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Founder Yrsa Solveig Grüning

What makes a woman raise her retirement savings at age 59 and travel to India to realize her youthful dream of starting an orphanage?

Here's the story.

Yrsa Solveig Grüning, born in 1945, loved reading travel descriptions in her young years. She was completely captivated when she read Arne Falk Rønne's book about India. She promised herself that at some point she would start an orphanage there.

The years went by i.a. social work and family but finally, in 2004, Yrsa had amassed a small amount of capital and knew that if she was to succeed in starting an orphanage, it was time. She also knew that there would be a nice sum of money if she raised her pensions.
So she did.

The orphanage was to be located in India, a country with so many needy people, but she was in doubt about exactly where it was to be located. She chose randomly by putting her index finger anywhere on the map of India. The place the finger pointed was Bodh Gaya. Bodh Gaya means 'holy ground' and is located in the northeastern part of India, Bihar, one of the poorest areas in the country.

Yrsa went to India.
Despite adversity and different business practices, her stubbornness and belief that the project would succeed helped her throughout - and still helps her.

During the first years, she vaccinated 3,000 people against tuberculosis and hepatitis, repaired wells and removed the animals from the wells so that the drinking water did not continue to be contaminated, she helped families who had absolutely no salt for an egg. She started a school for the local village children and not least;

She got her orphanage started.


In the first years, the orphanage was housed in a rented room in a small village; Kosila - outside Bodh Gaya. She had the house put in order and bought the things that are to be used for an orphanage. There were 18 children in the home, in the beginning.

After a few years, Yrsa chose to move the children to a rented house in Bodh Gaya, partly to get more space, partly so that the children could get qualified teachers. The group of children had now grown to 45, as Yrsa - despite the lack of space - cannot say no to children, as she knows that their future will be infinitely difficult elsewhere.

Today, Sunway Children houses 65 children ages 6-20. Most of the children have lost one or both parents, and all children come from low caste or are casteless.

Yrsa's goal is to give the children as safe a upbringing, as close to a normal family life as possible, with respect for Indian norms. The children also learn that women and men are equal and to promote women's independence and they learn that they are just as valuable as all other people even though they are influenced by the Indian caste system. All the children go to school, investing in their education is crucial for their future.

Yrsa also supports local children in their own families - families who, despite extreme poverty, are considered to have the mental surplus to take care of the children.

But this is not the end of the children's and Yrsa's story.

Already in the first years, Yrsa bought a plot of land in the countryside with a view to becoming a woman in her own buildings. It took 10 years before she was finally allowed to start building her orphanage. The first sod for a new and better home was taken in 2015.
A new home with much better conditions, more space for homework, hot water, etc. Furthermore, there are associated fields, so you can be partially self-sufficient. The construction is sustainable and investments are made, among other things. in solar cells.

All the children and staff are looking forward to moving into the new orphanage, which is expected to be completed in 2021.

The construction has come about through generous private donations, which have been received with deep gratitude.

The adventure for Yrsa and the kids continues… and you can join 😊

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