Sara Mathew our founder was born in the green hills of Konni, Kerala, 78 years ago on the 20th of November 1930. Married at the age of Sixteen, Sara's perseverance and courage were apparent early in life.
In 1966, a not so young Sara, with three school going children, planned on starting a school of her own. Her father had been a Headmaster and Sara had some definite ideas on how a school should be run. With a month's salary from her husband and with the knowledge that there was no more to come, she was faced with the daunting task of breaking even in the first month itself. Added to this was the fact that the posting in Delhi would not be for more than two years. Not one to give up on such issues and armed with her determination and faith, she rented a building for Rs. 800 in Safdarjung Enclave, appointed Mrs. Sudesh Sharma as a teacher to help her and put out a board, 'St. Mary's School'.
Driving down every day from Hindan, Ghaziabad - where her husband was posted to reach the school on time, picking up children on her way. Surmounting all obstacles and with the support of a dedicated and committed band of teachers, Sara sent the first batch of students in 1980 for the CBSE Board Exam. From such things was born the institution which went on to expand over the years to two more schools, two outreach programmes, one as far away as in Gujarat and three vocational training institutes for women.
In 1994, she acquired land for a school in Dwarka, which she started with the help of old hands and which is now a secondary school. Not one to rest on her laurels, in 1999, she acquired land and shifted the nursery school to sylvan surroundings in Vasant Kunj. She also started vocational training classes at the Nizamuddin basti.
Along with this she was very deeply involved in the activities of the YWCA and represented India at the World YWCA meet in Norway.
Ultimately, what epitomised the life of Sara Mathew most was the one image that lingers on in the minds of those that paid homage to her the day she was buried, that of a frail small body in a coffin surrounded by a gathering of people, made up of a variety of religions, creeds and status, from the orphans of Jeevan Jyoti, to a presidential nominee.