A Word From Our Founders

Our Founders

A dream became a call and a call became reality. This is the story of a long period of development that started back in 1974, under the name “Inter-Mission Industrial Development Association” (IIDA). IIDA connects people across (= inter) denominations and has a God-given vision. The name ‘IIDA’ also points to the first organization that sent me over to India; the first ‘I’ in ‘IIDA’ comes from ‘Inter-Mission’ of Hannover, Germany – an organization 10 years older than IIDA. IIDA has an ‘Industrial’ component in that all men and women trained have been encouraged to be industrious, working with their minds and hands to provide an income for themselves and others. We have always been in a stage of ‘Development’, never content with the status quo, always looking for the next step of advancement in training, education and social involvement. It was registered as an ‘Association’ on 17th March 1974. IID also stands for our values, “Integrity, Inspiration, Dedication“.

My dream is to multiply life-changing models of skills training like vocational schools and community colleges all over India. I wish to see scores of similar models being established through IIDA and through Indian partner organizations by developing sustainable models through income not only from overseas, but also increasingly from within India.

In June 1974, when we took 7 young boys in the age group from 14 to 16 into the make-shift fitters training school at Pallavaram, Chennai, we could never have imagined that from these humble beginnings a ministry would develop that touched thousands of young lives and involved hundreds of staff, members in committees and boards and thousands of sponsors from all over the world.

DSC09756 rBreaking ground for the first solid building, a hostel in IID Pallavaram, with the first set of students in 1975. Breaking ground in a practical and metaphorical sense has not stopped since, and should never stop in the future!

We as founders and leaders of IID for these many years do not want to take the glory away from God for what has been accomplished. He is the author, i.e. He gave the vision, and He also gives the direction and support, inspiring many to assist in working in IID or sponsoring poor trainees, students and orphan children. Through many years the support came only through Inter-Mission, and only later other support organizations, churches and missions contributed to the ministry. Without all these contributions nothing could have been achieved. We, therefore, give all the glory to God and are thankful to Him and the multitude of sponsors over the years. And He, who begun the good work in us (and through us) will also complete it.

Inspired by the love of Christ, IID’s Mission is to empower the underprivileged through life skills training towards a quality life.

Today, when we walk through the city of Chennai or go to events in different towns we find our ex-students everywhere, and now they are organized as IID Alumni Association. It is a joy to see them well-dressed, walking in dignity, and serving their families and their surroundings. Many have their own businesses or are in influential positions in industry or government. Quite a number have dedicated their lives to serve in Christian institutions or started their own ministries among the poor. We get lots of invitations to weddings of our former trainees and students so that we cannot even accept them all. Seeing the result of what has been sown continues to give us fresh hope and vision.

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IID Alumni meets on 26th January every year

We invite you to join this mission in whichever way you find it possible.

Jochen and Johshy Tewes