Children are the future of a nation. For an emerging and developing country like India, development of underprivileged children holds the key to the progress of the nation itself.
The educational initiatives of Ashraya for underprivileged children include Crèche facilities “A safe haven for children”. This initiative was started with the objectives to provide the children from most vulnerable section of the society with basic care and safety, learning skills and academic progress, awareness about health and hygiene, and social skills.
Ashraya Crèche’s are blessings in disguise for the poor working population in our city. They act as support system for working mothers who are working as domestic helpers to earn daily wages to support their family financially and for better education for their children. Their mothers did not have an education but wish to educate their children to the best of their ability.
The crèche children come from below poverty line / migratory population, daily supplementary nutrition/mid day meal and evening snacks is given. They stay from 9 am to 4 pm, when their mothers are busy working without any worry, knowing that their children are in good and safe hands. The average attendance is 30-35 students per day, per creche. Regular assessment is done to know their learning capacity and further improvement. Regular Doctor visit is scheduled to evaluate children’s health.
The early years of a child's life are normally a period of maximum growth, maximum vulnerability and maximum dependence on adults. So in our crèches interventions like- care by a trained, nurturing, responsible adult, in a clean, secure and stimulating environment is provided for laying the foundations for health, learning capacities and personality.
The Ashraya crèches are functioning well- seven in all - located at Avalahalli, Siddapura (Whitefield), Shivajinagar, Indiranagar,Banaswadi, Nelamangla and Yelhanka. We have regular staff and volunteers who help with the teaching and the extracurricular activities. The total number of children we reach through crèches is around 220.
This quarter has been a great quarter filled with fun and frolic. All the children were invited to Ashraya’s Head Office for their Annual New Year Celebration Party on 11th January 2013. The kids were excited and participated in most of the cultural activities.
Ms. Sudha from Jumporee volunteered to set up bouncing castle for the kids. It was truly a memorable experience for most of the kids has they do not have access to such luxuries in their everyday life. A delicious lunch, chocolates and individual gifts for all was organized.
A sports day was organized to cultivate a healthy spirit of competition among children, followed by which they also had a photo shoot session. Overall it was a memorable experience for all of us. As the dawn of the new academic year is nearing, the older kids move on to formal schools to continue their education. So a parent-teacher meeting is organized to sensitize parents about the “Right to Education” and emphasis on the importance of continued education for their children.
Some of the feedback received is: 1. “After joining the school my child has learnt discipline, started to eat food by himself, studies by himself and is obedient. Appreciate the teachers for being so supportive. It is dream come true, generally we cannot afford to provide such facilities to our kids, in any other crèche it would cost all our earnings for the month.
2. “The teachers take care of our children like their own children. They provide very good education and healthy food.” 3. “All teachers here provide individual attention to kids to ensure that they learn and also build interest in continuing their studies”
What we have achieved is very little ….with the help of our donors. You too can support this wonderful cause and uplift a child in need today. So donate now and help us reach more less fortunate children this Academic Year.
The crèches at Shivajinagar, Yelahanka and Sidapura have been running in an efficient manner. The Social worker made three visits in this quarter to monitor and evaluate the functioning and maintenance of the crèches. The doctor also paid monthly visits to the crèches to monitor the general health of the children. Progress in health and nutrition is evaluated and he also advises the teachers on nutritional requirements so that they can inform the families.
An average of about 98 - 101 children attended the three crèches in this quarter.
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors and want to reiterate that you are making a huge difference to the lives of these children.
Ashraya’s crèches have been running well and children have been fairly regular to the creches. A lot of people were being affected by the Dengue virus in the city. as a precautionary measure, we got Ashraya's doctor to speak to the parents about the causes of dengue fever and methods to prevent it. The parents were told to be cautious of stagnant water, which aids breeding of mosquitoes and were advised of the symptoms of dengue fever to help its early detection and medical intervention.
The Project head makes frequent visits to the crèches to monitor their functioning, including maintenance of records such as admissions register, children’s register, attendance register, etc.
Through Ashraya’s crèches, we endeavour to improve livelihoods by enabling women to go to work and bring home an additional income. We got a chance to speak to some of the mothers about how the day care facility has helped them and their children. The exercise gave us an insight into the ‘Chain Effect’ of Ashraya’s Creche program, on women and children, the most vulnerable section of the society.
Amsa, a domestic worker and wife of a street vendor, jumped in enthusiastically to present her views. In the local dialect, she said, ‘Ashraya is a big relief to me. In other crèches, they charge a minimum of 500 rupees per month to keep the child for half a day. We cannot afford that. Now, I am able to work without any worry as my child couldn’t have been in a better place. This is like her home, and the staff look after her better than we do. I am able to go to work now and I don’t have to ask my husband for money to give my child whatever she wants. Earlier, I wasn’t earning and had to depend on my husband’s earning to buy each and everything. I did not feel good about it. Today, I am so proud that I can buy whatever my child asks for and I don’t need to wait for anybody’s consent.’
Glory, a housemaid, leaves her 3 year old child at the crèche and starts her day at 9:30 am after completing her household chores. In a resounding tone, Glory, says- ‘The crèche is like a blessing to me!! I used to work only for two hours, leaving my child at my mother-in-law, who is also old and does not have enough energy to look after a young child. Hence I had to get back home early. Now, I am able to work from 9:30 to 1 pm and earn a better income, which makes me happy, as my husband is a daily wage earner and brings home only a meagre income. Moreover, my child is learning ABC, 123, etc. I can’t ask for more’.
Ashraya hopes to continue touching more lives in the near future!!
Ashraya's Crèches program has a chain effect on children and their families’ livelihoods. We organize regular parents’- teachers’ meetings to generate awareness on the importance of cleanliness and hygiene, to sensitize them on the significance of educating their children, irrespective of their sex. The women in the surrounding areas of Ashraya’s crèches are able to leave their children in a safe, conducive and intellectually stimulating environment and go to work, thereby helping them augment their family income, which in turn benefits the living conditions of the families.
Ashraya's crèches at Shivajinagar, Yelahanka, Sidapura, Avalahalli, Banaswadi, Indiranagar and Arsinakunte have been running in an efficient manner. The Social worker makes monthly visits to each creche to monitor and evaluate the functioning and maintenance of the crèches. The doctor also paid monthly visits to the crèches to monitor the general health of the children. Progress in health and nutrition is evaluated and he also advises the teachers on nutritional requirements so that they can inform the families. Malnutrition is detected early and parents of undernourished children are advised to give the child a better diet to ensure their good health. Every Ashraya creche provides a good, healthy afternoon meal which generally consists of rice, a curry with lentils and veggies, followed by a fruit, which gives the children a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins and other essential nutrients for growth and development.
A meeting was held with families in this quarter to discuss their plans for their children, with respect to their education. Teachers and staff motivated and counselled the families regarding various options and support programs offered by the government.
Ashraya’s Creches program has brought about a significant change in the outlook of the families in the slums, and in the labour colonies. It has imbibed in them a sense of responsibility, awareness regarding health, nutrition and also most importantly driven the importance of educating their children. Almost 100% of the children at our crèches, when they reach the age of four, are moved to regular, formal schools, either English medium or Kannada medium. The crèches program helped women go to work which led to families having better income, thereby, resulting in a positive frame of mind to take sound decisions, regarding the education of their children.
The creches are running very efficiently and our creche teachers counsel the parents and the family and motivate them to encourage their children to pursue education. The outcome is most fulfilling as 100% of our kids, when they reach the age of four, are put into formal schooling by the parents and family. This is an important indicator of the quality of work done by our creche teachers and the impact of the Creches project on the weaker section of the society. 50% of our children have got into Government English medium schools, which is remarkable!!
We organized a Teachers' training workshop at our premises in Indiranagar, for our Creche teachers. It was conducted by Ms.Nandini Prakash, Secretary of the Indian Institute of Montessori Studies, who has many years of experience in teaching Montessori style and working with children
The objective of the workshop was to:
1.To improve their teaching methodologies and skills
2. To help better understand children and their needs
3. To help manage issues relating to childrens' behavioural problems
It was a whole day's workshop and our teachers enjoyed the workshop and thought it was a very good experience as it gave them a platform to voice their thoughts and discuss various issues relating to the field of teaching.Overall, it was a wonderful learning experience for all of them.
Banaswadi creche- The compound wall at the creche deserved a transformation as it was looking too bare and simple for a fun-place where kids were having a great time. So we decided to get a professional to make a colourful and bright Warli painting, an exotic form of Indian Art, on the wall. Warli folk paintings are the painting of Maharashtra and Warli is the name of the largest tribe found in the northern outskirts of Mumbai, in Western india. We also had an increase in the number of admissions once the painting on the wall was made. Also the parents and the families are so proud to have their children going to the most attractive and hygienic creche in the area.
We have been having committed volunteers working with us in all our creches and they have been of immense support to the programme.
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