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Nov 21, 2019

Giving a little more...

Mayuri wishes she could have nursed her parents
Mayuri wishes she could have nursed her parents

 

Thank you so much for your support of girls’ education in India. It’s shocking that a reported 60 million girls are still missing from Indian classrooms and it is our mission to ensure that every girl in our district makes it to school and has the ability to be independent. Your donations help us to reach further to spread our message.

Next week, we will be continuing on our girls’ education campaign in partnership with Malala Fund. Among our team of peer mentors who will be leading workshops, conducting street plays and taking part in a street rally, are pupils from 10 local schools. They will be joining our beneficiaries standing side-by-side with them to encourage girls to continue studying and hoping to break down some of the barriers to education for girls living in rural areas by making them aware of their rights.

While the issues of child marriage and labour are some of the main reasons girls miss or leave school early, many of the girls and women who come to live in our shelter homes have missed out on their education for weeks, months or even years or have failed their exams for other reasons. As part of our admission process we aim to re-enrol them in schools and colleges to ensure they complete 10th standard as a minimum. While we encourage all of them to continue into 12th Standard and on to higher education, some like Mayuri prefer to opt for vocational training.

Mayuri grew up in a slum in the shadows of Aurangabad’s district hospital. Her father was a daily wage worker on construction sites and an alcoholic while her mother worked as a housemaid. Their already difficult financial situation was worsening day by day as her parents began to fall sick repeatedly and were finally diagnosed with AIDS.

Both parents quickly succumbed to the illness and Mayuri and her two sisters were tested for HIV: unfortunately, Mayuri and her youngest sister tested as positive. None of their relatives were ready to take responsibility for the orphans, so at just 7 years of age, Mayuri and her two sisters were admitted to Shri Baba Sai Institution.

There she studied up to 10th standard, but failied her final exams and then when she reached 18 unable to stay at the orphanage. Without the qualifications to support herself, she was transferred to our Snehadhar women’s shelter where we gave her extra tuition to help her resit and pass her 10th standard. Having struggled to pass but still very keen to become financially independent, she signed up to our bedside nursing course.

Healthcare is fast becoming one of India’s largest industries - both in terms of revenue and employment - with healthcare delivery, which includes hospitals, nursing homes and old age homes, constituting 65 per cent of the overall health market. Factor in the Indian medical tourism industry worth US$3 billion per year and its plain to see the need for skilled health professionals is rising dramatically. Our Certificate in Bedside Assistance Nursing Training Course (CCBANC) delivers employability-focused training for healthcare assistants through a three-month programme. Located in our Rehabilitation Center, class-based learning is complemented with practical teaching in our on-site, 50-bed hospital, dedicated to the care of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA).

Not only are we able to train our own pool of bedside assistants to meet demand in our expanding health projects, we are also providing our beneficiaries the opportunity to maximise their employment prospects in an expanding sector. The course is also open to those from low socio-economic backgrounds and rural, tribal and at risk communities within our district.

As one of our first graduates, Mayuri is now employed as a nursing assistant at our Caring Friends Hospital and Research Center. She is one of our best staff, treating and caring for HIV+ patients and we continue to support her in her dreams of becoming a qualified nurse.

Girls come to us from a range of backgrounds and all with different reasons for needing our support. Therefore it’s important that our services are as diverse as their needs. We have a range of vocational education courses on offer that you are supporting. Thanks to you, we able to provide solutions that address their separate needs and capabilities giving them the skills and expertise to become successful and financially independent.

Want to give more?

On Tuesday 3 December you can help to give our girls 50% more. #GivingTuesday is an international day of fundraising and Global Giving will be matching all donations we receive that day by 50%, meaning for every $1 you donate we will actually receive $1.50 to deliver our life-changing support.

Graduates jumping for joy outside our hospital
Graduates jumping for joy outside our hospital

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Nov 4, 2019

A vital service for teens

Childhood not motherhood!
Childhood not motherhood!

Thank you for supporting our Adoption Center, you are helping us to continue to be the biggest center in India having adopted over 700 children since 2004. Our umbrella organisation, Snehalaya was established in 1989 which means we are currently celebrating 30 years of empowering women and children and support from people like you.

Following our philosophy that ‘every woman and child has the right to live a life free from inequality, cruelty and discrimination,’ our adoption center was primarily formed to provide support to girls and women too young or unable to look after their babies themselves.

Today many are referred through our network of health professionals, NGOs, volunteers, supporters and government agencies, meaning we are often able to reach them early to support them through their pregnancy. It was a very different story when we first opened our doors with many of the babies we took into our care having been abandoned in public places and found by our volunteers and Childline team on their daily rounds of transport hubs, temples, hospitals and other public spaces. Therefore we are pleased to report that our intervention and promotion of our service means that now less than 2% of babies reach us this way.

However demand for our services remains high, particularly from minor girls as, according to figures given by the High Courts of India, incidents of child abuse are registered every five minutes. In 2016, statistics from National Crimes Records Bureau registered 19,765 cases of rape under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Therefore, along with a high prevalence of child marriage, it’s not surprising that 11 percent of the world’s teenage pregnancies happen in India, meaning 16 million Indian women between the ages of 15-19 become mothers each year.

It’s thanks to you that we are there to help young girls like Devi who was raped while grazing the family sheep. Coming from a very poor rural family, the 14 year-old was terrified when she realized she was pregnant. Unsurprisingly she had been traumatised by her rape and the resulting pregnancy sending her into a severe depression. Unable to help, her family brought her to Snehankur where we gave her shelter, prenatal and counseling support.

Devi’s depression continued after delivering her baby girl, who she gave up for adoption, and in no fit state to return home, we transferred her to our Snehadhar project where she could access further medical support and psychological counseling. Gradually, with regular counseling, love and care, Devi came out of her depression. She felt able to go back to her family and village where our local volunteers took on responsibility for her completing her education and, having recently graduated in the arts, she is now looking forward to the future.

Thank you so much for supporting Devi and her little girl, without you and Snehalaya who knows where they would have ended up!

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Sep 20, 2019

SCHOLARS OF THE SLUM

Thank you so much for your support in helping to educate the street children in urban communities. You can never over-estimate what a difference you are making.

This year from June we began a new academic year and as mentioned in our earlier report we saw the enthusiasm of our children in our “School Chale Hum” program welcoming the children on the first day of school. We also celebrated the success of our students passing out 10th and 12th Standard with flying colors.

Now we are looking forward to their academic progress as they continue to learn new things each day. Even child residing in the slums has the right to education. This is the core purpose of our ‘After School Slum Education Program’. We have come up with a unique program to develop the interest of these children in education; Scholarship!

This year is the third consecutive year that we have introduced Scholarship program for our students. Each year 140 students from 5th to 10th standard from seven centers in the slums are selected by a preliminary exam. The selected students are mentored for 9 months after which they face a test for 5 important subjects. 7 students scoring the maximum marks gets educational material like books, writing material etc worth Rs 3000. Besides the academic performance the overall behavior, cleanliness, extracurricular participation of the students is also included in the criteria while selecting the winners.

The main aim of the scholarship is to encourage our students to their overall development as it is targeted on four basic areas; curricular, general knowledge, language and behavior. This also serves as a motivation that helps our students to achieve excellence in whatever they do whether its curricular or extra-curricular activities.

It also serves as a warm up for their upcoming future where they are preparing themselves for various Government competitive exams. And as for now it is already helping them to improve their academic performance and personality.

We would like to share the success story of our student who took advantage of this scholarship and has already set a bench mark and has become an inspiration for others. Ashna is one of our regular Balbhavan students. She has always been a sincere child and passionate about education.

 Her mother left their home when Ashna was a child. Her father and Ashna are the only members of the family. Her maternal aunt stays just next door and is always supporting her. Ashna has never had her mother around to share the little things in life but her aunt has been a great support for her. As she is his only daughter, her father was initially reluctant to let her continue her education in higher classes.  But after the Snehalaya counselors conversed with him, he agreed.

Ashna appeared for the SSC exams (10th Std) this year and passed with flying colors. She scored 81% marks and stood first in all the students of our Slum program.

She aims for a career in Science faculty and now she is pursuing her further education in Bhausaheb Firodiya Junior College, a reputed college in the city.

We thank you for your support with the help of which we are reaching a diverse range of children within our slum community schools. While we aspire to encourage and support as many children as possible to break the cycle of poverty by gaining the qualifications they need to make their dreams come true, we also aim to improve the overall quality of life for as many children as possible.

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