Project 1

Mercy Home – Annaikarai

This project is assisting and relieving the existing Mercy Home in India. Currently 70 women are living under the care of the Sr. Superior, SSHJ Convent, Annaikarai, Turinelveli District, Tamil Nadu, India. The five permanent Sisters at the convent currently provide limited housing and food as well as basic clothing and needs for the women. Although the home is administered by Catholic Sisters, the residents are 71% non-catholic, the majority being Hindu. The Mercy Home previously consisted of a few small buildings. The poorly ventilated buildings were used as dormitories and living facilities for the women. The women sleep used to sleep on mats on the floor and did not have modern plumbing facilities. The buildings were very old and in disrepair.

To alleviate these poor conditions, the Mercy Home Foundation constructed a new facility capable of housing up to 100 women. The new complex has several dormitory areas and new beds, modern bathrooms, a crafting area, kitchen and dining hall, a large indoor recreation area, a physical therapy room, isolated sick room with medical and food storage areas. An atrium area provides gardens and open areas for fresh air and reflection, while still in the protective area of the complex. The modern 13,120 square foot building is in the shape of an octagon with a large atrium and garden in the center. There are also quarters for two monitors to stay in the building.

The pictures below chronicle our work to complete this project.

To date the land has been acquired and cleared.


The plans have been finalized and approved by County Engineer E. Prakash.  He will supervise the construction on site.

Sri Amman Rig Service came in and dug the bore well providing a 320 foot well with an ample water supply.


Under the supervision of the County Engineer, Victor Contracting laid out the footprint for the new facility and erected temporary monuments to be used during the site work to align the 134 pilings that will support the structure.

Jerome from brought in a backhoe and started to dig the 134 footing. The soil is two or three feet of clay and then rock. When they hit hard rock with the machine they switched over to manual labor with picks to get down to the required depth.


Utility poles have been moved.

After the Monsoon rains the  foundation holes had  to  be
pumped out and the mud removed before the foundation
piers could be built.

Supplies are delivered and stored on site.

Shed houses pump controls and serves as security hut for our 24 hour guard.  The well has been supplying water for the crew and the construction.

The first phase of construction is the three tiered footings.  We hired a cement mixing machine to mix the concrete, which is then delivered by hand to the 134 footings.

Once the footings cured the piers are built using masonry lines, plumb bob and water tube level.  At this point they go back to mixing the concrete by hand.  Because of the heat averaging around 100 F, water has to be continually used to slow the curing process.  It is delivered from our well by water jugs.

The foundation is completed and backfilled bringing the floor up to the road grade level.

The 134 piers are extended to the roof level and the interior and exterior walls are being built out of local bricks, coated with a thin layer of cement and finally stucco.


October 2009.  The walls are completed.  The floors are being laid in concrete.  After the roof is poured the floors will be tiled.  Forty five windows are being set in place.  The interior courtyard garden has been backfilled up to the floor level.   Mark Finelli pours the ceremonial first concrete for the roof of the first section.  After the first section of roof concrete cures the wood will be removed and the next section will be formed and poured.  Rebar protrudes out of the finished roof section.  It will remain as the building is constructed in such a fashion as to allow for the later addition of a second floor if needed.  The protruding rebar will be hidden with a decorative cover.

February 2010. The electrical is being installed for fans, lights and outlets. The roof is completed and the finish half walls are being installed. The tile floors are being installed. The tile shingles on entranceway are installed. The courtyard garden area is leveled. The stucco finish is being applied to interior and exterior walls.

June 2010. The Building exterior is completed, and painted. The interior veranda is painted and 50% tiled. The courtyard garden area is completed and the gardens are to be planted. The Infirmary is completed. Two of the four dormitory areas are completed and beds installed. The two locker rooms are still under construction. At this point left to complete are the tiles and painting in about 50% of the rooms, the locker rooms and the property fencing. The electrical and plumbing is almost complete.

October 2010.  The Mercy Home Annaikarai project is now complete.  The women have moved in and are very happy in their new structure.  The convent has requested and obtained three new Sisters to manage the facility and residents, a physical therapy specialist, a practical nurse and a special education specialist.  They have organized the residents by abilities and have a 8 hour structured day.  We will continue to report on the progress of the residents but the main support will now be transferred to the Central and Local governments as well as the convent.