Our Miracles of Hope:
Rajneesh’s parents got infected with HIV/AIDS one after the other. His father who was sick for a long time, eventually succumbed to his illness, leaving him and his mother behind. After the sad demise of his father, Rajneesh and his mother went to live with his paternal aunt, who works as a domestic help in households. The financial crisis in the family led Rajneesh and his mother to join the Udayan Outreach Programme, when he was in class 7. Since then, he has been performing quite well in his academics. Today, he is a very confident and intelligent boy who is going to appear for class 10 examination this year. He dreams of becoming a doctor and treating people infected with HIV/ AIDS.
It is the support that he has received from our Outreach programme that gives him confidence to pursue his dreams. The financial assistance given by this programme has also brought relief to his paternal aunt who has to take care of 3 other children besides Rajneesh. She has many hopes for Rajneesh and looks forward to the day when he will be capable enough to take care of the family on his own.
Neelam’s father passed away due to HIV/AIDS when she was in class 6. Neelam, who was always good at academics had to forego her studies due to her mother’s failing health and poor financial condition. In order to support her family, Neelam took up work as a domestic help in a household, earning a meager salary per month.
Just as Neelam was abandoning the idea of going to school forever, she came to know about Udayan Care’s Outreach programme. The program not only gave them hope for a better life but also gave Neelam courage to pursue her studies further. Neelam’s mother also encouraged her to continue her studies after receiving financial aid from our programme. Neelam has now passed Class 10 with excellent marks and dreams of becoming a teacher someday.
*Names changed to protect privacy rights
With financial assistance, the child beneficiaries under our Program receive an opportunity to improve their lives that have been affected by their parents’ illness and continued dwindling of monetary resources. They are now able to pay for their school fees, after-school tuitions and a nutritional diet only due to the aid that they receive from this program. As a result, their living conditions have improved and there is a huge sense of relief in the families.
The funds are now being electronically transferred to all the children every month.
Workshop in the month of July was divided into 2 separate groups, one for the parents and the other, for children. Discussion with parents consisted of an exchange on the importance of spending time with children. Our resource person, Mr. Sameer Pathak asked the parents to spend some quality time with their children on a daily basis, asking them about their studies and their social life in general. This was done to make the children feel cared for and loved by their parents.
They were also asked to keep a note of the areas in which their children required attention such as studies/ personal behavior etc. so that they can seek assistance from the Program team in coming at solutions.
The children’s workshop was held simultaneously by our resource person, Ms. Megha Garg who emphasized on personality development through team work. Age based activities were performed by the children wherein a few were expected to draw as per their wish while others were asked to develop an advertisement.
Thereafter, the group was informed about ‘Big Friend Little Friend Program’, another child-centric program being run by Udayan Care in which the children could participate and gain benefit from. They were informed about a fete - ‘Udayan Care Friendship Hungama 2011’ (UCFH 2011) that was being organized by Udayan Care on Friendship Day for the very first time to celebrate the spirit of friendship. The children were invited to attend the event along with their parents and experience a unique celebration of friendship.
The Big Friend Little Friend Program is a unique and first-of-its kind programme in India which facilitates a willing volunteer (Big Friend) to become an equal and supportive friend to a disadvantaged youngster (Little Friend) of the same sex.
For the next month, the children were given a topic for General Discussion (GD) and were asked to go through the newspapers regularly in order to prepare themselves for the same.
August saw another workshop of parents and children wherein our resource person, Mr. Sameer Pathak initiated a discussion with parents on the importance of leading a quality life. He brought hope into the group by informing them that a life well lived is thousand times better than a life lived without zeal. He encouraged the parents to lead a healthy and nutritious life so that they can live longer.
Our Resource person for the children’s workshop was Mr. Rashid, a social worker working in NGO, Sakshi. He related the importance of studying to children by sharing many real life examples with them. This generated a lot of interest amongst the group and all the children listened very attentively.
Since the session was interactive, the children also shared their problems related to academics besides sharing their achievements with Rashid.
Exclusive Invitation- Udayan Care Friendship Hungama 2011 (UCFH 2011)
Beneficiaries from our Outreach Program were cordially invited to participate in an Udayan Care Event that was organized under Big Friend Little Friend Program on Friendship Day in India. A Fete was organized at Tagore International School on 7th August to celebrate friendship between Big and Little friends. The event proved quite a memorable one for our beneficiaries where they took out a day to celebrate the spirit of friendship with one another.
Children from our program were paired up as Little Friends with adults who became their Big Friends for the day and sponsored their food and games. There were several game stall where our children participated and won prizes. They participated in dances and other competitions and received a lot of encouragement from their Big Friends.
Our children were extremely happy for being part of the event and they made the most of the day. These children who had always experienced discrimination and apathy from society at large, felt accepted for the first time in their life. There was a sudden increase in confidence as every child felt important and wanted.
The happiness that was very evident on their faces was as much a result of this interaction as due to the innumerable prizes that they won in the various games.
Moderators- Mohd. Faheem Khan and Ms. Megha Garg asked the parents and their children about their experiences of being a part of the event. The entire group expressed their joy and gratitude for giving them such a unique opportunity of interacting with society at large.
Thus, taking this experience forward, they discussed the importance of having friends in one’s life. Children themselves came up with such innovative ways to express their need of a friend. Many of them also conveyed that books are their best friends as it gives them complete knowledge on a variety of issues.
Name of the resource persons: Mr. Sameer Pathak, Ms. Megha Garg, Mr. Rashid & Mohd. Faheem Khan
1. July 2011
A. Importance of spending time with children on 31st July 2011
B. Personality Development through Team Work on 31st July 2011
The workshop was attended by 67 children and 42 parents.
2. August 2011
A. Leading quality life on 28th August 2011
B. Importance of Academics on 28th August 2011
The workshop was attended by 68 children and 48 parents.
3. September 2011
A. Importance of having friends in one’s life on 25th September 2011
The workshop was attended by 73 children and 53 parents.
Main Outcome: As a result of the discussion, there were many beneficiaries who were keen to have a friend in their life. We plan to provide these children with a Big Friends of their own soon.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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