Buds of Christ Charitable Trust

Buds of Christ's vision is to "empower children and enable wellbeing" With the vision our mission is "to love, listen, learn and lead orphans and vulnerable children to live life positively and with dignity and be children of hope and courage to their peers and to their community"
Jul 18, 2013

She BELIEVED She Can and She Did - Story of a semi-orphan girl

An orphan girl receiving education scholarship
An orphan girl receiving education scholarship

This is about one of the children who surpassed obstacles and achieved great results in her 12th standard. Menaka had scored 1028 in her 12th public and wanted to become an agricultural scientist. In our camp “Buds n Colors 2013”, the adolescents were made to visualize their dream through an art exercise. In the Dream BIG exercise, she had visualized herself as an agricultural scientist who was receiving her reward from another scientist for her innovation in the field.

It was after the camp, the results were released along with the cut off-for each courses.  On seeing her marks, there were many friends and neighbors who persuaded her and her mother to take up engineering as that would give an easier entry and also better income. In addition, B.Sc (Agri) at Tamilnadu Agricultural University received overwhelming response this year of receiving over 30000 applications this year for the 600 seats. Menaka’s dream looked like being shattered. Yet she was very firm and looked for opportunities to gain an entry into the course. On asking her personally why she did not look at any other option, she had expressed,

“I come from an agricultural family, after my father’s death, we (mother, brother and I) moved over to our grandparent’s place. I used to go along with my grandfather to the field and enjoy working in the field. Now that we have moved out into the town for my education, I still cherish those memories of being at the field, sowing and reaping the crops. When I was in my 9th standard, my grandfather expressed with deep sigh that many were giving away the lands for real-estate business and agriculture work was coming down. Then I made a decision that I should give back to the land that fed me and my family and that is when I started dreaming to become an agricultural scientist”.

She personally took efforts to talk to some of the contacts in the agriculture field referred by Buds of Christ and other friends and tried to gain admission through private institutions. She wrote a separate exam for Annamalai University and has got her admission into the B. Sc (Agri) course. She is very happy and confident, that she would be able to see her dream come true as one of the best scientist in the country.

Buds of Christ supported Menaka with an educational scholarship of Rs. 5000/- for her higher secondary and now Rs. 10000/- scholarship for her B.Sc Agri course fees. Buds of Christ is serving over 170 children like Menaka in rural areas who have lost one or both parents. Buds of Christ extends support to continue education, to live healthy and build life skills for a productive and empowered life. 

May 20, 2013

Achievers at Buds of Christ surpassing all obstacles in Class 12 Public Exams

This year, 9 children at Buds of Christ appeared and all have cleared their 12th exams successfully, despite all challenges and obstacles that they face due to HIV, stigma and poverty.

Out of 9 children who had appeared for 12th standard, 7 children are under the care of widowed mothers living with HIV, one child has lost both parents to HIV. 3 children of widowed mothers have scored more than 1000 marks.

All these mothers have not even completed their 10th standard and belong to very low income status. The children and the mothers have battled the pressures from relatives and well wishers who often force young girls from such families to be married early or even suggest dropping from school and engage in cheap child labour.

For instance in the case of Menaka, 17 years old she has scored 1028/1200 in her 12th this year. She aspires to become an agricultural scientist. She is living with her widowed mother (living with HIV) who has not passed even her 10th standard. Her mother was very keen that Menaka should study further and live life independently.

Menaka’s mother expressed ”I do not want to make the same mistake my parents made. As soon as I attained puberty, I was only 15 years then, they got me married to a lorry driver and in 5 years of marriage he passed away, leaving three of us alone. It was hard for me to get a good job and income, as I had not completed my 10th standard. Later because of my HIV status, I was given a job as a peer counselor in a community based network and while working, I registered myself for studying through Open University and now I am a graduate. I now work as a peer counselor at a Government Institution. I have experienced the value of education and have always encouraged my daughter to study as long as she wants. Though I have faced pressured from relatives to have my daughter married, I have not heeded. I want my daughter to live her dream and will do all my best for her”.

Each of the children at Buds of Christ has an inspiring story of overcoming challenges of life. Nothing is impossible for those who have DREAMS and believe in their dreams. Children at Buds of Christ are examples for that. All that we did at Buds of Christ was to support children like Menaka towards their school education. You too can make a difference in the lives of children by extending your hand of support to us!

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May 8, 2013

Sharing Love, Building Hope into the lives of children orphaned and affected by HIV and AIDS

Confident Kids
Confident Kids

Over 50 Orphan Children at Buds of Christ were thrilled and excited with the sweet memories of the smiles and joy that was brought into their lives, who have been part of the Buds n Colors camp held last year. The camp was a residential camp to reflect oneself more deeply and understanding the special qualities in each one. Though the camp started with many young children crying leaving their caretakers for the first time, it became a place of joy that no child has ever experienced in their lives so far. 

For many campers, this has been the first time experience of being together, getting related to one another and being in the company of one another, thus building a relationship of being part of one big family. The support the older campers gave to the younger ones, grooming the smaller campers and ensuring their safety was something that just was brought in without anybody teaching or instructing them.

The songs, dance and value based reflections was the most enjoyable moment for the campers in instilling the spirit of joy and building trust among one another. It even thrilled us in seeing the shyest ones waving their hands and dancing to the songs, as their peers coaxed them to join.

The carnival time, the camp fire and the stage night were events that helped the campers the volunteers to exhibit their creativity and reasoning skills. These events proved to be another milestone to many campers who have not presented or even attempted themselves in a big gathering. It was another exciting experience for the organizers to witness the silent ones dancing, playing skits and singing songs.

The Group sharing sessions and night reflections revealed how much of verbal and physical challenges, each child has to go through especially children living with grandparent and widows. The sharing though was very emotional brought in a lot of strength among the campers that nobody else can provide.

“Truly Buds N Colors Camp added color to my life” – Ajith – 12 year old orphan boy living with HIV

“I was rejected by my own relatives and cousins because my parents died of HIV and AIDS, but at Buds N Colors Camp, I am loved by everyone. All orphan children like me should experience this” – Elamurugan, 13 year old orphan boy 

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