VOLONTARIAT was created in 1962 by Madeleine HERMAN at Pondicherry, India, in order to help the poorest of the poor. It has been registered as a non-profit, non-political, secular organization since 1966. Most of its activities are localized at and near Pondicherry.
The constant concern of Madeleine and the Volontariat team in charge, from the beginning, can be summed up in these few words:
So, all the activities (described in this Website) were set up, following this aim.
To support the activities developed at Pondicherry, friends of Volontariat, mostly from Belgium and France, started autonomous Associations (type “asbl” and Loi 1901 respectively). They are very active in fields such as:
Finding sponsors for the children and, also, supporting the aged people.
Giving awareness programmes in Institutions and Schools, on how Volontariat social workers face the problems of the poor or handicapped people such as alcoholism, dowry, health, underemployment, over-expenses, etc.
Providing informal marketing outlets for the fabrics and the made-ups from Atelier Shanti, the Weaving Unit set up with rehabilitated leprosy persons and for physically or socially handicapped persons.
Selling all the handicrafts (wooden and beads items, greeting cards, etc) made by the apprentices of Volontariat.
The 50th Jubilee of the arrival of Madeleine at Puducherry, at the initiative and with the help of abbé Pierre, was celebrated during the year 2012 on site and at Liège, her native place in Belgium. All of Volontariat, children, members and employees were honoured by the friendly visit of former President of India, Dr Abdul Kalam.