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:
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.
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