This time all the CSA staff were busy forming and running of Children's committees at the children’s home CSA is associated with. Its relevance, roles & responsibilities of members – and their active participation………… Officer in Charge of every State (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh , Maharashtra and Orissa) help to facilitate the setting up of Children's Committees to ensure involvement of children in running of the institution. The committee shall be constituted solely by children. CSA has been mobilizing childcare agencies we work with, to form Children's Committees and we have been successful in guiding children to help form these committees. The children's committees are to maintain a register for recording the activities and proceedings, and place it before the managing committee meeting every month. There are also provisions for setting up of a complaint redress mechanism in every institution and a Children's Suggestion Box – accessible to children – where children can drop their complaints in writing. The underlying purpose is to provide guidance on how to function and equip children in improving their confidence levels, engage in decision making, come up with ideas to improve conditions of the institution, develop educational, vocational & recreational plans, support each other in man aging crisis, make suggestions that would be beneficial to all the inmates. We have helped children with selecting their leaders, explained the roles & responsibilities of each member, get them to conduct periodic meetings, maintaining records and minutes of the meeting. It has been observed that on the whole, children are very receptive and have been enthusiastically participating and contributing their time, talent & ideas for various initiatives. Some of the younger children are still in the process of learning to execute their tasks as committee members but in general are quite excited! Some of the initiatives / tasks that Children's committee members have been managing at all locations, • committee members are keeping stock of hygiene kits supply and following up with their peers to ensure that they are following do's and don'ts shared during oral & personal hygiene awareness sessions In Goa and Mumbai, • 'Health & Hygiene' minister demonstrated hand washing techniques and encouraged their friends to follow In Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha, • members have been planning different recreational & cultural activities on different occasions all by themselves with little or no help either from the institute's management or CSA At one of the children’s home in Orissa Children’s committee members strogly demanded for improvement in the quality of the food they were getting. They successfully made an impact to get the better quality food. This truly is a motivation for CSA team and is an excellent means of empowering children and gaining hands on experience on various life and management skills right there at the Children’s home itself....
Hygiene Awareness Sessions were conducted across the board based on outcomes from health check up camps that were conducted earlier. Many children had dental issues and skin problems which the doctors narrowed down to hygiene issues. Based on this feedback, CSA conducted awareness sessions on good overall hygiene and dental care practices by giving the children a hygiene presentation and showing them a video on dental care. More than 1600+ children have benefitted from this exercise
In addition, besides educating children on overall hygiene and oral care, CSA also provided Hygiene Kits to all children [comprising of tooth paste, tooth brush, bathing soap, washing soap]. Provision of hygiene kits will ensure that children are equipped to follow through on the awareness trainings they have received & can make a permanent lifestyle change. At most locations, Children's Committee members distributed articles to children and the Health minister will monitor the supplies along with the caretaker of the institution on a regular basis
Global Hand washing Day (GHD) is a campaign to motivate and mobilize millions around the world to wash their hands with soap. It takes place on 15th October each year. The campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of hand washing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention. The campaign was initiated to reduce childhood mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrheal diseases by introducing simple behavioral changes - hand washing with soap. This simple, accessible action can, according to research, reduce the rate of mortality from these diseases by almost 50 percent. Hand washing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year. Together, they are responsible for majority of all child deaths. Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, hand washing with soap is seldom practiced and difficult to promote. Turning hand washing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention.
Each year, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world. Global Hand washing is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies, and individuals. CSA too celebrated Hand Washing Day in all orphanages that we partner with and over 1600+ children were shown an audio video clipping & demonstration on how and when to wash hands with soap, with an aim to inculcating a behavioral change and improving overall health & hygiene
Improving living conditions is one of the focus areas for CSA and towards the same we needed to organise some badly needed repairs & paint for the walls of an Observation Home at Thane. In between discussions on cost of paint and budgets, one of our volunteers came up with a brilliant idea of a crowd sourced intervention and the innovative 'Wall Heart' Project was born! It took some paint, people and 'poha' to organize the 'Wall Heart' Project – an initiative to add colours in the lives of under privileged children. Volunteers, connected with through Facebook, came together to buy paint and paint the walls of the Home. Our Volunteers comprised a mix of writers, painters, businessmen, dentists, professional artists & social media professionals. From Calvin and Hobbes to an abstract mural, the 'heartists' showcased a plethora of beautiful bright coloured pictures brightening the otherwise dull white walls of the boys dormitory. The children had a bright cheerful room with inspiring messages and a lesson to take home that “The world is not a bad dark place to live in; it can be a party after all"
Here are few comments for the same.
“The initiative has helped in changing the attitude of these boys. We usually only have a white coat of paint but this initiative has added art & colour to inspire their thinking. We hope for more such creativeassociations with CSA" Secretary of The Dilip Kalantri Boys and Girls observation Home, Bhiwandi.
“The idea is not just to paint walls but beautify the lives of the children. If a small action like this can inspire them to better some aspect of their life, we could help in changing a life forever. Creative therapy is the best way to divert young energy into something worthwhile" Payal Shah Karwa ,a Communications Professional and our volunteer who conceived the Wall Heart Project.
“This kind of an experience would not normally have been possible for me. Being able to spend the day adding a little beauty to the sparse surroundings of the facility for children was both humbling andenriching. It was also a lot of fun splashing paint onto walls! Ramya Pandyan, Blogger and Social Media Professional and a volunteer for the Initiative.
On the occasion of the Environment Day, 5th June, we visited the Girls Observation Home, at Nana Peth, Pune. The home caters around 100 girls. We had planned an activity of poster making, for which we carried large chart papers and boxes of crayons.
After an initial introduction and talk on what the environment is and why it is necessary to protect it, the girls where divided into groups of approximately 5 each, and given a topic to make the poster on. Subject line for the posters were, recycling the waste, saving water, saving electricity, saving fuel etc. All the posters come up really well.
Thus in the time period of about an hour, the 12 groups made posters with various awareness messages. These posters then collected,are to be displayed in the class later, so that everyone gets a chance to see what the others worked on and the message they were to spread.
After that, we took the older girls down in groups to plant the saplings that we had carried with us. We started the planting activity by the hands of Mrs. Sapkal, who is the chairman of Child welfare Committee Pune. The girls especially enjoyed this activity as all the plants where flowering and had lovely smelling plants like mogra and zui, which they already knew of. Two of CSA volunteer helped conduct this activity.
As a participatory gift, we gave all the girls hair clips, and also distributed sweets to conclude the day. Thus through this small activity we ensure that the kids learn something as well as have fun. Many thanks to the donors like you who are helping us to carry out such fruitful activity.
As you are aware that we are living in a competitive world. So why the children we work with should remain behind? We always held various competitions and prepare them for healthy competition. This year all the destitute children associated with us got an opportunity to show their talent and grab prizes for themselves. Women and child department of Maharashtra organised a Cultural and sports competition on 10th of Feb.2013. All the children from the Pune District orphanages got a platform to show case their talent.
Women and Child Department asked to help CSA, to sponsor the rewards, for the winners. CSA immediately extended the support and was very happy as the maximum prizes were won by the children who are associated with us. So it was a win-win situation for CSA. Cheers to all the winners!!!
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