You would be forgiven for assuming that the pretty pink and white house in Palmar Grande, Chinchinim, was a museum or homestay for tourists to the state. It is, in fact, a home for the elderly, which was recently started by Maria Furtado, who has worked in hospitals, churches and care homes in India and abroad.
Maria Merlyn Furtado, from Navelim, who belongs to the Caritas Christi Consecrated Secular Institute, has been dedicating her life to the service of the Lord for the past 27 years. A registered nurse and midwife from St Martha’s College of Nursing, Bangalore, she has done her religious formation ie certificate course in Theology, at Mater Dei in Old Goa.
Maria has worked in different capacities – as a nurse, catechist, coordinator for self-help groups, director, etc in Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and the UAE.
She has worked with St Mary's Home for the Aged, Siolim; St Anthony's Church, UAE; Tara Dhadpale Centre (home for spastic children) in Pune; Vintage Hospital, St Inez; Trinity Hospital, Miramar; Al Zarhawi Hospital, UAE; St Mary’s School, UAE, to name a few. In addition, she was also a social worker and coordinator for self-help groups (women empowerment) at the Diocesan Social Centre, Chikkamangalore, Karnataka.
She wanted to leverage her extensive experience, of having worked in India and abroad, to do something for the betterment of her home turf.
And so, in 2021, 40-something Maria started Noble Nest, a charitable institution for poor, needy elderly women – irrespective of caste or creed – who have no one to take care of them, at her own house in Navelim. It was later shifted to a more spacious premises in Palmar Grande, Chinchinim.
ABOUT NOBLE NEST
The aim of Noble Nest is to provide a happy, user-friendly home for the elderly in their sunset years and enable them to live as one big family – in peace, unity and harmony. The mission is to promote the quality of life of the elderly, entrusted into their care, by fostering a sense of belonging, respect and dignity.
Noble Nest accepts people who are 50 years of age and above, and currently has a total of 7 inmates – 2 mentally challenged, 1 suffering from dementia, 3 stroke patients who are in the recovery stage, and 1 psychiatric patient. “I take in only females, but plan on taking in couples in the future. And, God willing, will be venturing into a mission with children under one roof, along with the elderly,” says Maria.
Says Maria, “My mom lives with me at Noble Nest and she is also one among the inmates. Two of the inmates do pay some monthly fees, while the rest are here on a purely charity basis.”
Running a home for the elderly does have its fair share of financial demands. Elaborates Maria, “A few kind-hearted people and well-wishers give some financial support, here and there, and some give grocery items. I know that God will take care of the rest of the mission journey.” That apart, the old age home is also in need of bedside tables and trolley tables for bedridden patients.
Noble Nest has 4 staff members – one is a cook, two staff take care of the inmates (among these two, one is live-in staff) and the other one cleans the house (part time). Maria says, “I am there mainly to take care of their medical and nursing care, personal hygiene, diet, spiritual needs and the overall well-being of all the inmates.”
Maria explains, “I try to create a family spirit in them, a sense of belonging, dignity and respect. The inmates are cared for and loved. My staff are the main assets of Noble Nest. They are very committed and compassionate towards the elderly, and are treated well, like family members. I believe in showing God’s love through our humble, compassionate service and our selfless love, without counting the costs. This is my passion and I don’t get tired of reaching out to these vulnerable elderly people in society. For me, humanity comes first over money.”
In addition to the responsibility of caring for the people in the home, Maria also attends to the elderly in the vicinity. “I reach out to patients in their homes in and around Navelim, Margao, Fatorda, Curtorim. And, if the need arises, I go beyond these areas,” she adds.
For more details about Noble Nest Old Age Home, Chinchinim:
MOBILE: +91 9130505205/ +91 9405894112