Dec 19, 2018

New Rainbows

Girls dance hour
Girls dance hour

New Rainbows

 

Dear Readers aka the extended family of Rainbow Homes Program.

The very purpose of these reports is to share with you the newest exciting additions and impactful journeys that we make as an organisation when reaching the maximum number of street children. One such wonderful addition to our reach and extent is placing a new Rainbow Home in Domlur Area of the metro city Bangalore. This report talks about how Mahadevi, a girl aged 13 found happiness, shelter, care, protection and a new world where she can read, write, question, and explore herself and the world around her.

Mahadevi, 13 lives in Domlur Rainbow Homes in Bangalore. Its been six months of exhilarating journey for her here, where she was first brought in from the streets where she roamed and begged around bus stops and railway stations with her parents. Mahadevi had never learnt to read or write, never known what schools are like or how one speaks in different languages, hers being regional Kannada. The newest Rainbow Home, home of Mahadevi currently hosts 27 girls of different ages, all belonging to the poorest of poor, nomadic and street situation families. Never been enrolled into school, Mahadevi is currently pursuing her Bridge courses, which helps her to gain the time she lost on par of a normal student her age. When talking to her teachers, she's seen making remarkable progress. She says numbers are very interesting and so are the stories she learns in her English lessons. When she first came to the home, she was a shy but always a cautious girl on her feet. One thing that we learn from these children is that streets have already made them into a fighter, a quick and constant vigilant person of their own. It is now our responsibility that in the homes, they come out of their shells and let down their guard a bit to live and laugh with the children their age. Mahadevi now freely socialises with her friends in the home, her three sister committee, where she has an older and one younger Akka (sister). During meetings with her parents, she properly addresses them and reflects on her bonds with her mother and father and how she plans to support them when she grows up. Having built up a stronger base in numbers and basic English and her regional languages, the home mothers have started planning Mahadevi's enrollment in a school by the start of next session. Her child progress report as maintained in all the Rainbow Homes highlights her attributes like quick thinking, socialising, self-confidence as a person. When asked about what she loves the most in the home, she tells her tales of delicious food that she eats every day with her sisters.

Over the course of the build-up of this Rainbow Home, it has the current strength of 27 young girls aged from 7 to 15. Even being new, the project Incharge Mr Santosh makes sure the homes never stay mundane in its everyday activities. They have an all-time arrangement with international volunteers from Spain, and abroad to teach children Mindfulness, sports, dance and music. Other activities since the month of its inception in April 2018, the home has participated and conducted activities like Yoga class, Meditation class, Iron and colour Therapy, Craft Class, Bharatanatyam and Singing class, Monthly Birthday Celebration, Outings, All Religion Festivals, Counseling Facility from Banjara Academy. And also an appointment of a Counselor. Once in a month, the home conducts health camp for the girls. 

From Organisational POV, the home in its build-up stage is self-sustainable when it comes to creating its own image with stakeholders like local schools, school Teachers, volunteer, Visitors, Donors, and Locals. The smiles and peals of laughter and the jovial nature of the girls create a happy home and good bonding with its residential staff of 9 members, where the two home mothers and counsellor are every girl's top favourite. An international volunteer who is a regular in the homes states " this rainbow home provides Nutritious food, Homely feel, Friendliness, Cleanliness, Good Environment...I have personally experienced it in the food I ate and the girls I taught."

Apart from local resource mobilisation, what the home truly needs is a corpus to build better facilities and infrastructure which is rather slow because of lack of funds. The challenges Mahadevi's homes currently faces include Blockage of Drainages, Lack of Toilets, No proper Bathrooms, Lack of rooms, Scarcity of Drinking water.

The other challenges faced by the homes social mobilizers, in particular, are; parents, they change their residence and contact number, often without prior information, making it difficult to make follow up. We hope your continued support with talking about us to your friends and collegues will bring in more awareness and inlcusion of people from far and beyond to help these young'uns in reclaiming their rightful childhood and help them become strong independent , empthatic and responsible global citizens of Urban India.

Girls for their Storytelling Session
Girls for their Storytelling Session
Posing after a Festival
Posing after a Festival
Home Premises
Home Premises
Un, deux, trois
Un, deux, trois
Oct 22, 2018

Shabnam's Udaan

Shabnam : A Rainbow Home Young Adult
Shabnam : A Rainbow Home Young Adult

Transition to adulthood is particularly challenging for children who were in difficult circumstances, being formerly on street, facing vulnerabilities and exploitations. Rainbow Homes Program, in its decade-long existence, has provided comprehensive care to over 3000 children, many of whom who are in their teenage years currently. These young adults need to be provided with care and guidance that help them transition smoothly into adulthood – skills and opportunities for post-secondary and vocational education, income generation, social integration and independent living outside the homes. Keeping in mind, the specific needs of these young adults, Rainbow Homes have designed an appropriate transition programme “Udaan” - literal meaning ‘taking flight’ for them. The whole aim of project Udaan is to prepare these young people get emotionally strong and assertive in being able to start living on their own, taking everyday life decisions, learn financial management to be able to take care of their personal expenses, become socially involved in society as a global citizen, help support their family (living relatives, immediate family, siblings etc).
Your donations under the Udaan Project, are core funds that help the caretakers design programs that help these young adults to research education avenues, find jobs, a placement, get coachings for competitive exams, stipends for group living, undergo life plans assessments (where they chart out their career plans with the help of experts and counsellors). It becomes a new life for them where they have triple the burden than that of a normal legal adult. They have to :
Transit out of the residential care home of rainbow homes and Sneh ghars and find out a place of their own which adds up to their personal expenses which were covered earlier : (housing & rent, electricity and commute, food and health, education fees etc)
Secondly, they have pressures of continuing their further studies, where they should keep good grades and also look for avenues in education that can provide them with student exemptions, sports scholarship or government or institutional scholarships.
They have to look for a source of an income (part-time jobs) to keep continuing studies, support their immediate or remaining family (surviving parents, siblings or close guardians)
They have to upkeep their emotional balance, ensuring they eat healthily and upkeep their physical strengths.

This report talks about one such young adult named Shabnam, who as a young adult is reaching her legal age and has begun her transition into proper adulthood under the Udaan Program. Shabnam is a 16-year-old girl who has been living at Kilkari Homes since 2008 along with her 4 sisters. She is currently pursuing class 10th from Government senior secondary school, Chabiganj. She has also been enrolled in NIIT for a 4-month course on basic computers and spoken English. She aspires to work in an MNC and understands that it requires a lot of hard work and fluency in English to be successful in the job and is ready to take up all the challenges which come her way. On talking to her about this program as a workshop means to her and how it might help kids her age step into independent living she responds that - we teens have to go through such an extreme change, living a sheltered life among the home mothers, and friends and rainbow family and then within a year once you pass your 12th grade you're asked to choose career options. Emotionally its scary, and strenuous. We need to be very sure about what we need to take our major subjects, what’s our interest, how will that position me as an adult in my career, what designation will it be? How to study for it? How much to study for it? Where to study from? The cost of study materials, which government college can provide me with good scholarships? How to be eligible for it? Which exam to take in and when? What I the criteria and pattern of the exam? What will be the fees? Can I take advantage of the Indian Reservation Quotas? How long will it take for me to complete my studies further? How much will I earn, will I be able to take care of my family, my siblings or not, where will I live, how will manage to do household chores and attend regular classes, do I need to take up extra jobs on a part-time basis to support my personal expenses? The list appears endless of all the ifs and buts. Emotions of fear, hopes and expectations, dreams and aspirations get all mixed up. I remember, feeling so confused whenever someone asked me this question.

After she underwent the four-day workshop of Udaan in the northern region of India, Sidhbhari Himachal Pradesh, with 186 other young adults like her, she transformed her worrisome state into a more confident, cheerful and hopeful self where she now adds up the experience as “fun, learning, a wonderful opportunity to make new friends, extend your dreams and vision, get hands-on help with experts in your selected field, and best way to remove your doubts and fears. A change of pace and place where the workshop was helped me see more of the world, it was an exciting place in the mountains to achieve higher concentration and focus and it was my very first time seeing mountains and the life people live there. Being close to nature and with new friends to make I learnt there are other things in life and that my own tragic childhood is one of the stories amongst the other hundred of my friends. Their struggles and their smiles showcase the inner strength and determination they have for the future. It hugely inspired me to give in my best too.

“Kilkari Rainbow home is very important to me as it provides me with education, emotional and financial support and it helps us engage in various extra-curricular activities such as dance, sports etc. All the house mothers and staff are really supportive and guide me to do well in life” - Shabnam.

On being asked about her views on challenges faced by the young adults and herself, she states:
“The major challenge in education which I feel is that most children are not fluent in English and have a hard time understanding and speaking English properly. Also, another major challenge is completing 12th before leaving Rainbow Home as many children start their studies late and aren’t able to complete it till 18 years of age.
- career guidance
Many children are weak in studies and don’t want to opt for courses that require better educational qualifications. Though we are provided with regular career guidance sessions, yet I feel many young adults are unable to utilize the opportunities to the maximum.
- opportunities?
There are many opportunities for all the young adults, still many young adults are not able to grab it as the minimum requirement everywhere is 12th or graduation due to which the kids feel anxious and pressure of passing the exams.
- responsibilities on you?
I mainly feel responsible for my sisters who are staying at Kilkari. The challenge here is that I am sceptical if I will become successful in life before I could support my siblings.
- personal health?
There is a lot of pressure on us about completing education and professional course simultaneously. As we turn 16, we are enrolled in a professional course alongside our studies. This is a good thing as we are given opportunities, however, sometimes it does take a toll on personal health.
- Financial planning on your own?
I feel scared thinking about the time when I leave Rainbow homes. One thing which always makes me think is the thought that I will have to pursue my education and work for a livelihood simultaneously. Financial planning may become difficult at that time as I had to pay for my education as well as my day to day expenses which will also include the rent of the place where I will be living in.
- Family Support (whether you will support or they will support you)
I want to financially support my sisters and all the children of Kilkari Rainbow Home through donations and sponsoring and helping them in any way I can.

Wishing Shabnam the best of luck for her first flight to her dreams!

Morning Session of Udaan Workshop
Morning Session of Udaan Workshop
Session : Qualities of a good Human being
Session : Qualities of a good Human being
My life till now, reminiscing life events
My life till now, reminiscing life events
Shabnam teaching her siblings.
Shabnam teaching her siblings.
Sep 10, 2018

Ishika & her Friends

Karate Belt Test Participants
Karate Belt Test Participants

Greetings, dear reader

Firstly, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of you, whose donations, time and efforts have helped make a positive impact in the lives of Ishika and her friends at Rainbow Homes and Sneh ghars in eight cities all across India.

Ishika, aged 14 is a bright and sporty rainbow home girl who studies in 8th standard at St. Mary's School, Delhi. Coming from a very poor upbringing, she belonged to a vulnerable family with an alcoholic father and abused mother, where both of them used to quarrel and indulge in extreme domestic violence and instability. Sadly, the mother burnt herself to death, where the doctors couldn't save her. This incident left her and her brother aged merely 5 and 3 years respectively, with nowhere to go. Soon after, they lost their father, their aunt and uncle, the surviving guardians were incapable of taking care of the children. After admission into rainbow homes, she and her brother (admitted in Sneh ghar) have been living in comprehensive care facilities of Rainbow Home model where the care, given is focused on: education, nutrition, healthcare, futures, and protection. Now she's bloomed into a girl with extreme potential in sports, creativity and education. Among the list of subjects, her favourite is English, because the teacher, in her opinion, goes out of her way to help the children to come at par with fluent English speaking children. Her very recent achievements include: heading the sports team as middle school -  Sports Captain at St. Mary's. Being a keen and quick learner, her interests lie in Rugby, Football, Athletics, and Dancing. On being asked about her present living and future options she says: "I am happy and I love to stay here at Khushi Rainbow Home. I don’t need to be loved by my other relatives forcefully”. She hasn’t figured out what exactly to become in life but says she would love to become dance teacher if her aim of becoming an English teacher doesn't work out by any chance.

Apart from Ishika, her friends (Rahul, Amita, Naina, Heena too, have excelled in various areas from education to extracurriculars.

Educational Achievements
Looking particularly in cities like Delhi Rainbow Homes & Sneh Ghar, all children passed their academic exams for the year 2017-18 except a few, who could not pass due to certain reasons like health issues. From older groups, 4 children got promoted to class XI, and two to class XII. We enrolled all children of futures group (aged 16-18yrs) in learning courses of their interest such as E- Accounting, basic IT, Spoken English, French-speaking course, IT Expert, Web Designing, Beautician training and more. Facilities of a remedial class were provided to all children for each and every subject. During vacations, we planned a theme-based project where teachers focused on reading, writing, speaking and confidence building where 5 children showed impressive progress. Now, they can read and write efficiently as per their grade level. 

Extracurricular: At least four types of talent mentoring or enrichment activities were introduced to homes covering all or maximum children through professional tie-ups by organizations in - Art and Craft, Music, Dance, Sports, Yoga, Martial Arts and Theater. We also ensure and celebrate major festivals of all religion manifesting the universal feeling of secularism and fraternity. Recreational activities such as outdoor exposure trips are also conducted on regular activities based on Life skills, and knowledge. 

Like Ishika, her friends from Patna, Bihar Rainbow Homes (40 children from age group 9 to 16yrs.) participated in a workshop focusing on combating disasters like earthquake. This short training was organized at Muskurahat Aman Sneh Ghar. Dr Shrawan (Trainer on disaster preparedness) and Mr Utapan provided information on disasters, its impact on the larger population and the reason behind the occurrence of an earthquake. It was an activity based training where children enacted possible preventive steps during an earthquake

Ishika - Khushi Rainbow Home Girl
Ishika - Khushi Rainbow Home Girl
Amita "Gold Medalist"
Amita "Gold Medalist"
Heena Hussain
Heena Hussain
Remedial Classes
Remedial Classes
Disaster Preparedness Workshop
Disaster Preparedness Workshop
Ishika 's Friend Priyanka Pardeep
Ishika 's Friend Priyanka Pardeep
Newspaper Activity
Newspaper Activity

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