how it started
Father Francis Baartmans, a Mill Hill priest, has lived and worked in Nagwa, a Varanasi slum, for more than 35 years.
When he left for India, his friends presented him with the Benares Foundation.This has enabled his ongoing efforts to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of Nagwa, including their education.
He set up a balanced system of school sponsoring: every child had his own individual sponsor in the Netherlands. The sponsor was informed on ‘his’ child’s progress annually.
When, due to his increasing workload, Francis could no longer manage the sponsor system, his friends and members of his family took over.
The Benares Schoolfund Foundation (BSF) was established, its name referring to the fund of the initiator, Francis Baartmans.