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May 3, 2019

Widow Mothers travel for the first time

Widow mothers travel to Haridwar
Widow mothers travel to Haridwar

Dear Maitri friends,

Thank you for your continued support. It’s only through well-wishers like you that we are able to achieve progress in our endeavors. Widows in Maitrighar receive nutritious meals ( lunch & dinner) with health supplements, daily fruit and milk, hygienic and clean shelter with regular check up and health care through in house doctor and nurse along with facilitation for citizenship rights by availing pension, bank accounts etc.In the last quarter, International Women’s Day was observed, Holi was celebrated with Widow Mothers, local communities and well wishers followed by a community walk, two exposure trips were arranged for 80 widow mothers, expressive art therapy and counseling has been introduced. These activities have been planned and accomplished with the underlining intention of improving the emotional and mental well being of widow mothers. 

 Exposure trips: Group of Widow Mothers Travel for the first time

Vrindavan has always been the mysterious place where thousands of widows flock to live. Most of them have left home, and have been travelling in solitude, for survival, with memories they would not like to return to. This journey from grief to growth has been extraordinary and difficult, but they have created a new family in Maitrighar Old Age Home . Maitri has introduced excursions and group travels with widow mothers to provide them with opportunities of expressing themselves and enhance social bonding.  Maitri organised two trips from Vrindavan to Haridwar for two groups of 40 widow mothers. The excitement and the gratitude widow mothers had cannot be merely described through words. Most of them were finding it hard to even overcome the euphoria of their first group travel. The trips not only strengthens the spirit of sisterhood among mothers, but also helps in improving mobility and fosters active ageing. For some mothers, this first group travel has been a powerful gesture, a space to breathe, a walk to share and feel the bliss and blessing of the universe. And it has come true because of your support. 

" All my life I have felt like a burden.. a burden on my husband..a burden on my children.. this is the first time ever I feel free..Nature is beautiful..I never imagined that I will get such an opportunity..  I am thankful" - says 81 year old Widow mother with teary eyes.

 Celebrations & Community Walk

Many elderly widows live their lives feeling unloved, unseen, unrecognized, unappreciated. Because of their circumstances they are conditioned to hide their truth below a bushel of shame. Maitri celebrates Holi with Widow Mothers with flowers and petals. Maitri plays holi with different colors and flowers, to forget differences and get happiness, to celebrate our struggles, challenges and victories. Widow Mothers play with colors and greet with flowers, its a promise of being forgiving, joyful , truthful and showering all the possible love we have in us. The celebrations reflect the strength of their journey; existence and the paths lived by widow mothers. The sorrow they live with may had no way out but with regular conversations with love and compassion, they are recognizing their own strength. Celebrating the festival with the community and widow mothers is a part and parcel of our programme. After celebrating Holi with a spirit of happiness, laughter, and love , Maitri team along with Widow Mothers of Maitrighar went for a community walk. Through thin lanes and streets, this walk was a great experience in breaking down barriers and creating awareness with the local communities.

 Expressive Art Therapy Sessions

Maitri has hirred an expressive art theraphist. she first conducted a session to understand the population. On the basis of a 7 day session, she has created a module of 12 sessions: " Owning her voice, Mere Awaz Mere Pehchaan" The intention of the Project is to support the participants to calm down, feel relaxed and to let them express themselves as a fully functioning being. This is important for elderly women who are recovering from trauma or might be going through the phase of difficulty to cope with their day-to-day life challenges. The objectives of the project are To promote self-awareness focusing on three levels of awareness (Physical, emotional and mental) and to let the participants find their own way of feeling safe (breath, physical sensation, movement, drawing, sharing, etc.) using “Movement-Based Expressive Art Therapy” as a tool to open the gates of creativity. This work would act as a base to deal with past or present challenges of their current life. Additionally, Maitri also provides classes of Yoga and Reiki for widow Mothers. Maitri facilitated healing sessions and training of Reiki for teachers and widow mothers.

There is such great satisfaction seeing the sparkle come back into a widow’s eyes. Your support enables activities which can add value to their lives. Your gift is touching her heart and soul, and for her, it is priceless. Thank you. 

Widow mothers waiting for their first group travel
Widow mothers waiting for their first group travel
Widow mothers- Haridwar
Widow mothers- Haridwar
Group travel
Group travel
Group travel
Group travel
Celebration Of Holi
Celebration Of Holi
Breaking Taboos
Breaking Taboos
The glow on her face
The glow on her face
Holi
Holi
Community Walk
Community Walk
Celebration - Holi
Celebration - Holi
Expressive Art Therapy
Expressive Art Therapy
Art Therapy
Art Therapy
Art Therapy
Art Therapy
Mask and Unmasking- Therapy
Mask and Unmasking- Therapy
Group Therapy
Group Therapy
Expressive Art Therapy
Expressive Art Therapy
Expressive Art Therapy
Expressive Art Therapy
Holi
Holi
Meals
Meals
Feb 25, 2019

We Grow Together

Chritsmas Celebrations-Maitrigram
Chritsmas Celebrations-Maitrigram

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”-Edward Everett Hale

 Dear Maitri Friends,

It has been an exciting quarter for our Afterschool Programme. We bring you highlights and recent update on the project.

Maitri School provides afterschool classes to community children studying from class 1st to 10th. There are more than 100 children studying in Maitri Schools. Maitri School is a supportive education school, where children from the slum communities who go to state Government schools and thereafter come to Maitri for enhancement and problem solving. Maitri School has been established with the aim of providing a platform for slum children to be at par with children from other schools, compete and ensure zero drop out rate while giving them skills and opportunities to learn new sporting activities. Students from the slums have a challenge of space at their home and may not be able to concentrate as much as they would like, Maitri provides that space and motivation.

 Celebrations, gifts and resolutions

Christmas is always a special for the children at Maitri. On 23rd December 2018 Christmas celebration was organized at the school. Children were given the freedom and resources to decorate the school as per their imagination. The day was devoted to creative ability of all the students. Students were asked to draw and color a Christmas scene or any activity they would love to do in winters. Few students have drawn bon fires and snow man.Children were taught to fold Santa Claus from origami paper. The origami Santa clauses, made by the students, were displayed on the display board.A week before Christmas, all the student practiced Christmas carols and New Year song. Children performed dance and singing songs. The students also have played few interesting games on same day.

On 31st December 2018, the children have observed a reflection day. Being the last day of the year, students sat down together and reflected on the activities they had enjoyed over the whole year. They were asked to discuss what they learnt and what mistakes they made accordingto them. They were also asked to pen down a promise they would liketo make themselves. Each child made a small resolution card and colored it to welcome the New Year. In the spirit of celebrations and being thoughtful about others, children were encouraged to express their feelings of appreciation for their families and friends.

Learning and growth with the students of The British School 

 Last February, was full of fun, activities, games and learning when students of The British School volunteered at Maitrigram. Every year our students wait with eagerness and excitement for this volunteer week. It brings a much needed exposure and helps in an all round development. Maitri is grateful to the British school for providing such a valuable engagement. The students of The British School organized a talent show for the children and all our students displayed great levels of enthusiasm and creativity .

Annual Examination

Annual examinations have started and preparation is in full swing. Children are motivated and working towards each exam without stress. Our aim is to support them with their problem solving abilities without any stress and tension. We are confident our students will do well and come out with flying colors. We wish them all the best.

I would like to thank you once again for your support. We greatly appreciate your kind support and encouragement. 

Creative Christmas
Creative Christmas
The British School Volunteer Week
The British School Volunteer Week
Volunteer Week
Volunteer Week
Feb 5, 2019

Gratitude From Mothers; Dreams For Future

Identity,Dignity & Respect for Widow Mothers
Identity,Dignity & Respect for Widow Mothers

 “Just as a mother at the risk of life

loves and protects her child, her only child,

so one should cultivate this boundless love

to all that live in the whole universe.”

 Dear Maitri Friends,

Your love has helped more than 300 widow mothers. We had a dream to make a difference in the lives of widow mothers and 10 years now, you have made a difference. In 2008, Maitri came across a unique and an extremely vulnerable population in Vrindavan, known as the "Widows of Vrindavan". The widows were victims of domestic violence, perpetrated by their own family members, including their sons, daughters and relatives. They were abandoned, rendered homeless and destitute to live on the streets of Vrindavan, begging for survival. It was a critical moment in the history of Maitri and formed a benchmark to work towards identity, dignity and respect for women and in this case widows. In July 2010, Maitri launched Project Jeevan (meaning, life, in Hindi), in Vrindavan, Mathura in Uttar Pradesh state of India.

 How Far We've Come – Ten Years of Identity, Respect & Dignity

 Maitri has built two old age homes for widow mothers in Vrindavan and Radhakund and has reached out to more than 300 widow mothers. Maitri provides daily nutritious meals for lunch and dinner, in addition to health supplements, fruit & milk, clothing, facilitates health heck ups and facilitates citizenship rights for Widow Mothers. Though your support cannot be measured in numbers or words, but here is a brief report of the impact it has created.

 -Improvement in Health, Nutrition and Overall wellbeing

 Malnutrition in elderly widows is both a health outcome as well as a risk factor for disease. With low socioeconomic status, social isolation, psychological impairments, there is a further reduction in the diets of elderly widows. Hence ensuring proper nutrition forms the backbone of Project Jeevan. Nutrition influences the health and functional ability. Most of the widow mothers have suffered abuse, humiliation and have lived in pitiful states and conditions that have detrimental effect on their health. In addition to lack of proper health care, the widows have also experienced loss, neglect and isolation from their families and children. Older persons are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition. With growing age and constraints, the elderly population of widows is more susceptible to diseases and they have a direct affect on their functional ability.

 -Improvement in living conditions

 The quality of living has major implications for the health of widow mothers. Unhygienic and unhealthy conditions are of particular concern. Providing proper standards is therefore a key pathway for providing healthy living conditions and improving health and well being for the widows. Most of the women have been residing in impoverished conditions, streets, small rented dirty rooms, and have undergone different shifts and changes before coming the Maitri. Most of them have been living in inhumane conditions and mostly in overcrowding rooms. Poor living conditions are associated with a wide range of health conditions, including respiratory infections, asthma, chronic conditions, and mental health. Maitri Ghar provides a clean, safe and hygienic environment and also ensures widows inculcate and practice changes in health seeking and following healthy routines. There is a drastic change in the living conditions of the beneficiaries and enables improvement in nutritional status and health of the population.

 -Improvement in mobility, Participation and Social Connectivity

 While encouraging the widow mothers to follow a balanced and healthy diet, they are also involved in different kind of activities like Yoga, morning walk, etc to help in a healthy and active ageing. With access to activities, the widows are able to form stronger bonds with those around them and experience lower feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression; their overall sense of wellbeing, self worth and belonging improves. This helps in promoting stronger social bonds, participation and solidarity among widow mothers. Maitri celebrates festivals, organizes events, which encourages participation of widow mothers. Maitri celebrates Holi with widow mothers of Vrindavan and Radhakund. The celebrations are unique as widow mothers play Holi with flowers & colours to the beat of drums dancing with joy. A unique way of putting "tilak" on the forehead adds to the festive.

 Your support is more crucial now

 We are in the process of scaling our program and reach out to 50 more widow mothers and your support is more crucial. We have also made new additions to our program, which can help in fostering emotional and mental well-being of widow mothers. Ten years now, your support has created milestones for our project. A dream doesn't become a reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and a strong will. But a dream can turn into a miracle, when it becomes a collective effort of people who share your vision. We had a dream of restoring identity , dignity and respect of Widow Mothers. The dream has turned out to a powerful gesture, and our humble endeavour has turned to a warm old age home. Maitri is gratful for: 

 -Its rare and fortunate that we have such a compassionate staff who go about feeding, washing, bathing, cleaning and tending to the sick bedridden elderly to ensure that those who are with them can live out the last years of their lives with dignity and comfort.

- Its phenomenal to have a leadership who understands there is more to give and create. Their vision of identity, dignity and respect guided with values of compassion and inclusivity has helped create milestones of change.

-Its beautiful to have gratitude and blessings of women who have turned their struggles to victories, survival to hope and our humble endeavour to a warm home.

Its incredible to have well wishers who understand that a woman, more so a mother should never have to live a life of humiliation and abuse. We had a dream to make a difference in the lives of widow mothers and 10 years now, you have made a difference. We are in the process of reaching out to more widow mothers and your support is crucial.

For better Nutrition of Widow Mothers
For better Nutrition of Widow Mothers
For better participation and staying active
For better participation and staying active
Shower your love to these beautiful Widow Mothers
Shower your love to these beautiful Widow Mothers
 
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