Buds of Christ Charitable Trust

Buds of Christ's vision is to "empower children and enable wellbeing" With the vision our mission is "to love, listen, learn and lead orphans and vulnerable children to live life positively and with dignity and be children of hope and courage to their peers and to their community"
Feb 22, 2016

Vocational Training - Bringing Hope in adversity

Life has always been a challenge for children living with chronic health condition and severe in the cases of orphan and semi-orphan children. In the 70 children living with HIV under the follow up of Buds of Christ, some have been encouraged to continue education, however some due to lack of proper support systems and in few cases their health condition have been an obstacle for them to continue their education. In such cases Buds of Christ has tried place them in short term vocational trainings that are job oriented.

There are also instances of very young children becoming drop outs due to ill-health condition and side effects of ARV. Recently four such children have dropped out of school due to treatment for tuberculosis. However these children are closely followed  as part of the Buds vocational open school and provided training to read, write the basics in native language and computer skills. They also are involved in cultural programmes and competitive events within the organisation to be encouraged

Radhika (name changed) is an HIV positive orphan child looked after by her father who is also living with that condition. As Radhika's mother died early, the care was very less and so she was very often affected by infections that affected her from going to school regularly. Her school was not closely located to her village and travelling became strenuous with her weakened immunity and so she was out of school for almost 3 years.

She was identified by Buds of Christ in 2015 and initially supported with counselling and gradually was involved in support group sessions for children living with HIV. Later she was taken into Buds of Christ Vocational Open school and trained with basic reading and writing skills, computer skills, and cooking skills by the teachers at Buds of Christ. It was also realised being  away from school, she had no social interactions throughout the day and coming to the open school developed her literacy and social skills too. This has encouraged her to get back to normal stream. Currently she is at home practising the language skills as she is on Tuberculosis medication and will be reintegrated to school in the next academic year. She had also participated in poem writing competitions held for kids in the centre and had won second prize in it. She has also been involved in motivational camps for children with such condition

The vocational school has helped Radhika be equipped for the next academic  year and this gradual phase of growth has been through the support of Global giving friends in the lives of children like Radhika.

Jan 20, 2016

Harvest festival celebrations: Strengthening the bonding of children and the caretakers

The harvest festival popularly known as Pongal in Tamilnadu is the festival that is celebrated in honouring the farmers. Being an agriculture dependent country, it is still, particularly in rural areas an important day for the people. Even in Buds of Christ, the care takers of the children with whom we work are dependent on agriculture as their major source of income.

The pongal day  was celebrated at Buds of Christ with the children, their siblings and the care takers. The occasion was used as a platform to strengthen the bonding among the children, care takers and their siblings. The Young people were dressed in their traditional outfits to mark the occasion. The children and the care takers had decorated the place with the traditional rangoli's and set the cooking place with mud pot decorated with sugar cane

A presentation on the lives of farmers and the meaning of pongal was shared at the meeting. Following that, the cooking of pongal was made in a traditional pot setting and group games for various age groups were conducted simultaneously. The best moment of the day was shouting "pongalo pongal" by children and care takers, marking the pongal is cooked.

The day ended with everybody eating sugar cane and the sweet pongal.

An orphan child shared “I enjoyed the Pongal celebrations very much and it was like my family occasion”

A care taker (grandmother of an orphan child) – “I have celebrated many pongal festival, but here at Buds meeting other children, being part of the cooking and decorations was an enjoyable process. I even felt much younger, when my team won the rope -pulling game”.

Jan 11, 2016

On December 1st 2015, we commemorated World AIDS Day with our children and caretakers

This year the theme of the World AIDS day was Getting to Zero and we at Buds believe this can happen when the already affected people are also encouraged and motivated to live a positive life.

Buds of Christ commemorated the 2015 world AIDS day in encouraging young adolescents in salem and smaller children in Tiruchengode along with care takers to be confident and live a life with hope and dignity. The uniqueness of this year programme was the young people living with HIV and affected by HIV of Buds of Christ (Buds Leaders) had planned and executed the event.

The programme was conducted on 5th of Dec at Salem and 12th of Dec 2015 at Tiruchengode. In the salem group the 20 participants were mostly young adolescents in the age group of 14 and above and at Tiruchengode, the 15 smaller children were in the age group of 5 and 12 years old. Both the programmes were organised at government Hospital ART centres. The programme included a choreo, skit, drawing competition, testimonial and a motivational song. The key highlight was the testimonial sharing by the care-taker (woman living with HIV) and her child. Though it brought in a emotional outburst among the participants, the end-result was that it encouraged both the children and the care takers to look at their own lives more positively.

The feed -back were;

"Having born with HIV, I thought I was the only one facing lot of struggles and had no interest in life. But today I felt, yes there are many like me who go through such situations in their lives and yet they are moving on and so hereafter i will be very regular on medications and will look at life more positively"- expressed by 17 year old orphan girl who is now on second line ARV

"I always was living with the fear and sometimes question myself why should I live with this highly stigmatised disease, but today when Selvi akka, mother of an HIV positive son shared her feelings and how in-spite of the struggles she continues to take care of her son living with HIV has inspired me to take care of myself and my child who is living with HIV"- widow mother(care taker) of a 7 year old child living with HIV

"I liked the song", never give-up" (tamil song). It made me feel good"- expressed 6 year old HIV positive boy

HIV has affected everybody in my family, my husband, my two girls and me. Yet, my husband does not bother and has left us alone to live with another family in another village. After my HIV status, in addition to being a mother, I have been the bread-winner and I had to go for coolie work in the feild to support my daughters. In addition I also constructed our house with the help of my daughters and I even had to become a construction worker. Today, when shalini's mother was sharing, it helped me to realise the strength I have had within me in passing through these challenges. If her mother can bring up her three daughters, I too can bring up my daughters in the best way I can”. - Proud HIV positive mother of her daughter winning the first place in the drawing competition.

Medical Officer addressing on living positively
Medical Officer addressing on living positively
 

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