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"
Apr 4, 2016

Building Confidence Building Self Esteem

20 young adolescents who access the hospital for treatment are brought together as a support group every month at the Government treatment centre. Often these children, come alone or with their care takers to collect their medications that are offered free of cost at the government hospital, but they also carry a lot of questions along with fear and stigma which often is unaddressed. It is for these reasons the support groups have been started with good support from the medical team.

The young people were first asked to write few lines about a pin that was placed in front of them. They could bring about 5 to six sentences each and then the trainer collected all the information from the group which totalled to about 20 different qualities a pin could be used. Then each child was asked to reflect, how we are made unique and how each of us have special qualities that is special to us. The key message insisted was “If an ordinary pin could bring in so many qualities and use, how much more we as human beings can do with our potential”.

This was further reinforced through a glass demonstration exercise. This helped the young people understand that the physical area of the glass cannot determine, the number of pins that can go inside the tumbler, in the same way each of us have potential that often have left unmeasured and limited by the circumstances and challenges around each one of them.

Following the exercise, each adolescent was asked to share how they have felt personally and for most of them who were surprised at the fact, how much as an individual each can do more than what each thinks.

"I was caught by surprise, because i thought only 5 pins could get into the tumbler and the water might spill over, but later I saw more pins could be accommodated. It made me also realize, that I should not think about the problems and challenges I am going through now, I can do more than what I am doing" - expressed by an orphan adolescent girl

“I was very happy to realise, that I am unique and if a pin can have more than 20 qualities, I also can have more qualities within me."-expressed by an orphan boy

The support group meetings are organised every month for the HIV positive adolescents administering them with treatment literacy and life skills.

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”.

 
   

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