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"
Dec 21, 2015

Understanding Gender and it's impact daily life : Life Skills session for young orphan girls

Life skills programme organised every month to empower young orphan girls supported through Global Giving, to understand the situations around them and effectively use their skills in dealing with day to day situations. This month the topic was on understanding Gender stereo-types and young people's rights. For the young girls in rural areas, coming from the disadvantaged community, Gender stereotype was totally new area.

At the start of the session, when the girls were asked to list down the activities what men can do and women cannot do; the responses were all hard-working jobs and jobs that involved outside home were listed for men. While list for women jobs they could respond more on the areas around kitchen, home-management and taking care of others. It is through discussions and group exercises, did they realise that they based the responses due to the stereotypes that has been influenced through family, community, media and other sources. Having helped the group understand, they were allowed to explore how news-paper media influences stereotype in day to day lives. The group brought out various pictures and advertisements depiciting women with home appliances and men with business centers and offices.

One girl narrated her own personal experience of how in her village, her neighbours and relatives force her to get married early because they are three girls in family. They also add on “what is the use of her studying, for anyway she will be married and will be at home”. She says "It hurts me a lot because all three girls in our family wants to study well and earn well to support our mother and family, but the gender stereotype is a big struggle for us to overcome"

Another adolescent girl expressed that, as she is living with her father and brother, the relatives close-by expect her to raise-up early morning, clean and water the verandah area and decorate the entrance of the house with kolam. She expressed though she enjoys putting kolam, the expectations and pressure that it is the girl's responsibility has made it feel the process as burden.

After helping the group realise the gender stereotypes, the impact it can cause on young girls and women were discussed. The issues around less encouragement for girls for higher education, early marriages and violence were the key areas discussed. Though domestic violence was discussed, the young girls have been accepting as normal and had not perceived it as an denial of right.

"It is a common feature in our village where an alcoholic husband involves in wife-beating and nobody intrudes, nor have we thought it as denial of right for the woman"- expressed an adolescent girl.

In my own family, though i want to study MA english and pursue in civil service, my relatives bring in proposals and say that graduation itself is too much for a girl who is going to get married", I never thought is as denial of my right to education -expressed an adolescent girl.

The session concluded with the rights young people have, with guidelines from UNCRC. Though the topic is sensitive to be handled especially in households were young orphan girls are under the care of widow-headed, this has enabled the young girls realise their rights and also know ways to seek protection when rights are denied. In addition, the young girls have also been taught to look within the community and their immediate environment for Gender steretype behaviours.

Links:

Nov 24, 2015

Once a school drop out, now an Auto-Electrician

Murugan has lost both his parents and is currently looked after by his aged aunt and uncle. His aunt was a rag-picker but always encouarged Murugan to continue schooling. When he was 12 years old, he was affected by TB and so was falling sick often and stopped his schooling. After a gap of two years with the intervention of Buds of Christ, he was placed back at school. Though he went to school for few weeks he could not cope-up with the studies and dropped out of school.

Then he was placed in the Buds Vocational Open school where basic mathemetical and langauage skills were provided. This not only helped him to learn, but also encouarged him to take responsibility in his own health. Until then, he was very casual on treatment. After one year, he was assessed for his interest in mechanical and electrical work and has been now placed as a Auto-Electrician in a private vocational training institute. We wish Murugan a very best for his future as an auto-electrician. He has gained confidence in himself and now has the ability to take up his profession though he was once a school drop-out.

He is now very happy and also has encouarged another school drop out boy to join his institute in the forth coming year.

Oct 27, 2015

In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity

Siva, the newspaper boy aspires to become a Tamil teacher and support his sibling sister in the future.

Siva is 17 years old and he is in his first year college with Tamil as the main subject. Six years before, he was found by Buds of Christ as a neglected child referred by the Govt Hospital. He was shabbily dressed and weak. He had no interest in his studies and had no aim for his future.

Siva is the first child and his sibling sister (12 years) became orphans when both their parents died to a chronic disease 7 years back. Both these children have also been affected by the illness from their parents. As Siva' s sister's immunity was very less, she was started early on treatment, but Siva did not have any idea about his health status.

After their parent's death, both Siva and his sister had to move to two different families, i.e. their father's sisters who came forward to look after them. The care was less for both Siva and his sister, but Siva's sister was in a much worse condition. When she was in class 5th, she lost interest in studies and her aunt encouraged her to beg for money. When this issue was observed during a field visit by Buds of Christ to their home, she was rescued from her aunt and sent to the hostel for girls and is now doing her class 7th in a government school.

And Siva when he was in his class 8th, he was advised for treatment for his health condition. He took the medication casually, not understanding its consequences. There was nobody in the family to guide him, nor show concern. It was then he started attending support group meetings held at Buds of Christ. Even there he was very playful and it took him almost two years to understand the condition. Slowly after meeting and interacting with peers like him he started building hope for his future. He cleared his 10th and 12th grade and got admission into a BA degree course.

He is now very positive about his health and aims to complete his education to become a Tamil teacher. He also works on part-time as a newspaper delivery boy to save an income and also buy special things for his sister during his visit to the hostel. Siva is an inspiration to his peers at Buds of Christ and he loves joking around with them.

 

 

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