“We can all do small things, with great love,
and together we can do something wonderful”
Brie Mahar and Kristi Werre originally met through an online adoption forum. Both were using the same adoption agency and ended up traveling to Kolkata at the same time in 2011 to bring their children home. While there, a discussion with the director of their children's orphanage was the pivotal moment that eventually motivated them to start Illuminate India.
Brie was born in Kolkata, India and placed for adoption with her family in the United States when she was two months old. She has always felt like she was given a second chance at life and has a desire to help those in need. Brie and her husband went back to Kolkata and adopted their daughter from an orphanage there in the spring of 2011. Returning to her birth land was a life changing event. The vision to give back began to take shape after witnessing the tangible ways to make a difference in the children’s lives.
Kristi first became involved in the humanitarian world at the age of 15. After seeing firsthand the injustice of poverty, she became passionate about being part of the solution. Kristi has volunteered with organizations in Zimbabwe, Egypt, and India and has traveled all over the world. Kristi and her husband have adopted three of their children from Kolkata, India. Through Illuminate India, her goal is to partner with others to help break the cycle of poverty for vulnerable children in India.
Co-Founder, Kristi Werre, volunteered her time co-directing Illuminate India until August 2016, when she became our first full-time Director. Kristi has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, and a Master's Degree in Special Education. Kristi was a special education teacher in the public school system prior to becoming Director.
career pathways Field coordinator
Nirmal has been involved with Illuminate India since 2012. He has a passion for helping impoverished children and has spent many years volunteering his time tutoring street children. Nirmal is our translator and Career Pathways Field Coordinator. His position is vital in helping us maintain accountability and transparency with our partners on the ground.
100% of public donations go directly to help vulnerable children in India. All administrative costs are covered in one of two ways: private donations specifically designated for admin purposes, and proceeds from auction items raised at events.