U&I

INTRODUCTION Our journey began in May 2009, when a few friends from a local youth group visited a home for mentally challenged boys in Bangalore. From a small group of friends, to becoming a movement that hundreds of people would get involved in and to eventually becoming an organisation that would have projects across the city of Bangalore - no one would have guessed that this was how things would eventually turn out. Even today, we're amazed at all that's happened in the last four years & are excited about all that is to come. Since our inception in January 2011, we have focused most of our activities towards the education of underprivileged and special needs children. We be...
Jun 21, 2016

When Helping Hands Get Help

Like most of the children in the Home for Mentally Challenged Boys, Pruthvi is unable to communicate through words. He was a child who kept to himself, sometimes appearing disinterested in interacting with others. But, U&I volunteers were amazed when, one day, Pruthvi ran up to a child who had fallen in the playground. Without being asked, Pruthvi helped the boy up, took him to the washroom, cleaned his wound, and gave him a glass a water.

In another instance, U&I volunteers were at the Home, preparing for an activity which involved blowing balloons and tying knots on them. Things were going slow and they weren’t having much success. It was then that Pruthvi stopped by. He blew the balloons, tied knots easily and slipped away quietly.

This young boy, who first ran away from U&I volunteers, was now helping them. That’s the level of trust his U&I big brothers and big sisters have built with him. U&I volunteers commit to helping children like Pruthvi every week at the Government Homes for the Mentally Challenged. They see beyond the unresponsiveness and silence. They see the heart of the child, and persist in helping them. And, every single time, they get back more than they give.

Thank you for partnering with us in educating and caring for children like Pruthvi. Your contribution helps us reach out to children who are otherwise neglected. Thank you for giving Pruthvi a chance. 

May 9, 2016

Vishnu Smiles Back

Tejas has been volunteering with U&I at the Government Home for Special Needs Boys for two years now. For his latest assignment Tejas was specifically asked to interact with Vishnu, a young boy in the Home – one of the children with profound development needs.

“I found it difficult to interact with Vishnu as he didn’t respond to me at all,” admits Tejas. But gradually that changed. It took a while but, one day, after trying to work on some motor skills activities with Vishnu, Tejas was rewarded with a warm smile. That evening, when Tejas wrapped up his volunteer time and was set to leave, he felt a hand in his. Vishnu had reached out to shake Tejas’s hand for the first time.

“For others it might sound like a small thing, but for me it was a huge deal. I cannot explain how happy I felt that day,” says Tejas. The next time Tejas visited the Home, Vishnu knew why he was there. He greeted Tejas with a big smile every single time after that. The bond was unmistakable. For Vishnu, who has no interaction with anyone outside the Home, here was someone who came week after week simply to sit by him and play with him.

Vishnu is one of 92 boys at the Government Home abandoned by their families because of their special needs. U&I has worked with the Home for the last five years employing therapists, care givers and staff to ensure that each child has access to care and rehabilitation. Our volunteers interact with the children, developing their social skills and creating a mentoring relationship with them.

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May 6, 2016

The Best Birthday Gift

Adham first came to Annal Children's Home in Chennai with his 1-year-old brother, Gigikal. Being orphans, Adham took his role as big brother seriously. By the time his brother could walk, Adham was already 11 years old - and had never gone to school.

Adham's world revolved around dressing Gigikal in those little khakhi trousers, packing his school-bag and sending him to school. Even though he had been sending his brother to school daily, he never felt like he was missing out on something.

It was at this time in his life that U&I started teaching at Annal home.

For a boy who had never seen a classroom before, U&I was a whole new world. He would observe the class in progress from a distance every week. The sharing of greetings, the good things that had happened and the mutual affirmations drew him in.  For the first time in his life, he wanted to go to school. He wanted to be affirmed. He wanted to be something more.

That desire to go to school was all that was needed, everything else fell into place. He got admission in a school nearby and the week after, we took him into our U&I Teach program. It was his birthday that day and we asked him to share his good thing for this week. 

He said, "ENAKUM PADIKANUM NU AASAIYA IRINDIDI AANA ENNA YARUM SETHUKALA. IPO NAAN PADIKA PORAN. U&I KU THANKS!" (Even I want to be able to study. But nobody helped. Now I’m finally going to study. Thanks to U&I)

Support children like Adham by partnering with U&I at the World 10K Run in Bangalore on May 15, 2016. Your donation will give underprivilged children the right to an education. Together, we can be the change!

 

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