Inspiring Humanitarian Pioneer
Amy Carmichael (1867 – 1951) is one of the most inspiring humanitarian pioneers who brought the world’s attention to the subject of child exploitation. Amy was born and raised in Ireland. In 1895 she arrived in India where she found her life-long vocation. In 1898 she opened her home to her first woman refugee. 1899 Amy took in and cared for her first girl refugee. In 1900 she moved to Dohnavur. 1901 Amy rescued her first child prostitute and started an orphanage.
Much of the work that Amy did was with younger women, many of whom were rescued from forced prostitution. She founded an organisation known as the ‘Dohnavur Fellowship’ which is located in Tamil Nadu, forty eight kilometres from the southern tip of India. Dohnavur Fellowship would evolve into a sanctuary for over one thousand children who would otherwise have faced a very bleak future.
In an effort to respect Indian culture, those who chose to become members of the organisation dressed in the customary Indian clothing and the children were given traditional Indian names. Amy also wore Indian clothes, used dark coffee to dye her skin, and often journeyed long distances on the hot dusty roads of India to rescue just one child from suffering. Her life-long calling was that of saving children from sexual exploitation. The Dohnavur Fellowship originated out of Amy’s work and grew into a large community where she lived, surrounded by many children and staff and frequent visitors until she died in 1951.
What an amazing inspiration Amy Carmichael is to us all. She displayed outstanding courage and initiative, pioneering the way to such a worthy humanitarian cause. If she could accomplish so much with her meagre resources, how much more can we accomplish if we all work together to support such worthy causes today.