WHO WE ARE
Smyrna Fellowship Trust is a registered organization serving the poor and needy children, abandoned and aged women. With over 25 years of experience in child care, educational sponsor, rehabilitation, physiotherapy and other social activities we empower the marginalized and weaker society in the Nilgiris. We serve needy regardless of religion, color, cast and creed. Smyrna mainly works within the districts of Nilgiris having its branches in Ooty, Coonoor, Gudular, Ponnanni, Moyar and Mettupalayam impacting more than 500 children and their families.
The founders of Smyrna mission in Sri Lanka, Mrs. Margit Steffanson and her family moved to India in 1983 owing to the ethnic war that broke out on the island. Called to serve the poor in wider horizons they arrived in Tamil Nadu situated in South India and made their home in a small hill town, Ootacamund. Here they found several needy people who were in need and found so many children wandering around the streets without going to schools. These were some of the very first people that the founder helped. Along with this work she thought of helping these poor children in their education to change their lives and with that notion Smyrna Home was born and became evident run by Smyrna Fellowship Trust, India. She also helped the destitute widows in training them in knitting centers, confectionary and bakery items. She also started a drop-out school for the children who had left school due to their financial and other natural and un natural reasons, She wrote to some of her friends about her prevailing situation of the needy people.
One of her friends Lars Jormeous helped her to buy St. Patrick’s building along with 6.5 acre of land, So the activities shifted to this campus which coined the title ” Smyrna Home”, The work she had done for the leapers had begun as the “NEW WORLD CENTRE” for the mentally and physically challenged
This is a registered public Trust on premises of six and half acres campus at 11 RK Puram, Bishop’s Down, at Ootacamund. Now we as an organization focused on uplifting of the lives of poor and needy turned into children in the Nilgiris district. Our prime concern is to give these children a solid foundation and a good start to their lives. Therefore we undertake to sponsor their educational expenses, thereby helping their families too. All donations to Smyrna is exempted from income tax under clause of 80G on Indian Government
ABOUT THE FOUNDER – MARGIT STEFFANSON
After The World War II, Margit as a child along with her parents had been to Germany and brought five abandoned German children and raised them as their own. The children lived with their family for some time, Margit’s brothers and sisters had to share their beds with these orphan children during their childhood days, she was inspired by this selfless act of her parents and that is what motivated her to help people and do social work. During her former years, at the age of 17, she landed in Sri Lanka to assist her brother who was doing social work.