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 29, 2013

Home visit, Education support and the difference

Sivaranjini is 16 year old adolescent who has three siblings (2 brothers and one sister) and the last sibling her sister is 6 year old is living with HIV. Her father died due to lack of motivation and was a very poor adherer to treatment for HIV in May 2013. Her mother who is a neo-literate, is also ignorant of the facts about HIV treatment and it’s implications and very poor adherer to the medicines. She is 34 years old and weighs only 28 kg and has been recommended now for the second line of treatment (HIV).

 During the home visit, we identified the health condition of the mother has also become bad and it is important to save her, especially for the best interest of the four children to be in a family. Sivaranjini studying currently in class 12th, has been working during her school holidays to support the family. Now Buds of Christ has extended support to the family, by providing the costs incurred for education for the children and basic provisions so that Sivaranjini’s education nor her siblings education are affected as her mother cannot go for work.

In addition her mother is supported in person by a team member in assisting her for diagnostic tests to Salem and Chennai for starting the 2nd line treatment. Her mother’s sister has also been counseled by the team member to support in the initial stage to encourage Sivaranjini’s mother on treatment. Though treatment for ARV is free and easily accessible for many in Tamilnadu, the lack of motivation and support system is becoming barrier to enjoy good health.

Buds of Christ focuses on such families and support children to cope up with stressful situations through field based counseling and establish community support systems. In addition the children are further linked to other services at the center, like Overcomers, support groups for children affected by HIV and AIDS, where they find peers of similar conditions and are encouraged.

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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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