It all began in 1998, while in Mangalore, Edith Stecher volunteered in an orphanage. She became very sensitive to the fact that children with disabilities were left alone most of the day. Confronted with unbearable life stories and the fates of new-born children with congenital infirmities, she was deeply moved by the lack of means. The orphanage was deprived of almost everything necessary to provide care for these children: knowledge of care, infrastructure, time and money. Edith could not bear this situation and decided to quit her Swiss life and dedicate her time for those children who were « differently abled»; her stays were too short to initiate concrete and lasting changes. She promised one child, she would look for another home and get it ready to host children as soon as possible.
Two years later on 13 November 2000, the first home for disabled children opened its doors. During spring 2001, Edith went back to Mangalore and returned with five very young disabled children! With not much available, Edith opened a center for about fifteen children in Jageri (4 hours south of Bangalore). Her project « Jeevan Jyothi Trust » (JJT) was born and operational.