care to all those in need, regardless of religiosu distinctions.

Though Azariah died in 2010, CSU’s visionary and compassionate work continues under John Mark Punam Cherian, Azariah’s long-time friend and co-worker. Today, CSU’s outreach in the Khammam area includes homes for children and the elderly, schools, feeding programs for the hungry, St. Mary’s Hospital, rural health clinics and a Free Surgical Camp (staffed by doctors provided through FOCI)

JohnMark

John Mark Punam Cherian, Khammam

 

T.L. Reddy, Hyderabad

T.L. Reddy, Hyderabad

In 2005, FOCI and CSU added an additional partnership in the city of Hyderabad, teaming with TL Reddy, a social worker with a passion for caring for children and supporting the development of girls and women. Our Hyderabad programs include community centers which provide job skills and support to impoverished women, tutors and study materials for girls in a local government school, and a study center which provides afterschool care and homework support, as well as a nutritious meal, to slum children.

Through CSU’s work in Khammam, FOCI’s care reaches into the heart of rural poverty … through CSU’s Hyderabad projects, FOCI is making a difference in an urban setting.  From rice fields to diesel-choked highways, those in need are being cared for through this extraordinary partnership, extending from one side of the world to the other.

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