Greetings from India, from Bihar and from Rescue Project! ,its Sunita here with another update
Here the monsoon rains have been playing hide and seek, but the heat and humidity have not.
Well so much to tell you all really. Please see the picture of some of the children taking out a rally on World day against Child Labour Day . As one of the children said "lets wake a few people up" "We won't be silent any more about child labour"
We are all looking forward to welcoming some volunteers from the United Kingdom shortly for the Annual volunteer programme. The children will paint and do music classes with them and also teach some English and the children will teach them some Hindi!
Since the last report many children have come through our doors, those who simply got lost, those found employed as child labour, those who have run away from home because of abuse, and those who simply don't have another place to go. For these children, and others our doors are always open,
We need to raise $5,000 dollars to expand our work to reach more children by extending our already successful outreach programme . Your support is so much appreciated, every donation no matter how small helps us provide the services so desperately needed.
Thank You All!!,
Hello Everyone !
Its time for another progress report from Rescue Junction here in Bihar. This as usual is Sunita the project director reaching out to you all with so much thanks and appreciation for all your support.
Things as usual again have been busy here at the centre. Since I last wrote to you over 50 missing or lost children have come through the doors from 6 to 16 years old. These include rescued child laborers , a mentally challenged girl, runaways due to abuse, and some who were simply lost . We are very careful about giving out personal details but the picture above shows a little girl being reunited with her parents who had thought they had lost her forever. ( all photographs are used with full consent).
Because of our policy of never turning away any child and we would never send any child into a dangerous or abusive situation, given the lack of a social services framework, and no foster parents available our limited resources are always stretched.
It costs $100 a week to look after each residential child at the centre, but of course we have many other services and we never close. That's why your support is so important. I can hear you ask, well Ok, but what about family services, or government provision? There isn't any. There's just us in this area. Clearly we need to address meeting children's immediate needs ,whilst raising community awareness, and engaging with the State government to get them to accept responsibility for the care of children in the State, we are doing all of these things. We have made progress but this is a slow train, please help us reach our goal of making the whole district a much safer place for so many children., Here we are determined to continue to do our very best to make this happen.
I will leave you with the comment from the mother of the child in the photo made to us,
"I thought we had lost her, every day I wept and prayed, now my tears are only of Joy"
With Best Wishes,
I am Sunita Sharma the Director of Rescue Junction
All the best to you and your families for 2014!
I think you will remember "Operation Bangle" where large numbers of children were rescued from factories in Rajasthan. What we could not tell you at that time was that Operation Bangle Part two had already started , where the Rajasthan Police were continuing to work with the Labour Department and ouselves in identifying other factories where children might be employed.
Under Indian Law it is no longer legal to employ children and the employer can be fined 20,000 rupees for each child which has to go to helping them get an education. Unfortunately in Rajasthan, and all over India the law is still being flouted and not adequately enforced. (it helps sometimes if there is an active NGO metaphorically ratting the children's cages until they burst open).
As a result of "Bangle Two" a further 80 child labourers have been rescued from different factories in Rajasthan who came from all over Bihar. An extra coach had to be added to an express train to bring them home. We want to send a clear message to those who use children for lining their own pockets, wherever we find you - we are coming after you! This is not a case of a son or daughter helping out in the family fields or local shop, these children are mostly under the age of 14 years- some only 9 or 10, this is organised crime for business profit and is a disgrace. With their profits gained from cheap child labour the factory owners and child catchers send their own children to posh private schools - shame on you, shame on you!
These children deserve as much care and protection and education as any other child .
We are determined to do what we can with your help to stop this abuse of innocence, wherever and whenever we find it. For this we need your support, and as always I send my heartfelt appreciation to you all.
Please follow our work on Facebook the link is below as we do try and keep it up to date and you can see our work there.
And a special message for supporters in the UK from March 3rd if you give to Global Giving UK they will give one pound for every two you give for one week only. This is on Global Giving UK only- the link is below
We are motivated here by your support and we really do need it, no big organisation supports us so thank you all again,
This is Sunita Sharma, Project Director of the Gaya Rescue project. Here at Rescue Junction during the past year we have had a record number of street children, homeless children, missing children and trafficked children come through our doors.
I am sure you all remember all the project updates on Global Giving including all those children rescued from Jaipur at the Bangle factory, for just one example. Now of course we are the centre for the 24 hour toll free number 1098 childline for children in distess, and please see the photo of myself giving the most senior police officer in Gaya a childline friendship band helping to spread the word with my team in the community, and bringing the issues of child labor and abuse into the forefront.
In my next report I will let you know the exact numbers going through the centre this year in my next report to you, but what a year it has been.
We also admitted several abandoned baby girls one thrown by a river bank in a sealed bag and who is very lucky to be alive. She has been placed for adoption by an Indian family.
And just a gentle reminder our winter warmth appeal which can be life saving is now on Global Giving here,
I asked some of our regular street children to write a little about what the centre means to them, this is what they wrote,
"We are children who live on the station, because we do not know where are parents or families are. Some us have been abandoned here, some ran away because of abuse. Before Rescue Junction nobody cared about us - nobody. We understand that everything at the centre the food we get, the night shelter ,the education toys and games .and people who care about us all comes from the kindness of others who are thinking about us and want to help us start a new life. We do not feel we can say just how much this means to us it is such a wonderful thing. We do not have the words to say how gratefull we are to you all"
Thank you so much". ( translated from Hindi)
Please help us keep our doors open . We need to raise $20,000 next year to help us maintain all our services for the most vulnerable children and young people.
So please help us.
And thank you for everything you have already helped us achieve.
Have a good festive season and we hope you and your family are all well,
I am so sorry for being a little late with this report we have been so busy ay the centre. If you visit our face book page here https://www.facebook.com/pages/People-First-India/106083302779969 you will see we have another group of supporters visiting the trust at the moment, here is what one person wrote in the visitors book ,
"When we had finished playing games with the children ( it was musical chairs) we were enjoying a cup of tea in the office when some anxious parents arrived. They had a picture of their son, aged 11 years on their phone. He had gone missing one month previously whist outside playing and it was feared that he had been probably abducted . They had come to Rescue Junction as Sunita had called them and told them to see her immediately as she had good news to tell them. Through the work of the specialist staff at the centre her son had been found ( over 1,000 km away) safe and well. The mother burst into tears with absolute relief and was comforted by the staff, even the father was overcome and could only mutter thank you- thank you so much!!
Anybody that spends some time here cannot fail to be impressed with the happiness of the children, the great need for the work they do here, and the absolute dedication of the staff,
I certainly will try and help and I would recommended anybody else to do so, it is a haven of safety and security in a dangerous part of the world, especially for children".
Thank you for your fantastic support everyone, if you time please take a little time to look at the full video of the centers work which can be found here, already nearly 15,000 people have watched it. http://youtu.be/nBBB-B9Lf1A
With Thanks to you all,
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