Kerala, India – This past summer traveling back home to the beautiful land of Kerala, appropriately titled “God’s own country”, I received more than the usual nostalgic comfort from being with my family. I recognized a seed of uncontrollable urge uprooted from within to speak up for those who are not given the opportunity to do so. There I was, 19 years of age and having just finished my first year of undergraduate studies pursuing the ultimate dream of medical school. Concerned only about my path and well-being on my short time on Earth, I found myself standing in a less than average sized bedroom surrounded by eight to ten baby cribs around me. Much like a symphony orchestra, the cries, laughter, and indistinguishable voices of these newborn babies came together in a melodic wave of realization that struck me, as I stood in the middle of this room asking myself, “What is my purpose in life?”
One hour before – My family and I were returning from a Catholic charismatic retreat centre to my mother’s home village, where my parents insisted we make a detour at Queen Mary Village, an institute housing and caring for women with unwanted pregnancies and providing a means to deliver children in a supportive and non-judgemental environment. Stepping through the doors of this building, I immediately encountered this peace and tranquility one experiences in a place of nourishment and life. Treated with warm hospitality and eager cheerfulness, my initial intuition was confirmed, as several young children (never having met us before) ran to us and embraced us with such love. It was a slight yet powerful reminder of the universal family. The more time we spent hearing about the mission of Queen Mary Village and how they were defending the lives of the vulnerable and upholding the rights of women who are ostracised by society and even their own families, a spark formed in my heart towards this establishment and all the good works they were conducting.
Founded as a charitable establishment in 2000, Queen Mary Village focuses on the prevention of pre-marital abortions by “giving them [pregnant women] shelter in a safe environment … and taking care of them till child birth.” Where after, the children are handed over to be raised and cared for at Queen Mary Village, transforming into the functions of orphanage. This charitable foundation then goes to care for these abandoned children by providing a means for their upbringing and ensuring proper families to adopt them. For the children that are unable to find adoptive parents, Queen Mary Village continues to care for them by equipping them with the tools, through education, to make the most out of life. Through this system several children have gone on to become working class citizens occupying jobs such as doctors, nurses, and business men/women. The task of Queen Mary Village does not just stop at the level of unwanted pregnancy and infancy but rather is wholesome, concerned for an individual’s life from beginning to end.
Since Queen Mary Village is non-profit organization, the funding of this establishment comes from the generosity of benefactors and donors who have bought in to the mission statement and good works of the institution. Another way of funding is through the Queen Mary Rosary Tower initiative where more than 180 women are hand making rosaries where they are distributed all over the world. With support of families from Singapore, U.A.E, Switzerland, U.K, and other countries including Canada, Queen Mary Village has actively saved the lives of hundreds of pre-born and supported pregnant women through difficult circumstances, to overall enhancing the lives of everyone who has encountered this organization.
Standing in this room for new-born infants, with eight to ten baby cribs surrounding me, I collapsed to me knees and understood the question that had dawned upon me, “What is my purpose in life?” Right from the mission statement of Queen’s Alive, my purpose in life was, is now, and will forever be to “affirm the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.” At that moment I took a vow to do anything I can to support these abandoned children and their courageous birth-mothers in this great organization by both prayer and financial support for as long as I possibly can. Through Queen’s Alive, I have been able to fulfill this promise thus far in my university experience, alongside my encouraging peers in the pro-life movement. All in all, my life and the life of all my brothers and sisters in this universal family would be unfulfilling without love, hope, and faith; all three of which can be found in both Queen Mary Village and Queen’s Alive.
Savio Cyril Kocherry