BLESS was established in 1989. It is registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Act of 1975 (registration number 35/1989.) It is entitled to receive foreign funds for projects.
1989-1992: BLESS started its village empowerment process through data collection and relationship building.
1992-1996: BLESS implemented a comprehensive community development program in the village of Portonovo. Support provided by CEBEMO (Netherlands).
1997-2000: BLESS began vocational skill training for school dropouts, promoted women’s self-help groups, and created demand for effective toilets. Efforts supported by DESWOS (Germany), Solidarité (France), Water Aid (London), and the Tamil Nadu Women’s Development Corporation Ltd. (Chennai).
2000-2004: BLESS worked with other NGOs and the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) to assist 101 village Panchayats in creating a demand for clean drinking water and sanitation among the local community, school and child care centers.
2004-2009: Tsunami relief and rehabilitation activities.
- 25 Child Care Centres established.
- 7000 children supported with food, educational materials and care.
- 378 houses constructed for the Tsunami victims.
- 5000 Eco-San toilets constructed for improved, sustainable hygiene in coastal areas.
- 178 boats with nets were provided to fishermen to allow them to continue their livelihood.
- 300 acres of land rejuvenated for farming with traditional inputs and knowledge.
- 2000 young people were trained to become self-sufficient in 14 different trades.
- 400 Self Help Groups promoted and assisted to get revolving funds and to start their income- generating activities.
- Mobilization of 400 bicycle fish vendors as a federation in order to obtain micro-credit support, bicycles, shelter for their meetings, and insurance, all to improve their income and social dignity.
- School dropouts were brought to the Open School to continue their education. This became the Children’s Home in 2007.
- 800+ families supported through livestock promotion to increase their income and self-respect through the “Cornerstone” program (Heifer project.).