Oct 14, 2019

Girls Home computer Lab

Background Inspired by Mira Nair's film 'Salaam Bombay' in 1988, Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) grew out of Nukkad – a street-based intervention programme that began working with street children in and around New Delhi Railway Station. A sense of security – be it a safe sleeping place, a small cupboard to store their personal belongings, a somewhat set pattern to life (e.g. regulated timings for food, study, play, roll call and going to bed etc.) gives the children an environment to be creative and grow naturally, yet instills in them the idea of discipline and hard work to achieve their dreams. Once the sheer struggle for survival is over, only then can they begin to articulate and work towards their future. The girls living on streets in particular require safe space to remain secured from abuse, violence and exploitation. Understanding the need for security, nutrition, and opportunities for girls rescued from the streets, SBT started a full-care residential programme called Arushi Children’s Home for Girls in Gurugram. This was the first home set up for girls by SBT. The girls on the streets are exposed to numerous safety and security risks ranging from abuse to exploitation. Thus, providing them a safe space to stay is paramount to the care and protection. ArushiChildren’s Home for girls is specially designed to cater to all aspects of a child friendly homeventilation, amphitheatre, and open space around the building for playing, classrooms and dormitories. Arushi is an initiative to offer 24 hour shelter to girls between the ages of 5 years to 18 years living on the streets. TheHome consists of 56 beds for children in 6 dormitories. Each dormitory has 12 to 18 beds with attached toilet and bathroom. There is kitchen and dining space. Around 50 girls usually take meals at the centre. There is a medical van for transport of children in need of medical service. Introduction With the valuable donor support, computer room and hygiene products are being funded at Arushi Home. The present report provides the impact of these services on the girls at Arushi. A half yearly overview of the above mentioned activities is presented in the following sections. Progress Update In the reporting period the funded components brought significant incremental changes in the lives of the girls.

 

1. Computer Laboratory: A computer laboratory has been established and is fully functional at Arushi. The laboratory is equipped with seven computers along with one printer. A total of 30 girls have started learning computers from Ms. Shivangi, the Computer Teacher. She is coming twice a week for two hours each day. Younger girls have started to learn the basics of computers, while elder girls are learning Microsoft office. Girls also use computers to complete their assignments and homework. It is heartening to see the girls taking the computer classes seriously and seeing merit in digital literacy. They are becoming more confident about the usage of computers. Challenge: There is low awareness among girls on appropriate and safe use of internet. Online safety will be an important topic that the Computer Teacher will cover in the future classes.

 

  1. Usage of Hygiene kits: All girls in the Home are provided a hygiene kit comprising, toothbrush, tooth paste, comb, shampoo, hair oil, soap, body lotion and powder. The kit is providedto the children girls on a monthly basis. With the provision of hygiene kit, the Arushi team also explains the importance of maintaining personal hygiene. The hygiene kits have enabled girls to adopt regular hygiene habits. They have also inculcated a sense of responsibility to keep their hygiene kits and materials properly. Hygiene kit also forms an integral part of the services provided at the Home to maintain health of the girls.

Future Plan

In the coming reporting period, the Arushi team plans to cover advanced topics such as Microsoft Word and Powerpoint in computer classes including digital safety and secured online browsing. The team will also ensure continued provision of hygiene kits and create awareness on sanitation and hygiene among the girls.

Jul 17, 2019

Residential homes update

Introduction
Salaam Baalak Trust’s (SBT) has been working towards the care and protection of street children since 1988. One of the key components of our programme is to provide safe spaces for children. Thus, SBT has established children homes which provide shelter (long-term or short-term) along with a continuum of need based care services. These services include medical care, food and nutrition (three hot cooked meals and evening nutrition), psychological support, education, vocational training, job placement, restoration and rehabilitation. The homes also provide sports and latent talent development opportunities for holistic development. All the children homes are recognized and licensed under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) in tandem with Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. The admission and care plan of each child is made under the guidance of respective Child Welfare Committees (CWCs).


Key Activities and Progress Update


Children’s homes are child-friendly spaces designed for all-round development of children. The teams at these homes are skilled and experienced in working with street children. They work with children in a very compassionate manner such children can leave behind their harsh experiences on the streets and live together in the Home with one another like one big family. The children’s homes are well-equipped with essential physical infrastructure including classrooms, play area, dormitories and computer rooms and libraries.


Brief Overview of Different Children Homes :


Aasra Children Home for 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 currently located in Najafgarh.

Apna Ghar Open Shelter for Boys
It is a short stay home, where 30 children come to stay short duration and then they are either restored or transferred to a long stay home. It is currently located in Paharganj.


DMRC Children Home for 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. It is currently located in Tiz Hazari.

Old Delhi Railway Station (ODRS) Open Shelter for Boys
ODRS is an open centre catering to 30 boys. It is a short stay home, where children come to stay short duration. It is currently located in Mori Gate.


Arushi Children Home for Girls
Arushi was SBT’s first girls’ home. It offers 24-hour shelter and care to 50 girls between the ages of five years to 18 years. It is currently located in Gurugram.


Udaan-Rose Children Home for Girls
Udaan-Rose children’s home was initiated with the support of Give 2 Asia in March 2010. It started with eight girls and currently shelters 75 girls at a time. It is currently located in Kamla Nagar.


Residential Care: Children at the children’s home are provided shelter. A safe space is a felt critical need of children both boys and girls rescued from the unsafe streets. Aasra, Apna Ghar, Old Delhi Railway Station Open Centre (ODRS OC) DMRC Children’s Home are home for boys; Udaan and Arushi are children’s homes for girls. The children living in the homes get their own beds, clothes and hygiene kits. They spend their day according to a set routine living with other children. They develop a sense of belonging at the children’s homes considering it their own home.

Food and Nutrition: Besides serving the prime purpose of providing a ‘safe living space’ to children, children’s home offer a comprehensive package of services including food and nutrition. Children at the homes are provided three hot-cooked nutritious and well-balanced meals. Evening and special nutrition is provided to children suffering from malnutrition and undernutrition.


Education: At all the children homes, education of children is given utmost importance. Children whether coming for short stay or long stay are exposed to and involved in educational activities. Given the differential learning needs of children, education is imparted through formal, informal and open schooling. In-house classes are conducted by SBT teachers in a play-way and participatory manner. The children who come for long stay are prepared to join formal schools. The transition of out of school children to formal schools is a definite success paving the way for their vocational training and job placement.
Medical Care: In order to ensure that children are protected against all infections and ailments, medical social workers along with medical coordinator organise regular check-ups and vaccination camps of children. SBT’s in-house doctors conduct these check-ups and camps. Additionally, dental, eye and ear-nose and throat (ENT) check-ups are also conducted at the children’s homes. Adequate medical care lays a strong foundation for physical health of children.


Mental Health and Psychological Support: Full-time mental health professionals appointed in the homes provide psychological support and counselling to children. The mental health and psychological support help children rescued from the streets get over their traumatic past, become mentally stable and adequately acclimatize and adjust to the environment at the home. Individual and group activities are conducted with the children by the counsellors to unearth and sort unresolved issues and concerns of children.


Vocational Training and Job Placement: Children who are above 16 and/or have completed Class 10 are linked to a wide range of vocational training courses. A career counsellor matches children’s skill sets and interest with suitable courses. Based on counsellor’s recommendation children join vocational courses of their choice. Children at SBT homes 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 home teams help children in applying for jobs.

Restoration and Rehabilitation: Those children who are missing or run away from their homes often long for their families. The children’s home teams in conjunction with the CHILDLINE and police make efforts to find homes and families of these children and reunite them with their parents and significant others. For those children who live in the children’s home till they turn 18, a proper rehabilitation plan is drawn. These young adults are not only linked to jobs but are also supported in finding a new accommodation and are provided basic necessities to 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 responsible citizens.


 A snapshot of services provided from April 1, 2018-March 2019


Residential care provided
7721 (374 girls)

Restoration
2177 children

Education (Formal Schooling)
876

Open Schooling
75

Non-Formal Education
4373

Food and Nutrition
7721

Health Check Up
4132

Skill Development and Vocational Training
293

Job Placement
140

Apart from these activities, children celebrated festivals such as Eid, Holi, Diwali, X-Mas, and national holidays etc. Children also went for educational trips and tours. These activities helped children bond with each other and created a ‘we’ feeling among them.


Future Plan
SBT team plans to improve the existing quality of services through increased networks, better opportunities and staff capacity building. The team is making concerted efforts to reach a greater number of children in the coming year. Accelerated focus is being laid on formal schooling of children. More avenues are also being explored to link children and young adults with viable vocational training facilities.

Jul 15, 2019

Updates from the Girls home

Protecting the rights of girls living on the streets, Arushi Children’s Home for Girls (CHG) provides them a safe and enabling environment. Functioning in Gurugram, Haryana, the CHG caters to girls rescued from streets and difficult circumstances. Many of these girls come from broken and dysfunctional families, some of them are abandoned while some choose to run away from their oppressive homes. These girls are often in dire need of psychological and emotional support and an environment conducive to their all-round development. Recognising these needs, the team at Arushi provides a carefully planned set of services to the girls. These include shelter, health, education, skill development, and job placement and rehabilitation services.


Objectives
Realisation of street children’s rights to survival, health, education and development forms the foundation of Arushi’s functioning. Given this overarching goal, the key objectives of the CHG are as follows:
• To provide safe and secure space to girls rescued from streets and difficult circumstances
• To ensure their access to health, education and skill development facilities
• To empower and restore or rehabilitate girls back to their communities
Further, with the generous donor support girls in Arushi CHG have been able to access quality education and specialised skill development/vocational training services. The following sections present an update on overall performance of the CHG during the reporting period (July 2018-March 2019).


Progress Update
Education: The team at Arushi lays a lot of emphasis on education of girls. Keeping in mind the differential needs of girls, formal and non-formal education and open schooling opportunities are offered at the CHG. Additionally, the teachers at Arushi also conduct regular in-house classes to support the girls. In the reporting period, a total of 40 girls were studying in formal schools, while 29 were receiving non-formal education and 9 schools were enrolled in NIOS. The team stressed upon the need of securing good qualification for admission in quality higher education and vocational training institutes. It was heartening to see that girls in different age groups excelled in their studies with clear goals of higher education and skill development in their mind.

Health and Nutrition: Health and nutrition form a critical component of package of services provided at Arushi. The girls are provided three hot-cooked and balanced meals.Apart from this,special nutrition is provided to girls who are under or malnourished as prescribed by the doctor. The Medical Social Worker at the CHG also organises medical and health check-ups and provides first-aid services in case of emergency and facilitates hospitalisation of children when they are seriously ill. The children are also provided psychological support through individual and group counselling sessions organised by a trained counsellor. These sessions are instrumental in helping children get over their negative past and the trauma they experience on streets. Interaction with counsellor also helps children voice their issues, problems, concerns, dreams and aspirations. This helps the team forge stronger bonds of trust with children. During the reporting period, a total of 145 girls were provided first-aid and 28 girls were referred to hospital. All children at the CHG interacted with the counsellor through group and individual sessions.

Skill development and Vocational Training: The aim of skill development and vocational training activities is to not only enable children prepare for their future but also ensure their all-round development. To ensure this, children are linked to various skill and talent development courses such as dance, acting, music and puppetry. Subsequently, children who have passed Class 10 or have turned 16 are also prepared and guided by a career counsellor to pursue various vocational training courses such as beauty culture, hotel management, hospitality and travel and tourism. 

 Skill Development

Classical Dance
2
Guitar
1
Western Dance
2
Singing

2

: Vocational Training

Beauty Culture
3
Hotel Management
3
Stitching
4
Receptionist
1
Animal Care
1

 

Job Placement and Rehabilitation Reintegration of girls back into the communities as capable and self-reliant individuals is the key goal of job placement and rehabilitation services. The team at Arushi CHG helps girls in finding gainful employment as also enables them to start a life of their own. The preparation for the same begins as the girls near the age of 18 years. Sessions are organised with career counsellor wherein girls are motivated to lead a productive adult life. During these sessions, girls’ fears of living alone on their own are allayed and a sense of confidence is instilled among them. During the reporting period, sven girls secured jobs in beauty salons, cafeteria and hospitality industry. Key Achievements o Ten girls were rehabilitated during the period. o Majority of the girls got very good marks in their exams. o Seven girls were linked to different skill and development courses. o Five girls from the CHG participated in Inter-state Karate Championship. o Two differently abled girls were enrolled in a special school named Khushbu Welfare Society.


Challenges
Two key challenges faced by Arushi team include caring for the differently-abled children and mobilising funds for the CHG. The needs of differently-abled children are markedly different, they require specialised care and education. Linking them to special schools becomes challenging, as these schools charge high fees. Arushi team is trying to search for subsidised yet quality educational institutes for these children. Additionally, maintaining the quality of services at the CHG also entails continuous flow of funds. For this, the team has been trying to raise and mobilise funds. However, fund mobilisation remains challenging as staff members remain extremely caught up with their roles and responsibilities at the CHG.

Stories of Change
Ruby (name changed)
Ruby is a 16 year old charming and sensitive girl who came to Arushi at the age of 5. Her parents were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. She had a younger brother as well. Her family was unable to take care of her. In this situation, an organisation named Chelsea (working with people suffering from HIV/AIDS) sent the child to Arushi CHG for her further care and protection.
She was in need of parental care more than institutional care. So Arushi team took care of the child and gave her a lot of love and affection. Ruby was enrolled in non-formal education classes initially. She was also included in all other activities of the CHG. As she performed well in studies, she was enrolled to Anantam Public school. She completed her Class 5 from that school. Due to her good progress in academics. She was transferred to Rotary Public School. Over the years, she opened up to the staff and mingled with other children. She now has a positive outlook towards life, she is a talkative and chirpy girl and wants to enjoy her life to the fullest. She overcame the pain of separation of her family and changed herself during the years. She dreams of becoming an air hostess. Presently, she is studying in Class 10. She is well settled in the CHG and shares a good rapport with staff and children. She has been groomed as a very confident girl. Ruby is being motivated by the team to have sharper focus on her education. So that she can fulfil her dream of becoming an air hostess.
Siya
Siya came to the Arushi CHG at the age of 12. She was very stressed when she was sent to Arushi through Police on the orders of Child Welfare Committee. She had a traumatic past, her father died at a young age and the mother abandoned her. However, Siya missed her mother and felt very lonely. To help her get over her traumatic past she was constantly counselled by the psychologist. She was further involved in non-formal education classes and various other activities of the CHG. Soon, Siya started showing improvement in her behaviour and began interacting with the team and other children. Presently, she is well settled at the CHG. She has been enrolled in a formal school. She has shown interest in Dance. Resultantly, the team enrolled her in Classical Dance at Tansen Sangeet Mahavidyalya. The team is also counselling the child to focus on her studies and Mathematics in particular, as she finds the subject difficult. Siya also dreams of becoming an air hostess, the teachers at Arushi CHG therefore, encourage her to speak in English and read newspapers.


 
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