Late. Mrs. Merle Tereza Prior

About Us

Way back in the 1960s, Merle Francis, a young Teacher, was driven by the extraordinary dream to see a day when no Indian child would be deprived of rights as basic as survival, participation, protection and development. Like many of us, Merle too was upset when she saw disparities between privileged and underprivileged children. She hated to see children begging and working as servants. Unlike most of us though, she did something about it. She started her evening School and started teaching children who were not able to get education free of cost. She visited children in hospitals and started educating about medical needs and medical care, held reading and writing classes for street children. To raise funds for these activities, she used to give tuitions and whatever the amount that she used to earn with tuitions and the salary in the school she used to spend on the children. These qualities of resourcefulness and determination came in handy.

The Merle Rebirth Foundation works for the social development and integration of underprivileged individuals, groups and communities in Jharkhand.

Later in the years she started working for the children in the state of Bihar with her daughter Joyce Francis and then a new state in India was formed called Jharkhand. She moved to the district of Godda, a backward district and started a small school for the children providing free education where the source of income was the tuitions that she used to teach.

In 2019 Joyce Francis along with 10 friends started MERLE REBIRTH FOUNDATION (MRF). She felt that something needed to be done to improve the situation of the underprivileged Indian children in the state of Jharkhand as in 2019 Jharkhand was the state where the poverty was there and education was not available in the villages as the village children used to spend most of the time playing in the fields and were not educated at all. Uncharacteristically, given their backgrounds and motivations, they chose not to start a grassroots-level implementing organisation working directly with and for underprivileged children. They opted instead to make MERLE REBIRTH FOUNDATION (MRF) a link between the millions of Indians who could provide resources and thousands of dedicated people and organisations at the grassroots-level who are struggling to function for lack of them. This “link” or enabling position has determined MERLE REBIRTH FOUNDATION (MRF)’s strategic choices at every juncture – from the fundraising methods it employs, to the nature of its relationship with the NGOs it partners with.

All through the early, difficult years, it was Merle’s passion and conviction that drove MERLE REBIRTH FOUNDATION (MRF). she was firmly convinced that each of us can, in our own small way, be the agents of change, and when enough of us become one, the impact is a lasting change for the better. All she asked of people was that they help MERLE REBIRTH FOUNDATION (MRF) by doing what they were good at. As she put it, “Help the Children, Make a better future.”

Although Merle passed away in 2010, her vision for underprivileged children ensures that MERLE REBIRTH FOUNDATION (MRF) continues to grow with the help of her daughters.

AMB. Dr. Joyce Francis

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