Our Story

It  started with a car journey ...
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Together with Leaders from South India, IIDA was started with a unified vision: to serve underprivileged youth to lead them into a transformed quality life. Jochen Tewes had visited India for the first time in 1969 and came again in 1972 on a business assignment. He then combined the visit with visits to organisations that he was already volunteering with through Inter-Mission Germany. On his return back to Germany, he knew he had left his heart in India. Not only did he feet a vocation to work with the underprivileged youth, but he also meets his future wife.

1974 was an important year – the year IIDA was registered as a Society on 17th March. In the same year, he married Johshy as well as started a small carpentry workshop, training 7 youth from orphanages of Inter-Mission. Johshy was not only moral support to Jochen, but her experience working with orphaned children in homes, meant that her heart was there.

Our History

After he drove by car to India in November 1973 along with Markus Egger, Jochen and 6 more dedicated leaders began establishing IIDA in 1974. This team recognised that there were not many options for underprivileged youth -both in urban and rural India, to step into a dignified, quality life.

IIDA was one of the few organisations to first step into the gap of non-formal and formal industrial and skill training for underprivileged youth.

A spark turned into a flame and now IIDA is an established institution offering educational solutions to underprivileged youth in multiple locations across India – both through its own establishments and through franchise establishments.

When IIDA sees young men or women from destitute backgrounds, instead of seeing a hopeless situation, we see a wealth of potential and value for tomorrow’s world in each individual young person; we take it as a privilege to help them navigate to a brighter future.

Through holistic education, interpersonal care and a focus on personality development and gender equality, India’s underprivileged youth can flourish and blossom into positive agents of change and inspiration in their respective communities and ultimately, for the good our country.

Seeing ex-students of IIDA excelling, but more importantly, giving back, is the pride that we care

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Jochen Tewes
IIDA Founder


In the Beginning
On 1st November 1973 Jochen Tewes, Engineer, accompanied by Markus Egger, an accomplished singer, arrived at the Indian border on their way by car from Germany to India. Jochen Tewes counts this date as the beginning of his ministry to empower disadvantaged youths through industrial training. 
Formation of the Society IIDA
On 1st November 1973 Jochen Tewes, Engineer, accompanied by Markus Egger, an accomplished singer, arrived at the Indian border on their way by car from Germany to India. Jochen Tewes counts this date as the beginning of his ministry to empower disadvantaged youths through industrial training. 
Starting of Fitters Training  
After initial preparations the first training course of IID was started in July that year as a fitters training in a thatched shed in Pallavaram. 7 trainees from various homes of Inter-Mission joined. Mr. Alexander, a retired air force officer, was the first instructor and leader of this center. Mr. Jochen Tewes who headed the registered office in Besant Nagar came to the centre almost every day to teach technical drawings. 
Begin of a Printing Training Course
With the encouragement and cooperation of Dr. Paul V. Gupta, the printing unit in HBI was converted into a training centre, and Mr. Arulnesan was the manager and chief instructor. The boys who opted for this training were accommodated inside HBI
First Women’ Training Course
Pastor K. M. John offered the terrace on the roof of his house to be converted into a weaving training centre for women.  Mr. Alexander who had experience in both metal work and weaving was made in charge of the centre. 
Starting Carpentry Training at Pallavaram
The vast space that was available in Pallavaram was suitable for expanding the training activities and in 1976 a second training course for carpenters was started. The fitters course meanwhile had been recognized by the central government in India and the carpenters training would later be recognized by the state government of Tamil Nadu. 
Starting Weaving and Batik Training at Aminjikarai
Pastor K. A shed made in Pallavaram with pipes and asbestos sheets was erected on the plot in Aminjikarai in the year 1979 and the weaving training was moved to this plot 
Purchase of first portion of land at Thoraipakkam
A crew from a Dutch Christian Television visited IID in this year and broadcast their films about the training courses of IID in Holland. A good amount of money was collected through the show and it was invested in a property at Thoraipakkam for training youth. Later other adjoining areas of land where bought with the help of donors of Inter-Mission. 
Start of Day Care Centre at Besant Nagar
Near the office of IID in Besant Nagar was a slum called “Thideernagar”, and a Day Care Centre was started in a thatched shed in 1980 for the poor children of the slum. For many years Inter-Mission supported the children. Jochen and Johshy Tewes personally supervised the centre as long as the office was in Besant Nagar. The shed had to be rebuilt several times after fires or floods destroyed it.
Starting of Batik and Tailoring Training in AminjikaraiPastor Mrs. Parwin Benjamin took over the management of the girls training centre at Aminjikarai in 1981 and the new course of tailoring was started. . Later the batik training that had been started in Guduvancherry was also moved to Aminjikarai. In the year 1982 the family of Mr. U. Benjamin and Mrs. Parwin settled in a simple building built on another plot that IID bought nearby. Mr. Benjamin became the head of the Support Centre for all the Inter-Mission homes in the Madras Area. 
 Starting of Children’s Home 59 at Nellore
With the help of Dutch donors an orphanage was built on a plot in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. It was opened in 1983 and supervised by Mr. Joseph Bandi initially. Later Mr. William David from Madras became the leader followed by Mr. Vasanth Kumar and others. 
Starting of Carpentry Training at Nellore
For the orphans who completed school in Andhra Pradesh, a training centre was built and opened on a land not far from the orphanage in Nellore. Mr. William David and Mr. Jürgen Eisenberg were the leaders and they were succeeded for many years by Mr. Suresh Kumar. 
Start of Pre-Training Course at Thoraipakkam
With the help of Sam and Beena Gilbert IID started a Pre-Training School in simple light roofing buildings in Thoraipakkam. For many years this course helped young boys to get prepared not only for the courses at Pallavaram and IID head office, but also for life itself. Various non-formal courses and agriculture were taught besides discipleship training and life coping skills. These skills are even taught today in the training schools of IID, but integrated with the regular training courses.
Start of Elim English School at Thoraipakkam
An English medium school for the orphan children at Thoraipakkam was a long-hedged dream. In 1990 kindergarten classes and 1st and 2nd standard were started. Sue Read, Rachel Thangaiah and Johshy Tewes led the school for many years. It is still maintained today, but with children of the surrounding areas after all the orphan children were moved to Alamathi in 2011. The school was the only one of IID in South India, but the Shishya School that was run by Ken and Free in Dehra Dun, Uttarakhandh, had been operating in the north even earlier. The Elim School will be transferred to Inter-Mission India. 
Micro Enterprise Development started
The vision of IID was making the poor self-supported, giving training and creating jobs. To show ways to achieve the goal of creating jobs and enabling income generation to the poor, Jochen and Johshy Tewes were invited in 1995 to an MED conference in Malaysia by their friend and mentor, Mr. Karl Schock. It was conducted by the world-wide organisation called “Opportunity International”, and the conference had the immediate effect that IID started giving micro loans to the poor in 1996. It became a separate branch of IID called IMED, which grew rapidly. 
Starting of first Community College at Vadapalani
Women clients of IMED asked for help to their children who completed school so that they, too, could learn a trade. Since capacity and finance were limited, a new way of training for jobs was found in the scheme of Community Colleges. Promoted by Father Dr. Alphonse Xavier in Chennai, it gave a good chance to the poor to get jobs in courses of one year. Under the initiative of Mr. Sam Sunder Singh and the leadership of Mrs. K. Bharathi the first Community College was started in 2002 in Vadapalani of Chennai. It picked up very fast and more Community Colleges were started in Tamil Nadu and later in Pune. Many hundreds of students received job-oriented education and most of them received employment immediately after completion of the courses. 
IID MED Section becomes Growing Opportunity
The number of MED clients kept increasing so much that a company had to be formed to properly handle the enormous amount of administration and field work. It was registered in 2005 as “Growing Opportunity Finance India Ltd.”, headed by Mr. Jim Reiff and later by Mr. Samuel Chandar. 
Opening of IID Head Office at Aminjikarai
From 1994 to 2006 IID’s head office was in rented buildings in Besant Nagar, Madras, now Chennai. The cost and constant need to oblige the owners kept rising, and by the grace of God, IID’s own building was started in 2005 and completed in 2006. It not only accommodated the head office, but also the Community College at Aminjikarai and the Community College head office. With an air conditioned conference room it allows IID to accommodate all central activities.
First Combined Graduation of all IID Community Colleges in Chennai
When the Tsunami hit the east coast of South India in December 2004, many areas were badly damaged, thousands lost their lives and many young people also were affected. IID started 4 Community Colleges for these youths with the money given for Tsunami relief: Karaikal, Mahabalipuram, Kottivakkam and Nellore. The number of students thereby increased very much and we had the largest graduation so far of Community College students in July 2007. All together 660 students graduated in that year in a public building and many guests of honour had been present. 
Start of IID Alumni Association
Former trainees of IID used to meet from the beginning. For many years the IID HO organized the re-unions every 26th of January. In 2007 however, the former students met and organized the IID Alumni Association. From the on all re-unions and other activities of the Alumni were organized by the ex-students. Many activities and area meetings are being conducted today through the alumni. A special wing called “IID Alumni Integrated Ministers Fellowship was started in 2013 to encourage those who went into social and spiritual ministries. 
Starting Community Colleges at Pune 
In 2011 IID could open a Community College at Chakan, Pune in Maharashtra, with the help of Volkswagen India. It was the first time that a company undertook the responsibility of supporting a full Community College. The company’s purpose was to help poor young people of the surrounding areas of where they have established their factory and IID could implement the program. Similarly another German company, Z.F India, helped establishing a Community College in 2012 in the part of Pune called Lulla Nagar.   
Ruby Jubilee”, 40 years of IID completed
A grand program was organized on 17.3.2014 to commemorate what donors, members, staff and students have contributed to the growth of Inter-Mission Industrial Development Association.
2020 – 2022
Covid-19 Pandemic
From the beginning of 2020 a more than 2 years period of Covid-19 pandemic influenced greatly the effectiveness of IIDA’s training programs, but with online training or training in person with the prescribed operations restrictions the teaching could be carried on to some extent
Renaming Community Colleges into Skills Academy
After renaming our centres to “Skills Academy” in 2021, all certificates were given under the new names during graduations in the individual centres of IIDA
48th Anniversary of IIDA
The 48th Anniversary of founding IIDA on 17th March 2022 was celebrated in a hybrid way. All staff came to the Head Office, while many friends attended over Zoom Video Conferencing.