COVID-19pandemic has caused an unprecedented human health crisis causing more crises for the lives of human beings.At the outside of Coronavirus,young adults suffered a lot and affect for long period and facechallenges The situation has been worsened for the children leaving child care institution after attaining 18 years these-vulnerable youths are at risk of physical, financial and social harm. This has resulted in the loss of jobs and income, and crises of food, housing, mental and physical well-being, and livelihoods. Such situation has been impacted a lot during the second strain of COVID for which these aftercare children experienced after leaving the care setting and were legally compelled to exit their care setting on attaining adulthood.
However, these (CNCP) children live in CCIs or orphanages in temporarily before they are placed suitably in Community. Sometimes they continue to live in CCIs until they are deinstitutionalized at the age of 18 years and soon after they attain 18 years they are sent back to the community without any proper rehabilitation planning. Such situation becomes worsen to these children as they don’t get aftercare support either from government or from civil society. In such a situation the young adults strive to manage their livelihood but the pandemic situation pusses to get un-affordability consequently they get enormous dropouts, child labour, forced child marriages, issues of trafficking and violence. To address this issue YCDA has continued its effort providing direct support to the aftercare children and in the same time advocates to the government and duty bearers to ensure their care, protection and rehabilitation. Looking into their needs YCDA has conducted few following activities.
Life skill training, Career planning & Psycho social support to aftercare children
Young children are disproportionately represented in the most vulnerable families and highly vulnerable in times of shock because services to support young children are often outside of formal systems and end up overlooked. Already scarce resources will likely be diverted to the pandemic response. Food insecurity will be a profound challenge for young children and their families, which is particularly problematic for children’s development in first 100 days. We also know from the COVID crisis, that the young children are more likely to experience violence, abuse and neglect as families struggle to cope. The recovery phase from the COVID-19 crisis is likely to be protracted and these young adults have faced extended economic challenges.
Looking into the need of hour the psychosocial support has been extended for the care and support to aftercare children. It has been included the care and support offered by friends, peers, teachers, health workers, and community members on a daily basis. It also extends includes care and support offered by specialized psychological and social services. Talking about the event and allowing children to share their experiences and feelings may help to decrease emotional distress. This has rebuilt children’s trust and helps them feel cared for and secure. Listening to their feelings and re-assuring them that it is common to feel the way they do after such an event is helpful. Being available and offering reassurance to children can help restore a greater sense of safety and security.
Critical support o the aftercare children during the lockdown situation
During the lock down situation many of the young adults have to lose their livelihood, dropped out from the education and failed to have basic amenities and due to weak economical conditions of the young adults they couldn’t bear the college dues. They couldn’t even afford for her college uniform, neither could buy the text books or attend online exams as they didn’t even have a smart phone. In a quick response, YCDA quickly mobilized for few smart phones and gave these young adults so that they could attend the online classes. Currently YCDA is also planning for mobilizing more numbers of smart phones for the remaining after care children .It has been planned to provide with periodic counseling, life skill based adolescent education and career counseling. We ensure a personalized quality engagement with these aftercare children on a regular basis to reduce disruptions.
Case study of Mitanjali who was facilitated the Job placement after appropriate training
Rita ( Name Changed) was just completed 18 years. When she was only 7 years old her mother committed suicide and the child got neglected, her father was in custody related to the suicidal cases of his wife. Automatically the child got out of parental care. The child was put in the orphanage and there she spent around 7 years. As the child failed in 10th standard so the orphanage people discouraged her and asked her father to take away her from the orphanage. Fortunately her father had been released from the imprisonment. Looking into the pandemic situation her father brought up her from the orphanage and further she was not entertained in the orphanage.
YCDA taken over the case and during the preparation of her care plan and counseling it was realized that the child has a dream of successful future .So looking into her best interest and suitability she was enrolled in a six month courses of hotel management as hospitality trade. Educational support and counseling support was provided her. In course of time she completed the course and soon after completed 18 years of age she recently got offered from the CARE hospital Bhubaneswar to deal as a COVID warrior. Somehow she did not show her interest to join in Bhubaneswar rather she got interested to go to Hyderabad along with her other friends. She was shifted to Hyderabad CARE hospital. Now she is working there in the food serving unit for the COVID patients with a salary of Rs.7000 per month excluding food and accommodation. Now she is happy to get this job and having a dream to make release her house which has been mortgaged by her father
COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented human health crisis causing more crises for the lives of human beings. At the outside of Corona virus, young adults suffered a lot and effect for long period and face challenges. That experience reveals the lessons about their life after Covid-19. It is not only a challenging situation to confront life style changes; their experiences reveal key lessons about life after Covid-19. These changes might have long lasting effect on their physical, mental and social health and need remedial measures to help young people lead a healthy lifestyle during the epidemic and beyond.
Technology Gives Smile during Covid-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly come and forced schools and college for providing online education to the students. This pandemic has created an unprecedented situation for education in throughout the world. The country was under lockdown, so the whole education system shifted into a virtual mode. Online teaching and learning has been a best tool for students to continue their education without delay.
Bijoy (Changed name) 18 years was staying in Child Care Institution since his child hood. He started a new life with loving care givers, where he continued his school there. He was very much kin interested to study in Computer. After completion of school studies he took admission in IOT smart city Course of Govt. ITI Bhubaneswar. He wanted to take admission in higher education but due to covid 19 atmospheres he could not take admission in technical institution. It was very hard time of covid 19. He was bit worried about his study due to lock down situation. At this situation, YCDA came forward to extend cooperation and giving him mobile phone for attending online classes which helped him to continue his higher education. It was hardest time for him to contact friends personally which was possible through online.
Career planning for the children attaining 18 years age
YCDA in collaboration with the district administrative Puri has been organized a training and orientation programme for the children attaining 18 years of age to prepare their career path. Their motivation factors and aspiration mapping was conducted taking certain tools and techniques.25 numbers of children participated from different child care institutions from puri district and got trained to prepare their career opportunity based on their interest, and skill.
Normally children residing in the child care institution get difficulties to identify their potentiality, strength and weakness which supposed to help them to prepare their career plan. This orientation programme was helped them to chose the technical education rather than the general education, gave exposure to wider thinking for self independent.
AfterCare Support during COVID 19 Pandemic and its Impacts
Aftercare is a measure for rehabilitation and social reintegration of young adults who leave institutional childcare system on attaining certain age, as specified in law. This system is based on the premise that children going out from child care institutions (CCIs) are vulnerable to unemployment, psychological stress, physical and mental illness, homelessness and dependency, in view of the absence of family or dependable adults who can act as a pillar of support. The process of their transition from protected institutional care to independent adulthood and life thereafter may derail.
Seen in above light, aftercare can be termed as a preparatory stage for young adults during which they are provided financial support, training in skills, handholding for career development, counseling for managing emotions and such other measures that contribute to the process of their social mainstreaming.
During the last quarter, YCDA has focussed on the After Care services which have been provided through a Group Housing system and independent living through which it has been provided Education, health, employment and training like vocational skill for self sustainable.
During the last quarter the following activities have been conducted:
Round Table Meeting on After Care:
Looking into the COVID 19 situation in the country YCDA Resource centre in collaboration with District Child Protection Units was organized different Round Table meetings on Aftercare taking different stakeholders like DCPU, CCIs and technical institutes. Different issues were discussed and decided that the children living in the child care institution and completed their 18 years of age needs to identify and prepare their career planning. The DCPOs has shared the Context and narrated that Children leaving the institutional care are struggling in their life. Most of them are jobless and unable to meet their basic needs. Basically these adults are in more vulnerable condition during COVID19. Then Program Manager, YCDA delivered his view and presented the process and steps to promote aftercare programme and its importance. Mr. Pradhan clarified the role and responsibility of the stakeholders for mainstreaming the care leavers through the aftercare support and needs of the DCPU team to make it successful
Motivational Camp & Carrer Planning for the Aftercare children
Particularly the career aspirations and realistically matching personal interests and abilities with job opportunities are big challenges for children living in the child care institution, even more so for those living long run in institutional care. Many of them have no interest on job or education and are often busy ensuring their own and their subsistence. They tend to know little about their own personal interests and abilities and lack clarity about what they want to be and do in the future. In many cases, they tend towards unrealistic expectations and objectives and a lack of knowledge about the work-related needs and opportunities around them. The education careers and academic development of some youth are disrupted because of various reasons. The career guidance is absolutely requires to respond to these needs and help youth to define their path their lives, in particular during their transition from institutional life to independent life, or from job insecurity to continued education.
So looking to the need of the hour , YCDA Resource centre was organized virtual motivational camps/career plannings for the young youths living in the child care institutions Around 130 nos of young youths and pre aftercare needs children are participated across two districts .
The session was taken by Trainer, NIAM educational Foundation, DDUGKY on the scope and opportunity of technical/Vocational education. He emphasizes the importance of vocational education in current days. He thoroughly explained the trades are available in DDUGKY and in his institute with eligibility criteria, course duration and placement opportunity of vocational education. Apart from this trade they are also providing soft skill training to the children. After children got admission in their institute, they are responsible to provide employment opportunity. Stipend facility also available for the on job trainees. He advised the children to show their hidden quality and work hard to maintain a successful life through some group activities. The Senior Programme Manager, YCDA. During his session he encouraged the young adults to set their career plan through motivation, qualification, skills, ability, strengths and the scope and opportunity available for them soon after leaving the child care institutions. He facilitated his session through some exercise and group activity and how to set their individual goal before identify the career opportunity. He emphasizes the importance of timeline for the young adults. He also advised to create a role model through their own skills and set the Goal accordingly. He also orients the young adults on differences between general education and the technical education and the advantages of technical education for institutional children. He defined that to get the skill based job one has to complete the vocational training where in general education one has to go for several steps to get the employment.
Career planning session was facilitated by The DCPO, Sundergarh. He encouraged the children to take vocational education or technical education for their early employment.CCI representative along with YCDA will counseled the 16+ children to find out their interest and support accordingly for after care. Around 100 aftercare eligible children have been benefited and prepared their career planning
Rapid Assessment of aftercare children /care leavers during COVID 19 and critical support
Looking into the COVID-19 Pandemic and the numerous crisis that the world is going through , YCDA performed a quick assessment taking 100 young adults from the care leavers association to map the situation of the young care leavers who have left an alternate care arrangement and belong to the age group of 18-21 years. This document is the first rapid assessment report in a series which gives a clear picture the current situation of care leavers in States of Odisha. The report walks the journey of care leavers to understand the challenges they face and offer solutions for improvising the outcomes of care leavers in Odisha. Although few young adults have been reintegrated but their living conditions are something which needs attention.
With higher rates of unemployment the graph of financial breakdown goes parallels. The newly employed ones may also feel the heat of economic disruptions. After the COVID outbreak the youths were found to be more likely than prime-age individuals to experience higher unemployment and underemployment rates. Hence, the young adults who have lost their jobs during the COVID and facing the financial crisis should get appropriate support. Employable opportunity should be explored based on their need, interest and skills. The youth who are deprived of their entitlements such as their identity should be more focused up on so that they can be linked with the existing Govt social security schemes. The care leavers continuing their study should be encouraged, explored and facilitated with means of online studies. Providing counseling in this regard is of utmost importance. Their psychological needs are to be determined and support be provided with available resources to avoid any uncanny situations
Looking into the situation YCDA Resource centre has been provided critical support to the care leavers and aftercare children who have been losing their jobs during the COVID 19.Arround 75 numbers of care leavers have been benefited and access the critical support for their food, shelter and travel to reach to their home town from their destination point .During the lockdown situation different mobile sets were provided to the aftercare children for their on line classes.
Annual review meeting of Care Leavers
Looking to the COVID 19 situation in the country YCDA Resource centre, was organized an Annual Governing Body Meeting of Odisha Care Leavers Association (OCLA) on August 2020 through in virtual mode. Almost 25 participants were participated including all the governing body members of OCLA and given their valuable suggestion for the growth of OCLA in coming days. The President of OCLA for further carried out the meeting. He discussed the following points during the meeting:
Psychosocial Counselling Support
Looking into the pandemic situation YCDA resource centre organized the psychosocial counseling programme for the aftercare children and it was facilitated by the experts from Basic Need India(BNI).This programme could supported to the issue of the mental health and depression among the aftercare children. Around 65 aftercare children and care leavers have been joined in the programme and learnt the aspects to reduce their depression, and anxiety. Time to time YCDA staffs are visiting & providing counseling to the Young adult and engage the Young adults in Paper cutting , Crafting, making Hand bag etc.
Skill Linkages & Job placement for mainstreaming in the society
During this quarter , we received 10 Nos. of aftercare orders from Child Welfare Committees (CWC) for the aftercare support. In course of time both Counseling and psychosocial support is being provided to all the adults as when required and those coming to the aftercare folder. 5 Nos of adults were enrolled in ITI with different trades and one adult has been enrolled for home nursing. YCDA also has done advocacy for their job placement for 2 adults and they are going to join in the month of November 2020. YCDA Facilitates to support for getting Aadhaar Card and bank accounts of 4 adults and also provided 5 numbers of smart phones to the aftercare adults for their online classes.
Support to a Young Adult
A Young adult of aged 19 years, who has lost his father during his childhood several years ago, is staying with his single mother. His mother is working as a House keeping staff in a small company and having two other siblings. After the death of his father it was too difficult for his mother to manage the family with her low income. So, his mother placed the children in Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for seeking institutional care. As per the order of CWC, The Young Adult was referred to a Child Care Institution (CCIs) for further care and Protection when he was just 9 years of old. From that day onwards that CCI became home for him and now he has completed his 10th class examination with 40%. But now he is 18 years of adult and as per the JJ Act guideline he was referred to Youth Council for Development Alternatives (YCDA) by Child Welfare Committee (CWC) for the aftercare support.
After several round of counseling sessions & doing carrier interest mapping. It was noticed that he has interested in technical Vocational education. Looking to his best interest he was applied & got admission in IT Smart city trade at Govt. ITI collage, Bhubaneswar with the Support of Youth Council for Development Alternatives (YCDA).Now, He is very happy that he started his skill education in technical trade for employment opportunities.
Thank You GlobalGiving & Supporters to make a better life....
The Covid-19 pandemic is a global crisis. The lockdown in Covid-19 has forced milion of people to stay home has led to change the new way of life of every people. The pandemic has completely toppled lives across the nation, restricting movement, shutting the academic section and forcing millions to work from home. This pandemic crisis has brought the youth to a painful life. Day to day it’s very challenging time to cope in lockdown period. The lockdown could have an impact of without social contact, peer support, no personal contact, enforced isolation; wearing mask is leading to psychosocial stress.
Lockdown has led to several changes in young adults and careleavers. In this crucial time, unlike others, these young adults don’t have an ideal family structure to stay back in family. Young adult’s education has been severely affected by this pandemic. The crisis has crippled all activities in career growth, fear of loss of job and unemployment. The life is very tough while managing their day to day life in food, purchasing essential items, monthly house rent payment, some have lost their job and source of income and also manage their mental health issues. Some have forced to leave their rent house because they don’t have resources to pay their rent and shared with other friend’s house. The emotional and mental distress may increase the risk of psychiatric illness.
Looking in to the situation lockdown, YCDA started remotely counseling support to the young adults to reduce their anxiety and stress and boosting the morale of young adults. It needs to have better conversation and make a positive environment in this pandemic situation.
YCDA helped them meet their daily nutrition needs, as well as sanitation needs like masks, soaps, sanitary napkins and sanitizers. We also have given advice of safety measures on the importance of hand-washing, and guidance on the use of masks besides other precautionary measures to protect and stay healthy
Motivational camp and Career Counselling for Children
At the age of 18, young adult aren’t fully equipped to handle their life by themselves. They need guidance and support to lead their life. This Aftercare programme connection the gap helps them to take the responsibility in young adult stage. Before 18 years preparation of children is the most important to lead a brighter career. This programme also empowers them to complete their education, stand on their feet and successfully living an independent life.
Education is very important for all the children youth. Education is a weapon to improve young adults life. It is also the most important tool to change one’s life. Children who receive technical education, they meet their appropriate education milestones. The important of technical education is the overall development of children in relation to preparation of children to higher study and vocational training in their future. It empowers them to promotes their independence in both social and economic life.
It’s a big challenge for children living in Child Care Institution to get a good job particularly with their career aspiration and personal interest. So they require guidance from mentors or seniors in that stage to know about their own personal interests, abilities and what to be as per their career in future. They have lack of knowledge about the work-related needs and opportunities around them.
It is important to be mentor or guidance to their career path particular during their transition from institutional life to independent life or from job insecurity to continued education.
Above all, Education is extremely important for employment. It certainly is a great opportunity to make a decent living.
Basing on the above requirement, YCDA in collaboration with Child Welfare Committee and District Child Protection Unit conducted motivational camp and career counseling in Odisha for children from different Child Care Institution (CCI). In this programme children age group 16-18 from CCIs, Govt. personnel, representatives from Odisha Livelihood Mission, ORMAS were participated in that programme. The main objective of the programme was counseling and motivating children of the CCIs for their family reintegration and family reunification, Motivate children of the age group of 16+ living in the CCIs to choose their appropriate career after leaving the child care institution and also orient them towards their vocational and technical education for their self sustainability.
Through the some games and group discussion the career mapping was conducted and children did their goal setting. The technical person emphasizes the importance of vocational education in current days. He thoroughly explained the eligibility criteria and the trades are available in Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY), Govt. of India . He also said about the placement opportunity of vocational education and the placement opportunity and the stipend facility. The technical person also shared about the scope and path of placement opportunity in technical education for CCI children. So before leaving institutional care the children should take their own stand and make proper career plan.
The important is career developmental tasks for adolescents are to know their interests, capacities, values and acquire knowledge about work to decide upon realistic educational and career pathways. When making career-related decisions, children/adolescents also need to adopt positive career attitudes and behaviors and base their decisions on career-relevant knowledge and skills.The group exercise was exited to the children for career mapping and to make their self assessment and self reflection.
The children also got some exposure to the different technical institutes where the children got information regarding the vocational training which can meet their immediate livelihood. The children identified their difficulties and challenges to choose their career point. Children were excited while they involve in the total process of the programme. YCDA as the promoting institute committed to support to the children till they get self independent.
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