Nov 25, 2020

Digital literacy for underserved youth in Delhi

Nandan
Nandan

Hello Everyone,

Greetings of the day!!!

My name is Nandan, I reside at Navjivan Camp which is considered to be a slum community at Govind Puri, Delhi. And I got connected with Udayan Care IT Centre through one of my friends and with the constant support from Udayan Care IT Centre, Govind Puri, I have successfully completed the Tally PRO course. After completing my schooling, I decided to pursue my graduation in commerce stream from Delhi University through the distance learning programme due to my family’s economic condition whereas my father is the sole breadwinner of the family who works as a helper in a factory in order to meet family’s needs and expectations.

Due to COVID-19, my father lost his job and thus there was no income at home and the situation got worse during this pandemic. Despite the lockdown & pandemic, the Udayan Care IT team continued their work towards us and supported us in whatever ways they could. I was blessed and happy to be a part of Udayan Care IT team, as this pandemic did not stop my trainer to train me virtually and complete my course on time, post completion of my course I got an opportunity through Udayan Care placement cell to appear for an interview in a Chartered Accountant firm for an internship and I got selected at “ND Kapoor & Co” as an Account-Intern where I would receive a stipend too.

Though I have got the placement, still I am being trained to build my capacity, acquire professional etiquette, and develop my personality. During my computer, I have spoken on hobbies where I enjoy drawing sketches and even I have participated in many activities which were held at our IT centre (before COVID). During one of our training session, I was informed by my trainer about the “Hero Ki Diwali” an event which is going to be organized by Hero MotoCorp, I found this activity quite interesting and thus gave it a thought of participating in it.

Hero MotoCorp (HMCL) has been in association with Udayan Care since 2007, in 2017 our Govind Puri computer learning centre was established to train underserved community youth in job-specific IT courses and provide digital literacy training to school going students. As we all are struggling to overcome the situations due to COVID 19 and taking safe precautionary measures to keep ourselves safe. To make a positive and happy environment on the occasion of Diwali Hero MotoCorp took a wonderful initiative through a striking event called “Hero Ki Diwali” which was an online talent show for underprivileged children under the Hero Umbrella. The show invites the budding talent of children (9 to 18 years) and provides them a platform to showcase their talent and get exposure to the corporate.

They conducted 4 competitions categories such as Music/Dance/Acting or Poetry Recitation/Drawing or painting. Each competition category was based on a theme like for painting and drawing the theme was “Environment conservation” for other performing arts the theme was “Local heritage and cultural promotion”. The whole event was completely organized virtually and team Hero created a platform where students had to upload their paintings, dance videos, music audios & videos for participation. In total there were 69 participants from 8 NGOs partners of Hero MotoCorp who participated in Hero Ki Diwali, and 4 students participated from Udayan Care IT Centre. I had participated in a Drawing competition as per my interest where I made a poster showing save the environment, two students Santosh and Kajal also participated in Drawing category but one of my batchmate Ragini beautifully dressed up at her home and performed on a folk song (lokgeet), her sister helped to shoot her performance through mobile, our centre staff helped us to upload our video on the portal. 

Dated 12th Nov Hero Ki Diwali invited all the participants on a single platform where Vijay Sir from HMCL interacted with all the participants and motivated us for taking up meaningful activities in our lives and to stay happy. We were all nominated for some prize. Overall the event was beautifully structured to celebrate Diwali, following proper distancing and stay free from crackers, to save our environment.  I have been associated with many activities during my training in Udayan Care IT Centre, and I always ensure my presence in every industry expert session, workshop, co-curricular activities which were conducted to ensure our holistic development. Recently I came to know Udayan Care collaborated with NIIT Foundation to conduct a “Financial Literacy” workshop which is of two hours structured session to cover multiple topics related to insurance, benefits of savings, etc. On 19th Nov’20, Suryakant Sir from NIIT Foundation organized a virtual workshop session, with around 80 trainees who participated from four centres, namely West Vinod Nagar, West Delhi, South Delhi, and Noida. Suryakant Sir started the session with a small brief about the topics that he would cover during the session, the workshop started with a video which was exquisitely made using animated characters called Ginni and Vijay, who explained about the income and expenditure. It was about the importance of income, expense, and particularly savings. The participants were acquainted with the financial diary in which one can maintain the details of the expense so that unnecessary expenses can be avoided. The difference between the need and want was also discussed to understand the analysis of the expense and the importance of Savings, backed up with the fact that how and why there is utmost need to save. In the next section, participants were introduced about the various insurance like life insurance and general insurance, under the head of general insurance category and other types of insurance like car, shops, house, and ornaments are included and the importance of Mediclaim insurance was cleared too. We all were made aware of where the claimants can complain if the insurance money is not released at the time of need. The workshop ended with the Q&A session where the participants cleared their doubts; altogether it was very interactive and beneficial for the participants as they gained knowledge about diverse finances like income, expense, savings, Insurance, investments, and the Govt policies in a diminutive span of two hours.

 

About Udayan Care

Udayan Care is a Public Charitable Trust, working for the last 26 years, for the quality care of disadvantaged children and women.

About IT centers programme

Udayan care Information Technology centre tends to brings digital media closer to the underserved society of the people to improve their livelihoods. Currently, we are running 15 IT centers in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana and have impacted the lives of more than 17,488 beneficiaries.

Our centers offer certificate courses in basic computer knowledge, diploma and advanced courses in computer application. Workshops on Spoken English, life skills training and job readiness are also a part of the curriculum.

Hero ki Diwali competition
Hero ki Diwali competition
Financial Literacy Workshop
Financial Literacy Workshop
Oct 13, 2020

Empower 50 needy girls in India through education

Coffee Webinar
Coffee Webinar

Background

Udayan Shalini Fellowship programme of Udayan Care is a unique academic excellence and personality development programme for deserving and talented girls from weaker socio-economic background aiming to turn them into empowered and dignified women or Shalinis. It is unique because it goes beyond being a usual scholarship programme by not only supporting higher education but also providing regular mentoring and leadership development and inculcating a sense of social responsibility in them.

 

Summary

The last few months have been tough for all of us with the rising pandemic and looming disparities around us, but it has also taught us to fight, survive and above all emerge as warriors. The toll of Covid-19 has prompted us to view the world with a different perspective.

The USF team in the last quarter made all efforts to reach out to Shalinis and support them in whichever way possible to make them feel safe and secure. Continuing with our practice of assessment of Shalinis according to their needs, they were supported either financially or were provided with basic essentials to sustain themselves. The first quarter posed certain difficulties but by the second quarter, we were able to adapt ourselves and use the situation to the best of our abilities.

Shalinis and their families were connected virtually with us bringing them closer and thus allowing us to help them sail through the phase and assure them that someone is looking out for them. Various workshops, mentor-mentee meets, parents meet, and motivational sessions were also organized during this phase to enhance their skills and ensure that we do not lose them in the grim and depressing world outside.

The second quarter spanning from July to September brought smiles to our faces many times, our Shalinis performed exceptionally well in their 12th class board exams across 20 chapters making all of us proud.

We started with our selection process despite critical situations all because of the never-ending support of our donors, extensive volunteer network, and extended USF family including mentors, convenors, and core committee members.

Spanning from July to September, our Shalinis had the privilege of attending sessions conducted by experts from various walks of life, and to sum it up, we conducted 4 Employability sessions on topics like Assertiveness & Non-Verbal Communication. Various small workshops and sessions were also conducted on topics like Tours & Travel, Combating Stress to keep our Shalinis motivated and positive. It has been a sheer blessing to have support from partners like Ernst & Young & TATA who have helped us keep our Shalinis encouraged through regular workshops, mentoring, and positivity. As an initiative to keep our Shalinis engaged we also conducted various other activities like Motivational Session by  Toolika and Personality Development by Nitu to keep them away from the effects of the outside world.

 

Key Highlights

  • Coffee Webinar with TATA Starbucks HR.
  • EY Mentoring implementation with 118 Shalinis from North Delhi Chapter.
  • 2 Shalinis attended virtual session at UN Women Webinar
  • ICICI Financial Literacy session with 20 Shortlisted Shalinis
  • 4 Employability sessions in the quarter
  • Successful 12th board result of Shalinis with 31 Shalinis scoring above 80%
  • 12th Class Shalinis interview on ‘Mental Health.’
  • 7 Shalinis appeared for HCL Exam and 2 have been selected.
  • Manvika took career counseling session with 12th Class Shalinis

 

JULY

ICICI Session | Jitender & Sudarshan | 1st July 2020

An ICICI Financial Literacy Session was conducted for different USF Chapters where North Delhi, Shalinis have also participated. More than 80 Shalinis have joined the session conducted by Jitender (Facilitator). The purpose of the session was to explain the different banking terminologies, types of accounts, important policies, loan facilities, etc.   

The facilitator covered the following points throughout the session-  

  • Meaning and Types of Savings
  • Banking Services (Savings Account, Fixed Deposit, Recurring Deposit, Multi Option Deposit Scheme, E-FDs, NEFT, RTGS, IMPS etc.)
  • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna (provides loan to all but farmers; checklist of docs to apply)
  • CIBIL
  • Difference between RuPay Card and Visa/Master Card
  • Education Loan
  • Insurance and its types (Life and Non-Life Insurance)
  • Social Security Scheme (PM Suraksha Bina Yojna, PM Jeeven Jyoti Beema Yojna) 

 A video was played which displayed the power and value of savings. Sudarshan cleared all the queries our Shalinis had after the session. The mode of the workshop was bilingual and very understandable. Being in student life, saving seems to be difficult task but it plays an important role.

 

Small Group Workshop | Project Management by Jatin (TATA Volunteer) | Batch 15 |  3rd July 2020

The session aimed to address 3rd year Shalinis conducted by Jatin and the session was on Project Management where he shared his knowledge and experience to make the content more reliable and understandable. The facilitator first briefed the meaning of ‘Project Management’ and its importance. Project management works as a process to achieve goals at a specific time with the help of team-mates. Its primary role is to achieve goals in the given timeline and address constraints to avoid delay in work with good outcomes. Project management includes initiative, planning, execution, directing, and monitoring (evaluation). He further added that if we want to pursue your career as a Project Manager then you must be organized, knowledgeable, and a multitasker. Visibility of your work comes with team & other party’s feedback and it helps you to grow & improve. Project management skills make you a good communicator, strong leader, and effective problem-solver. The session included many practical examples, he explained the concepts very clearly and deliberately. He highlighted key points of Project Management, given ideas on new start-ups and scholarship policies. Overall, Shalinis liked the session.

 

Motivational Session by Toolika on 4th July 2020

The session was conducted with different USF Chapters on a motivational topic. It was taken by Toolika who shared her life experience which proved to be motivational and helpful for Shalinis to connect with her. She was an Air Force Officer for 10 years and then did mountaineering and now started writing a book. She became the first woman from Uttar Pradesh to climb Mt. Everest in 2011. With 22 mountaineering expeditions and treks in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Africa, Russia, and Iran, she is the first Indian woman to climb the highest volcano of Asia. 

She said – “Raste Aaj nahi to, Kal jarur milega”.

Shalinis got emotional and inspired by her words that a person who won over body weaknesses and had the courage to fulfill the aspired goals. She always carried a zeal in her heart and turned her dreams into reality. She did River Rafting, Paragliding, Mountaineering, climbing, and these all experiences helped her to feel close to nature and bring real happiness of life which is better than a man-made environment. In addition, she talked about how to set our goals and how to achieve that without giving-up. Giving-up is not a solution, you have to work hard and face challenges with a positive mind-set. She shared when she aimed to go into the Air Force at that time, people used to say that a girl should not pursue such a profession. These all mind-set of people and other challenges never put her will-power down. Throughout the session, Shalinis were very attentive and got inspired She stood-up like a Warrior. In summary, she gave an important message that one must not give up in any situation, fulfill your dreams, be passionate and you will definitely be succeeding.

 

Small Group Workshop | Environment Protection & Solutions by Swapan (TATA Volunteer) on 5th July 2020

The session was conducted with Batch-17th (1st year Shalinis) and Batch-18th (12th Class Shalinis) on Environment-Its solution and protection. This session designed to address environmental issues and being a responsible citizen, it is our primary responsibility to protect our natural resources.  Our life is surrounded by nature and we should always be respectful towards it. Throughout the session, Swapan talked about many integrities that should be addressed timely & how humans are becoming a danger to the environment. Our coming generation will suffer if we do not take any legal and effective action to stop such happenings. Out past actions will ensure our future. He talked about steps that need to take to prevent environment, geographical information, talked about 3R- Reuse, Reduce, Recycle. He suggested some important rules to protect the environment-

  • Unnecessary do not use electricity.
  • Ozone Layer effect
  • Awareness on ill-effect
  • Safe bio-diversity
  • Follow the afforestation

 Overall, the session covered all the aspects to aware and they thoroughly enjoyed a lot.

 

Combating Stress for a Better Life | 6th July 2020

A workshop was conducted on 'Combatting stress for a better life' on 6th July with mixed batches where everyone was introduced the Revelation Bliss Platform. This platform stresses the importance of Mental Health and its effect on Physical Health. The speakers of the workshop were: Shalini, Anueta, Akshita and Himanshu. Topics covered were:

         Ineffective and Effective Coping strategies

         Biological, Cognitive, and Hormonal Aspects of Stress

         Yoga Practices to combat Stress, Yogic Diet, and Yogic Music

In this current scenario, it is important to address these issues and Shalinis found it very useful.

 

Career Counseling Session by Manvika, Batch 18 | 9th July 2020

A career counseling session was conducted on 9th July 2020 by Manvika. It was conducted with Batch-18th (12th Class Shalinis). The session started with an introductory round and then the facilitator explained about different career options as the Shalinis are from different backgrounds (Humanities, Arts, Commerce, and Science).  She quoted- As a woman, we need to be financially independent. Be focused on what you actually want to become in life. A woman needs to focus on these aspects- Education, Financial independence, and the right choice about life. A presentation was shown for every particular stream which helped Shalinis to know about multiple options that are available and are in demand. In the end, the facilitator gave answers to all the questions in a given time and it provided clarity on options to Shalinis.

 

Coffee Webinar by Saniya & Monica (HR-TATA Starbucks) | 10th July 2020

The session aimed to address college-going Shalinis who are interested in corporate jobs. It was designed to give detailed and useful information that one should know before entering in the corporate world. The speaker of the session was: Saniya and Monica from TATA Starbucks. They both got associated through one of the TATA Volunteers- Chetna. Both facilitators have started the session with a short and impactful introduction. Sanya first initiated the session with their Mission and Values which says, “To Inspire and nurture the human rights- One person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” She also talked about the storytelling tradition in TATA Starbuck and the interesting story behind their Logo. At Starbucks, they share a special story, one that weaves together their history with the individual stories of their partner. Stories should always be rooted in their mission and values. Meanwhile, she talked about tools that help anyone to succeed in life. She beautifully engaged Shalinis and asked questions in between. The session proved to be helpful to understand TATA Starbucks working culture, future openings, and scope area.

 

Employability Workshop | Assertiveness by Kunal (TATA Volunteer) on 25th July 2020

The session was conducted by Kunal (TATA Volunteer) on Assertiveness with Batch-17th (1st-year Shalinis). It was designed to make Shalinis understand the significance of emotional and physical balance through assertiveness, create a sense of confidence, benefit of being assertive, and developing assertiveness qualities. The facilitator started the session by stating the meaning of being Assertive- Standing up confidently for your own rights and others’ rights, expressing one’s opinions, having an open mind to listen to others’ without hurting others’ sentiments.’  He talked about three different ways of responding to anyone which reflects your personality~ Passive, Assertive, and Aggressive. He further briefed Passive means –You Win, Assertive means- Win-Win Situation for both the parties, and Aggressive means- I win. It is very important to freely express your views and stand out confidently without being aggressive or responding in a negative form. He shared an example to check how much information Shalinis have inculcated throughout the session and it was amazing to see that Shalinis responded correct answer to each question. He concluded the session by highlighting some important points about an assertive person. An assertive person has a balanced behavior, is open in expression, listens to others patiently, admits mistakes and apologize, etc, and being assertive provides you benefit of not taking you for granted, a win-win situation for everyone, encourages everyone, create a healthy environment and avoid unnecessary actions. At last, he said- It is important that you combine confident thinking with confident body language in order to be assertive. Overall, it was a very engaging and fruitful session wherein Shalinis gained amazing knowledge and enjoyed well.

 

Employability Workshop | Initiative & Enterprising by Nitin (TATA Volunteer) on 31st July 2020

The session was designed with Batch-15th (3rd-year Shalinis) on Initiative and Enterprising. It was taken by Nitin (TATA Volunteer). The purpose of the session was to develop an attitude of thinking leader, strengthen the organization by being a role model of the requirements, impactful decision making, and develop prerogative for action. In order to develop a better understanding, the facilitator explained what is initiative? It is the ability to notice something that needs to be done, it is doing more than your work and going the extra miles. It includes tackling challenges, helping others, being creative, solving problems, being a fast learner, thinking ahead, anticipating, and preventing problems. Initiative in any enterprise or organization gives you visibility at work, improves the potential of growth, relationships become stronger, personal happiness and job satisfaction, etc. Despite having many benefits, it has barriers that are, bad experiences of a boss, no immediate rewards/reorganization, etc. The facilitator briefed about important ways to take more initiative and how to deliver/communicate them. Along with important points, the facilitator added some points which need to keep in mind and carefully follow to ensure your impact of work. Overall, the session was very fruitful at this point of time where Shalinis need guidance and face such challenges in a competitive world.

 

AUGUST

Employability Workshop | Non-Verbal Communication by Anand (TATA Volunteer) on 1st August 2020

The session conducted with Batch-18th (12th Class Shalinis) on Non-verbal communication. It was taken by Anand (TATA Volunteer). The objective of the workshop was to make Shalinis understand the importance of creating the right perception, identify traits that should be reflected, learn about nonverbal signals, and apply knowledge to create a new persona. Non-verbal communication has more importance than verbal communication. A pie-chart was displayed to elaborate well which reflects that communication includes 7% of words, 38% of tone, and 55% of body language.

Quick tips on nonverbal communication were discussed and how the interviewer can perceive us. The facilitator further displayed two images that were helpful to understand the differences between OPEN and DEFENSIVE body language. A balanced upright posture is always considered as good body language & was informed that good eye contact, a confident handshake, facial expression, gesture, professional dressing, expressions and mindful behavior are important components of non-verbal communication. Meanwhile, he explained to Be-aware of dental hygiene, personal hygiene, and personal appearance. He concluded the session summarizing all covered points and emphasized to implement learnings in their professional life. Shalinis found it an amazing and engaging session where the facilitator gave them important tips on professional life & some career guidance.

 

Employability Workshop | Interview Skills by Chetna (TATA Volunteer) on 1st August 2020

The session was conducted with Batch-16th on Interview Skills. It was taken by Chetna (TATA Volunteer). The objective of the workshop was to explain the types of interviews, prepare for the most commonly asked questions, practicing communication skills for job interviews.

Shalinis were told about the types of questions that an interviewer may ask which includes –About yourself, Job/Profession related questions, Company-related questions, Stress interview questions, and behavioral responses. One should always REMEMBER that never recite your resume while giving an interview. You can rather include intellectual facts about yourself, creative skills, and volunteer work that are not mentioned in your resume already.  Include your strength areas and give a professional touch to your interview. Also, you can talk about some positive weaknesses. In addition, prepare a perfect answer on ‘Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years down the line? It gives visibility in your thought and vision about your career.

Further, the facilitator told to develop a good understanding and do good preparation on job/profession related questions, why should a company hire them, why do you want this job, stress-related questions and how do you handle pressure at work. These questions will give a clear picture of yourself. Every professional culture demands for a good leader. Display some leadership qualities and prefer team-work.  Research about the company is a must before any interview and carefully read the job requirements. The facilitator explained about STAR technique which stands for- Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Overall, the session was very engaging and knowledgeable.

 

SEPTEMBER

Workshop on Travel & Tourism | 18th September 2020

Naresh, owner of Travelraze conducted a session for Delhi, NCR final year college students on 18th September. The Topic was Career in Tour & Travels. He explained that the tourism industry, along with the related sectors contributing to it is expected to grow in leaps and bounds in the coming years. A job in this industry can be highly exciting and adventurous and even pays well. The facilitator explained the economic, social, and environmental impact of this sector from a domestic and international perspective, the shalinis were provided with guidance on how to understand and implement policies, regulations, and codes of conduct that are associated with the travel and tour industry.

 

Workshop on Personality Development | 24th September

On 24 September 2020, A small group workshop conducted by Nitu on the topic “Personality Development”. The main purpose of this session was to teach shalinis how to behave in front of another person and how to express their feelings.

Shalinis learned the importance of a person's inner image, outer image, etiquette, etc., as it helps to build a person's personality. They understood that as human beings we tend to judge a person the moment we see him/her but it depends on our self by what characteristics we want others to understand us. The role of body language, tone of the speaker, choice of words really matters in building one's personality. Shalinis also learned about good postures and bad postures and how one can correct them to look at professions, social, and leave a good impression. The workshop proved beneficial for the shalinis.

 

ERF Support in September

78 Shalinis were supported by SSG Advisors LLP financially in the month of September. The support enabled our Shalinis to either buy books, stationery, ration, or pay their fees. The shalinis are extremely grateful to Udayan Care and SSG Advisors for this support during a tough phase and are thankful from the bottom of their hearts.

 

Success story

Yukta, hails from a rural background where the society does not believe in educating girls but she considersherself lucky that her parent always supported her dreams. Her father is a farmer and is the only breadwinner of the family. With his meager income, it was a challenge to support the family. Yukta has closely witnessed the struggles of her family. All the tribulations of the family led her to work harder to achieve her goals and it was because of the hard work that she topped her 10th boards by scoring 95% marks and then again was the topper in class 12th by scoring 80 % in PCM.  Her happiness manifold when she got selected by HCL Technologies for their Tech Bee program which was providing an opportunity to work on IT floor as a software engineer after successful completion of their training.

At present, she is working in HCL Technologies as a software engineer and pursuing her graduation from BITS Pilani.

She says “Things that I have been able to achieve to date is because of the proper guidance and confidence which I got from being a Shalini. USF has given wings to my Dreams.   I realized that it’s always a result of our dedication and willpower to succeed.  We must understand that what matters is the journey and not the end which matters, I too failed but I never gave up. “you fail, you cry that's okay, but giving up should not be an option” is what I learnt from my mentors at USF. My words wouldn’t be enough to thank Udayan Care for trusting me.

Combatting Stress Workshop
Combatting Stress Workshop
Non verbal communication Workshop
Non verbal communication Workshop
Financial Literacy session
Financial Literacy session
Personality Development workshop
Personality Development workshop
Success Story- Yukta
Success Story- Yukta
Oct 8, 2020

Support orphaned children at our Sunshine Homes

Children during morning exercise
Children during morning exercise

“One Two – It might not be a seasonal flu

Three Four – CORONA waits outside the door

Five Six – Stay home and watch some flicks

Seven Eight – Our carers are great

Nine Ten – Social distance is must to maintain

Eleven Twelve –Take care of yourself”

-By Anjali, 14 years

 

Hello all,

Love & Greetings from the children at Sunshine Homes!

I am Santosh, a child living at one of the Sunshine Homes (Udayan Ghar), run and managed by Udayan Care with your love and support under the aegis of Udayan Ghar Programme. I hope you and your loved ones are keeping well during these troubled times. I feel happy to be writing this report and share how we, the children and staff at Sunshine Homes, have been dealing with this pandemic outbreak and how we have felt during the nationwide lockdown.

It’s been a difficult time for all of us during this pandemic crisis and everyone and everything across the world is affected in one way or the other. In other words, the impact of the pandemic COVID-19 has been outrageous.

The impact of the pandemic, clearly visible in the form of economic and health crisis, no or difficult access to food, education and other services etc., has presented a proven threat into the lives of all people across age and identities. However, children across the world, remained to be the worst affected due to this unprecedented crisis. As we all know that governments all over the world have issued stay at home and social distancing guidelines to contain the spread of the virus, the precautionary measures may vary from country to country but the policies largely involvedclosing academic institutions, non-essential physical shops and businesses, and limiting public transportation and spaces, as well as social gatherings.

During the nationwide lockdown we, like everybody else, did not have physical access to school, our friends, schoolmates and had no or limited opportunity for outdoor play and socialization. We felt secluded and isolated. Such a time could have impacted us adversely making us bored, lethargic, anxious, angry and frustrated and may have exposed us to some unforeseen risks that other vulnerable children face every day and night. It could have hampered our health and development. However, we are fortunate enough to have around such a loving family, including carers, Mentor Parents and counsellors to look after us.

Our Udayan Care family devised strategies to continue to provide care and protection to more than 200 children and Aftercare Young Adults living in 17 Sunshine Homes and 2 Aftercare facilities. Apart from providing safe and protected environment at the homes, nutritious diet and health services to all of us, the team tried its best in making us strong and stay connected with each other. One of the major interventions that the team took up was to ensure that none of us miss our part on school learning.

As the schools in India continue to be shut for an indefinite period of time, online classes on zoom, google meet, Microsoft teams, whatsapp and many other digital platforms are being conducted. It is similar to home schooling happening abroad. I am also attending my school classes on such digital platforms. Seeing the need, all Sunshine Homes have been equipped with additional desktops, laptop, web cameras, speakers, mics, high speed internet and other gadgets. This technological transformation has helped us become smarter and stand on the brighter side of the digital divide.

Much emphasis is being given on physical and mental health at Sunshine Homes. While following the required precautionary measures as notified by government in the guidelines are being followed, regular sanitization of Sunshine continued to happen and provision of basic health aids, medicine and consultation with doctors and physicians is being well taken care of. As new children continue to come in the Udayan Ghars, it is ensured that they are quarantined in a separate room within the ghar premises for the required period and medical test for COVID-19 is done. Group and individual counseling sessions, structured routines and productive engagements are being planned and conducted with children, youth and carers. Considering the psychological impact of the pandemic crisis, a number of training programmes and workshops have been conducted with children, carers and other concerned stakeholders.

Some of the training programmes or workshops that took place were :

1)     Art; A mode of Expression with carers and social workers

A time off from their regular and vigorous routine, the carers and social workers were engaged in experiencing the therapeutic benefits of art. The session offered space to the participants to rejuvenate, relive the moments of their childhood and, experiment with their creativity. They also got to know about some renowned artists and were mesmerized by their artwork and inspiring stories.The sessions were conducted separately with carers and social workers.

2)     EmoAid Training programme with children, youth, carers, social workers and mentor parents

Emo-Aid, a self- care online programme conducted by mental health professionals, is designed to provide Emotional First Aid for Emotional wellbeing. It is a series of experiential learning workshops to develop practical skills and tools for enhancing and capacity building in emotional health.It is being conducted with all the programme stakeholders in batches

3)     Keeping up well during COVID Times with children

The Corona Virus Pandemic and the unending lockdown have taken a toll on not only the lifestyle but also the mental health of children. Having being engaged in creative activities while continuing to attend online classes, children have accepted it as a new way of life. But as this time is getting prolonged day by day, there is brewing up anxiety about the present and the future. To facilitate children develop an effective coping mechanism and also understand that this will pass too, a session on “Keeping up Well during COVID Times” was conducted.

4)     Handling Inspections at Udayan Ghars with Carers

As frequency of inspections has increased in the recent past, the vigilance of the Government Bodies has been at its highest. With the growing lens of the Inspection staff, children often became scared and felt uneasy on the suddenness of these checks. On the other hand, the care staff also was suddenly on tender hooks. Thus to effectively manage the inspections and provide a support to the care staff, a workshop on “Handling Inspections at the Udayan Ghars.”

All such initiatives and interventions have helped us stay strong and sail through this pandemic crisis but our carer teamacross all the homes has played a prime role in keeping us safe and healthy. They were there with us and for us all the time. They cooked food for us, played indoor games with us, exercised daily in the morning with us, engaged us in some exciting activities and storytelling, helped us with our studies, helped us overcome our fears and anxieties around the pandemic and lived with us 24X7. Ifdoctors, nurses and police are the warriors outside homes then our residential carers are the superheroes inside the homes.

To acknowledge, appreciate and honor the heroic work of the residential carers during COVID times, the UG team organized an event, ‘To Carers, with Love’ that ran over a week. The group of children, mentor parents and social worker at each of the 17 homes brought in their own flavors and gave their best to make the day special for one of the most important part of their Udayan Ghar family i.e. the carers. Where some of the homes planned for surprise party with home cooked food by mentor parents and social workers, the other homes went with organizing dance and group song performance and funny impersonation acts by the children for the carers. The group at each ghar also presented hand crafted thank you cards with beautiful messages for the carers.

While culminating, the individual celebrations resulted in the grand online event organized where mentor parents, carers, social workers, programme officials and members from the senior management across the 17 Udayan Ghars connected over a video call to give tribute to our residential carer team, the unsung heroes of the pandemic.

The one thing that I am certain about is that I am lucky to have found such a loving and caring family at Sunshine Homes, Udayan Care.

I am grateful to GlobalGiving and all the associated sponsors and donors who have supported my family so that children like me can be loved and looked after by such wonderful family members.

Hoping to stay connected with you all.

Stay safe and healthy.

 

With love,

Santosh, 18 years

 

 

Children attending online classes
Children attending online classes
Carers' Event
Carers' Event
Celebrating our Carer staff
Celebrating our Carer staff
 
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