Home for mentally challenged boys

 
$6,686
$13,314
Raised
Remaining
Sep 9, 2014

U&I Care Report Jun - Aug 2014

Dear Partner and Friend

The Institute for Mentally handicapped children (IMHC) currently houses 85 boys with special needs who have been abandoned by their families or lost and brought to the Institute. Working with the boys in a State run Home is as rewarding as it is challenging and everyday brings us new issues, experiences and reasons to celebrate. Thank you so much for supporting our work at the Institute and believing in the work we do among these wonderful children.

Here are some of the main highlights and challenges:

  • Health & Hygiene – Many of the boys are now trained and independent in their activities of daily living. 17 severely and profoundly challenged boys have their teeth brushed and are are given a bath every morning by the assistant carers at the home. We have been facing an issue with lack of sufficient water over the past few months and that has made bathing in the mornings for all the boys a little difficult but we ensure that all the boys are bathed once a day. Health issues have been minimal. A few boys suffering from epilepsy, had a few attacks in the past few months and are now under medication.
  • Therapy & Activities – In the various vocational therapy activities conducted over the past few months, the boys have learnt to make baskets, flowers and pen-stands out of paper. They also learnt to paint aesthetically using a combination of colours. U&I has also hired 2 Special Needs Teachers who use play and activities to teach the boys shapes, colours, identification of everyday objects and even manners! 
  • Physiotherapy – 3 out of the 10 boys undergoing physiotherapy have shown improvement in gross motor abilities in the past few months. They are now able to grip big objects better and for a longer duration of time.
  • Volunteering at the Institute – New volunteers have been recruited to interact and engage with the boys every Sunday for the next 9 months. These volunteers have been assigned to the different groups of boys and will engage with the boys through various activities and games. Every Sunday interaction ends with a lively session of dance and serving off snacks for the boys. 
  • Independence Day and Friendship day celebrations – Independence day was celebrated by the boys with much enthusiasm; a few of of them learnt some dance moves to patriotic songs and they performed for the others. They also made friendship bands with woollen thread and tied them on each other's wrists on Friendship day.

BIG BIRTHDAY BASH 2014

The biggest and happiest event at the Home is the Big Birthday Bash. It is that day of the year that we host a carnival to celebrate the lives of these 85 special boys. This year we celebrated it on the 8th of Aug and had nearly 50 volunteers come to enjoy the day with the boys.

The place was decorated and the kids with their volunteers were ready to party. The carnival included everything from merry-go-rounds, bouncing castles and a (mini) giant wheel, to horse rides and a magic show! It was great to watch the volunteers help the kids get on and off the rides and also accompany them on some. The boys got their faces painted and ate as much pop corn and cotton candy that they could get their hands on, but not before making sure the volunteers with them ate well too! Once the excitement with the rides died down, the boys cut 5 birthday cakes while the volunteers sang for them. After lunch, the magician brought out his bag of tricks and the boys were amazed by all the colours and magic around them! No good party ends without dancing and it was a whole lot of fun watching them move and groove with their volunteers. We ended the days by giving each boy a gift bag, which had in it, colourful toys bought by our friends and partners at Tymtix, a Bangalore-based software company.

Balloons, cotton candy, popcorn, face-painting, carnival rides, and an atmosphere of excitement! The Big Birthday Bash 2014 had it all! Thank you for helping us give the boys at the Special Needs Home a day to remember all year long!

Jun 6, 2014

U&I Care Report Mar - May 2014

Dear Partner and Friend

The Institute for Mentally Handicapped Children (IMHC) currently houses 82 boys with Special Needs who have been abandoned by their families or lost and brought to the Institute. Working with the boys in this State run Home has been challenging as well as rewarding and we are constantly learning as much as we are teaching. 

Thank you so much for supporting our work at the Institute and believing in the work we do for these wonderful children.

Here are some of the main highlights and challenges:

  • Health & Hygiene - The assistant carers ensure that all the All the boys batheveryday and the 13 profoundly challenged boys are given a bath. Hygiene standards have improved greatly among these boys in the past few months. They are also toilet trained and cleaned regularly during the day to maintain hygienic conditions at all times. The boys are now cleaner and with fresh clothes throughout the day.
  • Therapy & Activities - Over the past few months the boys with mild mental disabilities have been taught to use scissors and paper and learn to cut and design various items. The boys have made paper glasses, jewellery with clay and beads.
  • Physiotherapy - The physiotherapist has been working with 12 boys with cerebral palsy and other equilibrium problems. One session each of manual exercises and instrumental exercises are conducted for all the boys every day.
  • Volunteering at the Institute - Every Sunday about 40 volunteers visit the Institute and engage the boys in different activities. They follow a special needs curriculum designed for the different levels of mental retardation. Volunteers have been undergoing training from an expert from Holland to help improve their understanding and interaction with the boys.
  • Summer Camp at the Institute - Summer Camp at the Home consists of 2 fun-filled days organised and hosted by around 40 volunteers. This year it was complete with carnival games, funky glasses and a movie! 

ZUBAIR'S STORY

One of the boys at the Institute is a little one called Zubair. Zubair has been at the Institute for many years now and has slowly moved from being completely unresponsive to smiling and making sounds at you when you interact with him. Zubair is usually known for eating everything he can lay his hands on. But he also known as the the little kid with large innocent eyes and a cute smile. Over the past few months, Zubbu, as he is affectionately known, has improved a great deal in terms of his attention span. He is able to hold toys and observe them for a longer time. He also tries to have conversations through sounds and responds to people who talk to him. One of his favourite words that always brings a smile on his face is “bouncing castle”. He stares with a big smile on his face that eventually becomes exuberant laughter while he shakes with joy.

Both staff and volunteers have been instrumental in bringing about the change in Zubair. Just giving these boys attention and showing affection can come a long way. They learn to respond so much more when they are constantly cared for. There is no greater joy than seeing these boys grow and be happy.

Mar 11, 2014

U&I Care Report - Dec 2013 to Feb 2014

Vadivel drawing on MS Paint
Vadivel drawing on MS Paint

Dear Friend and Partner

The Institute for Mentally Handicapped Children (IMHC) currently houses 80 boys with special needs who have been abandoned by their families or lost and brought to the Institute. Working with the boys in a State run Home is a daily challenge coupled with an incredible sense of accomplishment for the big and small victories that my team and I enjoy.

Thank you so much for supporting our work at the Institute and believing in the work we do for these wonderful children.

Some of the main highlights are:

  • Health & Hygiene – The boys who are severely and profoundly challenged are given a bath by the assistant carers every morning as they are not capable of doing so independently. The assistant carers have also given special attention to a few boys with dermatological issues such as scabies. New clothes have been regularly received as donations to ensure clean clothes for all the boys.
  • Therapy & Activities – During the Christmas season the boys learnt to make stars, greeting cards and even a Christmas tree as part of vocational therapy. The boys who are profoundly challenged are kept engaged in the play school with motor and sensory activities throughout the day. Computer classes have been going on along with English classes for the older boys who are learning the alphabet.
  • Physiotherapy – The Physiotherapist has been working with 10 boys with cerebral palsy and other equilibrium problems. All the physiotherapy equipment bought are being used on a daily basis for new motor therapies for the boys. Its been great to see the boys getting closer to achieving independency in motor movement after the intensive therapy of last few months.
  • Volunteering at the Institute – Every Sunday about 40 volunteers visit the Institute and engage the boys in different activities. The Special Needs Curriculum that they follow has been designed to engage and rehabilitate children with different levels of mental retardation. The volunteers also spend time cleaning and gardening at the Institute and help provide a better environment for all the boys.
  • Christmas celebrations at the Institute – The volunteers gathered one Sunday afternoon with cake, Santa hats and Christmas carols to spread some Christmas cheer at the Institute. They even called in Santa Claus for a special carol singing performance!

Story of the month:             

Vadivel was found at the railway station a few months ago. He was brought to the Home after being diagnosed as having mild mental retardation. After interacting with the boy for a few days, the staff discovered that he used to go to a local language school in Tamil Nadu and had learnt Beginner’s English and Mathematics. He is very bright and the staff were very keen on him continuing his learning. Since he showed an interest in computers, they decided to teach him to use a computer as well as to type. Over the past few months, Vadivel has progressed from learning to click on icons and using MS Paint to create beautiful drawings to typing paragraphs on MS Word.
There are times when he gets depressed and chooses to sit alone and not interact with anyone. On these days, the staff take him for walks to find out what is bothering him and keep him engaged in other activities until he shows an interest in coming back to computer training.
Over the past month, he is noticeably more relaxed and enthusiastic about participating in various activities. He greets staff and volunteers with a smile on his face and he’s learning to type at faster speeds every day!
 
Plans for the coming months
  • Hiring a special needs teacher to design and teach a structured curriculum
  • Hiring assistant carers to clean the premises of the Institute
  • Vocational Therapy classes to teach bag-making to the boys who are mildly challenged.

 

Work at the Institute is always a challenge that results in great joy. It’s not only about teaching and engaging 80 special needs boys, but on most days, it’s about the change taking place in the lives of staff, volunteers and visitors who invest in the boys and leave with an experience and learning they will never forget.
Dec 9, 2013

U&I Care Report - Sept - Nov 2013

Sadaab
Sadaab

Dear U&I Care Partner

The Institute for Mentally Handicapped Children (IMHC) currently houses 89 boys with special needs who have been abandoned by their families or had got lost and were brought to the Home. Working with the boys in a State run Home is bound to be challenging with everyday brings us new issues, experiences and situations and working through them to bring change in the lives of these boys is the most rewarding thing. 

Thank you so much for partnering with us and believing in the work that we do for these wonderful children.

Some of the main highlights and challenges are:

  • Health & Hygiene – The older boys at the Institute have undergone training in activities of daily living (ADL). 28 boys are capable of brushing and bathing independently. The assistant carers also ensure that all boys are wearing clean clothes and are toilet-trained throughout the day. The number of boys with head and eye lice has drastically reduced to a handful. There have been no major illnesses in the past few months.
  • Therapy & Activities – This festive season, the older boys painted beautiful diyas (earthen lamps) to celebrate Diwali – the festival of lights. Each boy was given the freedom to choose his colours and taught how to paint neatly. It was amazing to observe the natural talent in these boys when it came to choice of colours and ability to paint. Computer training was taken to the next level where one boy is now practicing his typing on Typing Master, which is a software for learning how to type. For the boys who are profoundly challenged, a playschool has been started, where the boys are kept engaged through the day.
  • Physiotherapy – the physiotherapist has been working with 10 boys with cerebral palsy and other equilibrium problems. New physiotherapy equipment was bought to start new motor therapies for the boys. The boys are closer to achieving independency in motor movement after the intensive therapy of last few months.
  • Volunteering at the Institute – every Sunday about 40 volunteers visit the Home and engage the boys in different activities. They follow a Special Needs Curriculum designed to engage children with different levels of mental retardation. The volunteers also spend time cleaning and gardening at the Institute and help provide a better environment for all the boys. 
  • Diwali celebrations at the Institute – volunteers gathered one Sunday evening with fireworks to celebrate Diwali with the boys. Flower pots, sparklers, rockets and Chinese lanterns kept the boys enthralled the whole evening! 

Story of the month:

Sadaab, one of the older boys at the Institute was well known for two main characteristics – every time he walked past any of the boys, he would hit him with his fist. There was no real anger in this behavious, he just liked hitting. He would get into fights with the other boys regularly where he would chase them across the grounds to hit them. The second and nicer characteristic was that he would greet the people he knew by name, with a big smile on his face. It made the person at the receiving end smile right back at him.

Unfortunately, his behaviour of hitting other boys showed no signs of reducing even after many conversations and disciplining methods so the team sat down to discuss a new plan of action. It was decided to include him in vocational therapy and give him some painting activity. This worked like a charm! Sadaab loves painting and is incredibly good at it. He needs very little instruction and direction and gets lost in a world of his own while he paints on paper and ice cream sticks.

We decided to go a step further and he was given clay diyas to paint.  He chose his own colour combinations and took his time to paint many diyas. Each one was filled with colour and looked beautiful. The team was in awe at the creativity and skill that came naturally to this boy when most others needed to be taught over many days. The other positive is that he has become calmer and doesn't hit the boys as much. Painting is given to him as a reward for not hitting anyone on a particular day. Sadaab is now one of the most artistic boys at the Institute and continues to greet people with a big smile on his face. If you visit during his painting class he will say hello, smile and show you his latest art, waiting for you to appreciate him. The team feels so proud of what he has learnt and has become capable of!

Plans for the next few months include hiring a Special Needs Teacher to design and teach a structured curriculum, Christmas celebrations at the Home and training for all staff.

Every day at the Institute we learn something new. Every day they give us a reason to smile because they manage to accomplish something and surprise us. All the challenges and struggles become worth it when we see the change in the boys and know that today, we helped them realize that something beautiful was possible.

Diyas painted by the boys
Diyas painted by the boys
Painting Class
Painting Class
Sep 6, 2013

U&I Care Report Jun-Aug 2013

Hello Friends of U&I - Here is a report about our work in the State Home for Mentally Challenged Boys during the months June to August 2013.

The Institute for Mentally Handicapped Children (IMHC) currently houses 83 boys with special needs who have been abandoned by their families or lost and brought to the Institute. Working with the boys in a State-run Home is bound to be challenging with everyday bringing us new issues, experiences and situations.

Thank you so much for supporting our work at the Institute and believing in the work we do for these wonderful children.

Some of the main highlights and challenges are:
• Health & Hygiene - Mumps was one of the battles that was fought and won over the month. Apart from that, U&I has hired 3 assistant carers who take care of bathing, brushing and grooming of the boys every day. They also ensure all the clothes are washed and sorted and the boys do not wear any wet clothes. The corridors, bathroom and dorms are also cleaned regularly which has resulted in improved hygiene conditions at the Home.
• Therapy & Activities - Activities started at the Home include computer training for a few of the older boys. They enjoy working on Paint where they draw squares and fill them with various colours. They are also learning to type alphabets and numbers with Microsoft Word. In vocational activities the boys are learning to string beads to make pretty chains and bracelets. They have also made bookmarks that were handed out to the State staff.
• Physiotherapy - The physiotherapist has been working with 10 boys with cerebral palsy and other equilibrium problems. The boys are closer to achieving independency in motor movement after the intensive therapy of last few months.
• Trip to the Zoo - The boys were taken on a one day trip to a local National park where they learnt about different animals and birds. They especially loved the elephants and the monkeys!
• Volunteering at the Institute - Every Sunday about 40 volunteers visit the institute and engage the boys in different activities. They follow a special needs curriculum designed for the different levels of mental retardation. They also spend time cleaning and gardening at the Institute and help provide a better environment for all the boys.

Story of the month :

A part of the usual guidelines given to all the people who enter the Institute includes warning them of a few boys who one needs to watch out for. The first on this list was a boy called Nalla Raja. He is a 16 year old boy with autism that is characterized by a lot of stereotypical behaviour like rocking his head, flapping his hands, squinting, biting his hand and his knee. Nalla was notorious for walking up to people and spanking them hard when you least 
expected it. And on special days he would end up biting a volunteer or two as well!
This interesting characteristic of Nalla got my attention as I started working at the Institute on a daily basis. An expert in the field had worked with him before and explained how he liked being tapped gently on the cheek as a reward for sitting quietly. Being wary of trying this by myself, I let an old volunteer go ahead and do it the first time. After observing that Nalla was neither agitated nor out to bite the volunteer, I decided to try this on a regular basis myself. What started out as a cautious challenge soon turned into something I looked forward to every day. Nalla had slowly become one of my favourite boys at the Institute. I wanted to shower him with my attention and affection every time I was around the boys.
The changes were slow and went unnoticed, until one day I went up to the boys to greet them and was pleasantly surprised to see Nalla let out a screech and come running towards me with a smile on his face. There was no hitting or biting and he just put his hand out to be touched. After gently holding my hand he pulled away and went and sat down again. Soon we noticed Nalla had stopped biting and rarely hit people who were around him. We were amazed at the results of how a little care and attention can go a long way to bring such positive change in a child!

Plans for the next few months include:

  • Training for all staff at the Home
  • Conducting a specialised health camp
  • Assessments and diagnosis of the boys to help form short and long term goals
  • A Big Birthday Bash for all the boys.

Every day at the Institute we learn something new. Every day they give us a reason to smile because they manage to accomplish something, no matter how small. All the challenges and struggles become worth it when we see the change in the boys and know that today, we made them a little bit happier.  

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Organization

U&I

Bangalore, Karnataka, India
http://www.uandi.org.in

Project Leader

Ajit Sivaram

Bangalore, Karnataka India

Where is this project located?

Map of Home for mentally challenged boys