let`s put an end to
poverty in India!

How We Help

Sharing Hands - The Beginning
Chennai children holding the gifts they received from their sponsors in Ireland

These Chennai children are holding the gifts that I brought over to them from their sponsors in Ireland.

The idea for starting Sharing Hands was born in 1979 by John and Rachel Lazarus. They had a heart for the underprivileged orphan children who were suffering and dying on the city streets around them. So in 1982 the first children’s home was started, with 5 rescued children from the streets.

John and Rachel’s son Kingsly and daughter-in –law Anita now play a major role in the running of Sharing Hands Children’s Homes and Welfare Centres. Because of their commitment and untiring work, Sharing Hands has now being running 30 years, giving love, shelter, food, clothing, medication, education and hope to so many hundreds of unloved and forgotten children of India.

These last 30 years have left behind a great legacy, with 895 former children now grown to adulthood and pursuing meaningful lives with a future they could otherwise not have had. Many of them are now married with good jobs and families of their own. These children had begun their lives with so much pain, rejection and tears. Now their lives are completely transformed and they now have a hope and a future.

The Present
Chennai children holding the gifts that were bought fot them by Tommy Marrett

Children holding the gifts that I bought for them in Chennai, by money donated from people in Ireland.

At present Sharing Hands Children’s Homes and Care Centres are functioning in four different states in India. We now have over 1,000 children between the 4 main homes and also 100 abandoned widows and elderly people in a home in Chennai.

The Sharing Hands vision started with just 5 children and now caters for over 1,000 in the 4 homes. The charity also supports all those children attending the Sharing Hands Education Centres, whose needs, including books, copies, pencils, chalk boards, school bags and teachers are being funded for by Sharing Hands. This is all made possible by the continuous support of people like you and the many generous contributions that people have made over the years. It is thanks to people like you who have given hope to the hopeless and have supported many of the projects that we have run.

Education Centres
Kingsly loading school books on to transport

School supplies being loaded on to cycle rickshaw.

Sharing Hands has set up many Education Centres in rural villages in India. For the first time many villages are receiving education, which is a blessing not only for the children but also for the parents of the children. The schools may be primitive looking, often four poles holding up a straw roof with no tables or chairs but their teachers are of a high level. The children may sit on the ground, but Sharing Hands supplies them with books, pencils and chalk boards and any other educational requirements that they need.

School Supplies
Tommy Marrett with school supplies loaded

Loaded up and ready to find the mini bus.

After Kingsly and myself loaded all the school books into the cycle rickshaw, we were now ready to navigate the narrow side streets of Chennai till we reached the spot where we parked the mini bus. We then transferred all the school supplies into the bus and headed off to another state where we have several education centres based.

Child Welfare Project
Education Centre Children giving there full attention to a lesson

Children waiting for me to talk to them.

These children are giving their full attention to a lesson at one of the Education Centres. I always give a talk to them on my visits as does kingsly. We then give them out their new books, pencils, chalk boards etc., and finish off by giving them a packet of biscuits each. The children don't have much but they are always smiling, well mannered and extremely grateful for what they receive. They are a credit to Sharing Hands, their teachers and their village.


  • Chennai

    This is where it all started, with a couple who had a vision and a heart for the unwanted children of India. It was through the love and sacrifice of John and Rachel that has brought about the birth of Sharing Hands.

  • Rajasthan

    The Rajasthan orphanage project was given to Tommy Marrett by Sharing Hands as an Irish project. Within a few months the funds were raised to buy the land and lay the foundations for what now has become a home for many children who have come from difficult backgrounds.

  • Orissa

    The children in the Orissa home have some of the most heart breaking stories of them all. Many of them had seen their parents, grandparents and family members killed and now live with these terrible memories.

  • Andhra Pradesh

    All these lovely beautiful children eat, sleep and live on the floor of a small church. But every time I meet them they are full of happiness and joy and thank God daily for the blessings for what they have.

  • Sponsor a Child

    This is one way in which each and everyone of us can help. Between us all we can make a difference to the lives of these children.