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Jun 12, 2017

Summer Vacation with lots of activities

The final work
The final work

After a long year to school the children started their summer break from April to early June.  The children look forward to the summer vacations as its all play and no school, but they also look forward to another event during the break "Summer Fiesta".  

The Summer Fiesta is about lots of workshops, activities and trips for the children during the summer break.  Just like any parent would plan activities for the children during the summer break the team here does  the parental role all the time.  

The team plans the schedule is keeping in mind the children's wishes and that the activities will help in overall development of the children.  

This year too the children enjoyed the following activities like flower painting, clay, pottery, trips to kidzania, Nehru Planetarium, drawing, learning good habits, dal sticking, garland making and much more such activities. 

Its one more week of vacations and children will start going to school.  Our children are enrolled in three different school as per their need and development.  

Children who are developmentlaly normal, go to a regular children and other children are provided special education in special schools including one for deaf and dumb.

We thank you for supporting us to provide invidualized care for the children.  

Pulses sticking activity
Pulses sticking activity
Volunteers helping during the activity
Volunteers helping during the activity
Mar 20, 2017

Driving Swapnil towards Ability

Sunita, Social Worker with a beneficiary parent
Sunita, Social Worker with a beneficiary parent

Thank you for your support to the Bal Asha Child Development Centre.  Your support has helped us in past three months to provide 897 therapies to more than 50 children.

One of them is Swapnil, aged 10 years.  Swapnil’s father contacted the centre as they were having concerns regarding his behaviour.  Primarily they felt that the child is hyperactive. 

They met the social worker and shared their concerns.  It is normally observed that most parents who are bringing up a child with disability don’t share about the problems within their social circles due to fear of social stigma.  The social worker understands that the parents come in contact with the centre to get help for the child, but also that they themselves need counselling and support.

The social worker soon arranged for the child to be assessed by the developmental paediatric.  After the assessments, it was identified that the child due to long term unresolved issues will need extensive remedial therapy. 

The family shared that they could not afford the treatment as Swapnil’s father lives in a small chawl (room) in Mumbai.  He drives a school bus and earns Rs. 10,000/- ($150) a month.   He is supporting a five-member family within that salary.

The social worker assured him that the centre will be happy to extend help in all the required areas provided he promised to continue the long-term therapies without any delay.  She visited Swapnil’s home and was satisfied that the financial condition of the family is not good and they need the support towards the therapies.  Swapnil is currently receiving therapies from the centre.

We are thankful to you for helping children like Swapnil.  More then Swapnil it’s his family who realises there are people like you who help in turning disability to ability.

Please continue your support by starting a recurring donation.

Mar 16, 2017

A Volunteers view to Bal Asha's work

Greeshma Rajeev.jpeg
Greeshma Rajeev.jpeg

I have been writing blogs for Bal Asha since September. Last month, I decided to take my association with them one step further and conduct dance workshops for the Bal Asha children every Saturday. It was during my sessions with the children that I understood some of the inner workings of the organization; I received insights that were not privy to me when I was doing remote content writing projects for them. Here’s what I realized.

People talk about impact in terms of numbers and metrics. Your success rates depend on how many lives you can better, not on how much better you can make them. But being at Bal Asha made me think twice about this notion. There are not hundreds of children at the home, but each one is cared for. Each child has specific needs in terms of how they should be engaged with as well as their dietary and medical requirements. The team at Bal Asha is very aware of this. There are schedules and measures put in place to ensure that each child receives special attention, kind of like we do when we are at home with our parents; all our needs are taken care of and we feel loved. Being at Bal Asha is something like that too.

It was then that I realized that the quality of care cannot be translated into metrics or monetary figures. I realized that the essence of working in this social space is not always about widespread giving, it’s about the quality of the service that we provide. That’s Leadership Rule #1 for you.

Here’s another learning from my time at Bal Asha—you are only as good as the people that make up your organization. I know this because of the way that the children at the center look to the staff. They respect the staff enough to know that they must behave (a feat I must admit I have not yet achieved; they are more than happy to run around as I chase them and play with them) and yet, they love the didis that take care of them. I witnessed this at the end of one of the workshops, when the kids requested the song ‘Zingaat’. When I played it, something magical happened. The entire energy in the room changed. I went from being the teacher to a spectator, as I watched the staff dance along and coddle the children as if they were their own. The children and the staff members knew every single word and action that went along with it. As I saw them dancing, I thought about how the real strength for Bal Asha comes from its team, which is true of any successful organization. Cue—Leadership Rule #2.

Now, for Leadership Rule #3, I would like to tell you about how valued I feel when Sunil, the director of Bal Asha, gives me feedback on my blogs. He tells me periodically about how his open rate has increased, how much time I am saving him, and boasts about my writing to anyone in the vicinity. It makes me feel like I am contributing something to a larger cause. By informing me of the kind of value that I am adding to the organization, he ensures that I stay connected to the cause. This, in my opinion, is the way to treat your supporters, employees, volunteers etc. so that they naturally feel inclined to help.

To sum up, here are the Leadership Rules that I have learnt from my volunteering experience at Bal Asha Trust:

1. Quality is key.

2. The team is the most important part of any organization.

3. Make your supporters feel valued by giving feedback.

Greeshma Rajeev
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