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.).