Jan 4, 2021

health and Nutrition for the girls

Introduction


Aarushi Children’s Home (CHG) is run by Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) for girls in need of care and protection in Gurugram, Haryana. A 24*7 children’s home, Aarushi CHG provides residential as well care and protection services for children. Going beyond care and protection, Aarushi team also provides skill development services for girls for their holistic and all-round development. The home is run by a team of professional team comprising of a Coordinator, counselor, medical social worker and social workers.
Aarushi CHG is an inclusive set up where both neuro-typical and children with developmental difficulties reside. EGIS’s support to Aarushi CHG has enabled provisions of healthy food for girls rescued from streets and difficult circumstances. With the help of the project, 62 girls at Aarushi CHG have been able to access holistic nutrition for overall growth and development. The support includes three cooked meals on a daily basis.

Progress Overview

A progress overview of the services being supported under the project has been presented in the following section.
Health and Nutrition: Access to quality health is one of the basic rights of children intrinsically linked to their survival and development. Girls rescued from difficult circumstances live in vulnerable conditions and often suffer from malnutrition and other infections. Thus, ensuring good health of girls is one of the focal areas of work for Aarushi team.
To this end, girls at Aarushi CHG are provided with three hot cooked meals, fruits, milk, eggs and other nutritious meals. Girls who need better health care are provided supplementary nutritious diet to improve their health.
The menu is prepared in consultation with children so that the food of their choice can be included. It is taken care that each meal has a nutritional value and is a blend of proteins, carbohydrate and fiber and at the same time is appealing to the children. During the lockdown, staff and children did engage in non-fire cooking sessions too so that the children feel occupied and productive.
During the reporting period, there were in total 12 children who required special nutrition as they were having physical and mental health issues. Two girls were sent by CWC who were minors and were pregnant. They were provided with nutritious food and medicinal supplements prescribed by the doctor.

Mental Health:

Sound mental health is another important aspect of a child’s personality. Every child requires psychological and emotional support and more so those required from difficult circumstances as they come with a lot of emotional baggage and suppressed trauma. Recognizing the importance of psychological well-being, Aarushi CHG has in place a strong mental health programme. As part of the programme, a full time Psychologist is there to help the girls in the center through individual and group sessions and career counseling. During the reporting period, six girls with special needs were provided specialized therapies like Autism, Depression, Schizophrenia, Behavior issues, about 12 girls were given support for career counseling and 25 girls were provided groups sessions.


Challenges


• There are limited opportunities to constructively engage children with disabilities.
• New challenges are emerging due to COVID- 19 pandemic. Movement of staff was restricted for some time during this period and they were staff shortage initially.
• Children have been home bound since the past 7 months and many children developed psychological problems.

Future plans


• In the times to come, the focus would be to constructively engage the children by involving more volunteers who can take group sessions with children having similar interests.
• The focus would also be to boost up the immunity of the children and to keep them healthy and secure.
• The infrastructure for online classes needs to be upgraded so that the children keep pace with the school and the extracurricular work too.


Case Study


Five months ago, Meera (name changed) came to Aarushi CHG and was visually impaired. She was raped by her father and was pregnant. After many years of abuse, she did file a complaint with the police and her father was detained. Her mother who worked as a house help was supportive of her decision but had no financial means to take care of her pregnant girl and termination of pregnancy was not possible. The girl initially was quite disturbed. She was having difficulty coping in the new environment. With the support of Aarushi’s team and children, she started settling down gradually. She was provided with nutritious food at small intervals and the doctor would do regular checkup. A dedicated caretaker was hired who would make sure that she would eat on time and would engage with other girls too. She finally delivered a healthy baby boy who was later put for adoption. Meera has been restored to her mother as per her decision and her mother found a better job and can take care of Meera. The team at Aarushi is in contact with the family and does regular follow up and is looking for vocational training opportunities for her.

Links:

Sep 15, 2020

residential homes update

Introduction-

Salaam Baalak Trust’s residential centres are 24*7 programmes which provide shelter (long- term and/ or short-term) and a package of childcare services based on continuum of care approachtochildrenrescuedfromthestreets.Theseservicesincludemedicalcare,foodand nutrition (three hot cooked meals and evening nutrition), psychological support, education, vocational training, job placement, restoration and rehabilitation. The centres also provide sports and latent talent development opportunities for all round development of children. These residential centres are recognized and licensed under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme(ICPS)andtheJuvenileJusticeAct,2015.Theadmissionandcareplanofeachchildis made under the guidance of respective Child Welfare Committees(CWCs).

 

SBT Residential Centres

SBT has 7 residential centres for children from street and vulnerable situations. The centres have the basic infrastructure –classrooms, play area, computer lab and dormitories. Each centre has a team of trained and compassionate caregivers who work towards the holistic development of the children residing in these homes.

 

Brief overview of the centres-

Aasra

Boys

Aasra was the first shelter home started by SBT. With a capacity of 50 it caters to boys of five to 18 years. It is an inclusive set up where children with disabilities  and typically developing children reside together.

Apna Ghar

Boys

It is a short stay centre, where 40 children come and stay for short duration and then they are either restored or transferred  in a long

stay home. The home was set under the JJ Act, 2000.

DMRC

Boys

DMRCChildren’sHomewasestablishedaspartofDelhiMetro Rail  Corporation’s  corporate   social  responsibility.  The  home

houses 125 boys from the age of five to below 18 years.

Old Delhi Railway Station (ODRS) Open Shelter

Boys

ODRS open shelter is an open centre catering to 30 boys. It is a short stay centre, where children come stay short duration and then they areeitherrestoredorpostedinalongstayhome.Thehomewas

set under the JJ Act, 2000.

Arushi

Girls

Arushi was first girls’ shelter home under SBT. It is an initiative to offer 24 hour shelter to 50 girls between the ages of five years to18 years living on the streets.

Udaan

Girls

Udaan was started in the year 2010. It started with eight girls and currently shelters 80 girls at a time.

 

 

 

Key Activities and Progress Update-

 

Residential Care

 A safe space is the most critical need for any child to realise his/her own full potential. Thus, we started residential programmes to provide safe child friendly shelter for children rescued from street situations and any other distress situations. Children residing in these homes have a sense of belonging and call it their own home.

 

 

 Nutrition

To meet the nutritional needs of children, nutritionally-balanced and hot-cooked meals are served at residential . The meals are prepared in the kitchen space provided at the centre under the supervision of staff members to ensure safe and hygienic practices. In some cases, children have special nutritional requirements due to illness such as tuberculosis and malnutrition. Such children are provided with special nutrition including protein supplements, additional servings of fruits and milk as prescribed by the doctor.

 

 

Education

Education is integral to any child’s development and hence all the children residing in the homes are connected with education either through formal, non-formal or Open school of learning depending on the strength of the child. Each centre has an in-house teacher who helps the children with their home work and also teaches the children who are studying through open learning.

 

 

 

Medical Care

Children on the streets live in unsanitary conditions and are prone to various infections and diseases. Therefore, regular medical check-ups of the children are done at the full care residential centres. Individual health cards are maintained for each child. Whenever required, pathological tests are conducted as per the recommendation of the doctors. We have a full-time doctor employed with SBT solely for this purpose. Apart from that we also invite external doctors or get our children treated by specialists at hospitals.

 

Mental Health-

Full-timementalhealthprofessionalappointedin thecentreprovidespsychologicalsupportandcounsellingtochildren.Thementalhealthand psychologicalsupporthelpschildrenrescuedfromthestreetsgetovertheirtraumaticpast. There is a team of 9 psychologists with a senior Psychiatrist who work towards the management plan of children having psychological difficulties.

 

Vocational Training and Job Placement -

Children who are above 16 and/or have completed Class10arelinkedtoawiderangeofvocationaltrainingcourses.Acareercounsellormatches children’sskillsetsandinterestwithsuitablecourses.Basedoncounsellor’srecommendation children join vocational courses of their choice. Children at SBT centres often opt for computer, travel and tourism, fashion designing, beauty culture and hotel management courses. Upon completion of their vocational training courses children are also assisted in finding gainful employment. The centre teams help children in applying forjobs.

 

 

Restoration and Rehabilitation: Those children who are missing or run away from their homes often long for their families. The centre teams in conjunction with the CHILDLINE and police make efforts to find homes and families of these children and reunite them with their parents .

 

For those children who live in the residential centres till they turn 18, a proper rehabilitation plan is drawn. These young adults are not only linked to jobs butarealsosupportedinfindinganewaccommodationandareprovidedbasicnecessitiesto start a life such as bedding utensils and financial assistance for buying groceries and pay rent for up to three months. Rehabilitation is SBT’s carefully planned attempt to reintegrate the children back into societies as productive adults and responsiblecitizens.

 

A snapshot of services provided by the residential centres from January – June 2020 has been presented in the Table below.

 

 

Activities

Number of Children

Shelter Provided

819 children

Restoration

370 children

Education (Formal Schooling)

150 children

Open Schooling

28 children

Non-Formal Education

529 children

Food and Nutrition

809 children

Health Check Up

761 children

Skill Development and Vocational Training

25 children

Job Placement

12 children

Rehabilitation

08 children

 

 

Challenges

  • Due to the Pandemic, there are limited opportunities for children to be constructively engaged There was a surge in mental health concerns of children and staff since the movement and the daily routine has been disturbed.

 

  • Initially, only few staff members could come to work and this led to classes being irregular. Younger children are particularly being affected due to the lockdowns as its difficult for them to comprehend the scenario.

 

 

 

Achievements-

  • Due to the pandemic, many communities were affected and were without food and basic amenities. Our outreach workers helped over 10,000 families with ration and hygiene kits.

 

  •  We were also successful in finding jobs for 11 of our alumni’s who lost their jobs due to the current scenario . Alumni’s are being provided emotional and financial support where needed.
  • 9 children from S.BT. have cleared their 10th exams with First Division.
  • 3 children cleared their 12th class exams. Two of them got more than 90 percent in the best of 4.

 

 

Future Plan:

  • The effort is to keep all the children in the homes safe during the pandemic and at the same time to work towards their physical and mental health.
  • SBT is also working to upgrade the digital infrastructure at each home so that the children don’t miss out on the academic front.
  • Mental health team is working proactively with both the children and the staff and will increase the number of life skill sessions.

 

Story of change -

Sana (Name changed) belongs to Delhi and came to S.B.T. when she was 8 years old. Her mother had a tumultuous history of personal relationships and violence and her father had abandoned the family. The mother had no means to support her children and so she put them in our children home.

During initial phases of her stay in the children home, Sana had a tough time adjusting with other children. She often became anxious, angry, had mood swings and did not get along well with others. The team handledherwithcompassionandlove and worked on her strengths. She started doing well in academics and was quite sincere and her caliber was noticed.

She soon got a sponsor to support her education at The Lawrence School,Sanawar. This year she completed her 12th boards with 96 percent. She aspires to be a lawyer and is working hard to get through the top institutes of India.


Attachments:
Sep 8, 2020

general news - girls home and the boys homes

Introduction-

Salaam Baalak Trust’s residential centres are 24*7 programmes which provide shelter (long- term and/ or short-term) and a package of childcare services based on continuum of care approachtochildrenrescuedfromthestreets.Theseservicesincludemedicalcare,foodand nutrition (three hot cooked meals and evening nutrition), psychological support, education, vocational training, job placement, restoration and rehabilitation. The centres also provide sports and latent talent development opportunities for all round development of children. These residential centres are recognized and licensed under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme(ICPS)andtheJuvenileJusticeAct,2015.Theadmissionandcareplanofeachchildis made under the guidance of respective Child Welfare Committees(CWCs).

 SBT Residential Centres

SBT has 7 residential centres for children from street and vulnerable situations. The centres have the basic infrastructure –classrooms, play area, computer lab and dormitories. Each centre has a team of trained and compassionate caregivers who work towards the holistic development of the children residing in these homes.

 

Brief overview of the centres-

Centre

Catering to Boys or

Girls

Brief Overview

Aasra

Boys

Aasra was the first shelter home started by SBT. With a capacity of 50 it caters to boys of five to 18 years. It is an inclusive set up where children with disabilities and typically developing children reside together.

Apna Ghar

Boys

Itis a short stay centre, where 40 children come and stay for short duration and then they are either restored or transferred  in a long

stay home. The home was set under the JJ Act, 2000.

DMRC

Boys

DMRC Children’s Home was established as part of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s corporate   social responsibility.  The home

houses 125 boys from the age of five to below 18 years.

Old Delhi Railway Station (ODRS) Open Shelter

Boys

ODRS open shelter is an open centre catering to 30 boys. It is a short stay centre, where children come stay short duration and then they areeitherrestoredorpostedinalongstayhome.Thehomewas

set under the JJ Act, 2000.

Arushi

Girls

Arushi was first girls’ shelter home under SBT. It is an initiative to offer 24 hour shelter to 50 girls between the ages of five years to18 years living on the streets.

Udaan

Girls

Udaan was started in the year 2010. It started with eight girls and currently shelters 80 girls at a time.

 

Key Activities and Progress Update-

 

Residential Care

 A safe space is the most critical need for any child to realise his/her own full potential. Thus, we started residential programmes to provide safe child friendly shelter for children rescued from street situations and any other distress situations.Children residing in these homes have a sense of belonging and call it their own home.

 Nutrition

To meet the nutritional needs of children, nutritionally-balanced and hot-cooked meals are served at residential. The meals are prepared in the kitchen space provided at the centre under the supervision of staff members to ensure safe and hygienic practices. In some cases, children have special nutritional requirements due to illness such as tuberculosis and malnutrition. Such children are provided with special nutrition including protein supplements, additional servings of fruits and milk as prescribed by the doctor.

 Education

Education is integral to any child’s development and hence all the children residing in the homes are connected with education either through formal, non-formal or open school of learning depending on the strength of the child. Each centre has an in-house teacher who helps the children with their home work and also teaches the children who are studying through open learning.

 Medical Care

Children on the streets live in unsanitary conditions and are prone to various infections and diseases. Therefore, regular medical check-ups of the children are done at the full care residential centres. Individual health cards are maintained for each child. Whenever required, pathological tests are conducted as per the recommendation of the doctors. We have a full-time doctor employed with SBT solely for this purpose. Apart from that we also invite external doctors or get our children treated by specialists at hospitals.

 Mental Health-

 Full-time mental health professionals appointed in the centre provides psychological support and counseling to children. The mental health and psychological support helps children rescued from the streets get over their traumatic past. There are a team of 9 psychologists with a senior Psychiatrist who work towards the management plan of children having psychological difficulties.

 Vocational Training and Job Placement -

Children who are above 16 and/or have completed Class10 are linked to a wide range of vocational training courses. A career counselor matches children’s skill sets and interest with suitable courses. Based on counselor’s recommendation children join vocational courses of their choice. Children at SBT centres often opt for computer, travel and tourism, fashion designing, beauty culture and hotel management courses. Upon completion of their vocational training courses children are also assisted in finding gainful employment. The centre teams help children in applying forjobs.

 

 Restoration and Rehabilitation: Those children who are missing or run away from their homes often long for their families. The centre teams in conjunction with the CHILDLINE and police make efforts to find homes and families of these children and reunite them with their parents.

 

For those children who live in the residential centres till they turn 18, a proper rehabilitation plan is drawn. These young adults are not only linked to jobs butarealsosupportedinfindinganewaccommodationandareprovidedbasicnecessitiesto start a life such as bedding utensils and financial assistance for buying groceries and pay rent for up to three months. Rehabilitation is SBT’s carefully planned attempt to reintegrate the children back into societies as productive adults and responsiblecitizens.

 

A snapshot of services provided by the residential centres from January – June 2020 has been presented in the Table below.

 Activities

Number of Children

Shelter Provided

809 children

Restoration

370 children

Education (Formal Schooling)

150 children

Open Schooling

28 children

Non-Formal Education

524 children

Food and Nutrition

809 children

Health Check Up

761 children

Skill Development and Vocational Training

25 children

Job Placement

11 children

Rehabilitation

05 children

 

Challenges

Due to the Pandemic, there are limited opportunities for children to be constructively engaged There was a surge in mental health concerns of children and staff since the movement and the daily routine has been disturbed.

 

Initially, only few staff members could come to work and this led to classes being irregular. Younger children are particularly being affected due to the lockdowns as its difficult for them to comprehend the scenario.

 

Future Plan:

The effort is to keep all the children in the homes safe during the pandemic and at the same time to work towards their physical and mental health.

 

SBT is also working to upgrade the digital infrastructure at each home so that the children don’t miss out on the academic front.

 

Mental health team is working proactively with both the children and the staff and has increased the number of life skill sessions.


Attachments:
 
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