Our Origins

Save A Family Plan is a Canadian-based international non-governmental organization founded by Monsignor Augustine Kandathil in 1965. SAFP encourages those from developed countries to work for justice and social change by assisting poor families and communities in India. SAFP uses two main programs that work to teach families how to support themselves and build a better future for their communities. SAFP’s volunteer base is one of its greatest strengths. More than 10,000 volunteers provide a committed network to ensure that aid reaches those who need it most at the grassroots level.

Our Founder

Save A Family Plan was born out of the inspiration of Pope Paul VI. During his visit to India in 1964, he asked the world to join together and help improve the lives of those who are suffering and in need.

Monsignor Augustine Kandathil (Father Gus), an Indian priest working as a chemistry professor in Canada, heard this plea and worked together with his colleague, Dr. Leo Ferrari, to develop a plan that would connect families in North America with families in India. Their hope was to help families meet their basic human needs in a way that would bring charity to a personal level.

To ensure that every cent contributed would reach the families, Fr. James MacDonald provided a location for SAFP at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick. In 1973, SAFP was given a home in St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario, which continues to act as the international headquarters for the organization today.

More than 50 years later, Save A Family Plan is still partnering families in India with contributors from developed countries and putting the core values of the founders into action.

Father Gus

"The poor
deserve the best."
- Father Gus

Partnering with more than

50 Nonprofits
52,000 Sanghams
19,000 Families

Sangham is defined as a grassroots, community-based self-help group

SAFP is supported by a wide network of volunteers in Canada and India

Canada Board of Directors

Voting Members
Ms. Lois Côté - President
Sr. Joan Atkinson, CSJ - Vice President
Mr. Patrick Mahon - Secretary
Position Vacant - Treasurer
Mr. Jerome A. Collins
Rev. Fr. Peter Amszej
Mrs. Bernardine Ketelaars
Mr. Anthony Parisio


Non-voting Members
Mrs. Marisa Thorburn - Executive Director
Ms. Mary Patricia Keffer - Recording Secretary (SAFP Financial Coordinator)

India Board of Trustees

Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath - President
Dr. (Rev. Fr.) Varghese Kalaparambath - Vice President
Rev. Fr. Marshel Melappelly - Executive Director
Mrs. Ransamma Joseph - Secretary
Rev. Fr. Sibi Kaitharath
Adv. Litto Palathingal