Children
 India
Project #11254

Care and Support 50 Orphan Adols with HIV in India

by Buds of Christ Charitable Trust
Vetted

The month of December was very busy and exciting for the children and young people of Buds of Christ. The preparations for the Grand Christmas and New Year programme started from the first week of December with every weekend busy for the event . The Buds leaders took in charge of the organising role and each team were guided by a leader from the Buds leader group.

On 27th of December 2016, the programme enabled the young people at Buds of Christ to take up leadership roles in organising and executing the event. The programme started with the nativity scene presented by the smaller children from 6 years to 13 years. The programme also had songs and dance in between the entire programme depiction. An encouraging sharing was done by Mr. Jeyapaul, Director of Buds of Christ and by Mr. Jacob, Headmaster from the government primary school at Tiruchengode on 27th December 2016.

The testimonial sharing by two children and one widow woman of how they have drawn strength and hope from Buds of Christ through their challenging life situations, built confidence and trust among all the people gathered there for the programme.

The programme ended with felicitation of the guests, honouring the staff of Buds of Christ and the young leaders who dedicated their time for Buds of Christ. A grand feast was provided to 150 participants who attended the programme at Tiruchengode.

We take this opportunity to thank the well wishers for their support towards the gift of dresses, contribution for food, and arrangement. A special thanks to Global Giving donors for their continued support for Buds Children.

On the even of National Children’s Day (Nov 14th), Buds of Christ celebrated children’s day on November 12th at Government hospital in Tiruchengode. The children are chronically ill children who visit the hospital on a monthly basis for treatment and care. On November 12th, Saturday the young leaders of Buds of Christ wanted to make their routine treatment visit day a memorable day for the child and their care takers (mostly grandparents or widowed mothers).

The day was focussed in bringing out the talents and skills of small children between the age group of 6 and 13 years, closely supported by one youth leader of Buds of Christ for each child. So it was a month of bonding and teaching and sharing of their lives with each other which culminated on Nov 12th with fancy dress, poem recitation, dance and games. Each young leader while equipping the child allotted to them also shared their experience of taking medicines, the likes and dislikes of it, which further encouraged the smaller children to feel that they are not alone.

Almost all the children who presented on stage, it has been the first experience of stage solo performance and did it with excellence. All the care takers who witnessed the event were surprised in seeing their children's  performances as most of them did not know the skills  the children had within them.

My son has not performed in public as he is very shy. So I was more scared and I even turned my face to other side when he came to the stage, but was surprised when he recited the Thirukural with ease and also presented his character as  a police man.- expressed a mother of a 11 year old child.

I was overjoyed to see my two little ones speaking with confidence and also dancing well-expressed a proud grandmother of two orphan children affected by chronic illness.

I felt very happy being a butterfly. I have not done any such programme in my life and I thank my Akka (youth leader) who called me over phone and encouraged me to do it. She even designed my costume - 9 year old orphan girl living with chronic illness.

I was more happier to see the smiles on the little ones ,what I have missed when I was small ,I was happy I could give it to these children - youth leader affected by Chronic ill health condition.

Keerthana
Keerthana's Drawing amidst Challenges

"I really don't know what to do, I feel cry like crying, I don't know, how I am going to study and also look after my parents” - expressed Keerthana during the visit at the hospital on the second day after her parents met with an accident.

Keerthana is the eldest child, 14 years old and living with HIV. Her younger sister (aged 9 years) and her parents are also living with HIV. Her father, a lorry driver does not support the family with his income as he spends most of the earnings on drinking. Keerthana 's mother was the sole earner, who worked as a coolie worker and supported the family. As the income her mother brings does not cater to the health and educational needs of Keerthana and her sister, the family was closely followed up by Buds of Christ to provide the psycho-social and the economic support for the family.

Few weeks before Keerthana's parents met with a very severe accident that caused multiple fractures resulting in bed ridden state for both her mother and father. In addition Keerthana is currently studying in 10th standard and is awaiting for her public examination, an important year that decides her future studies.

Buds of Christ provided additional support during the last few weeks through home visits to support Keerthana in handling the stress of caring her parents, younger sister and also her own health. Close health monitoring and nutritional support was provided to the entire family. Keerthana was encouraged to continue schooling and also care of herself too. Her mother is much better now and able to support Keerthana in household works.

She has now successfully completed her quarterly exams and is also more confident in handling the care of her mother, father and her younger sister. In spite of all the struggled conditions, she is confident in saying;

“I would definitely pass with good grades in the final exams, because I have the confidence to do it and my friends in the support group are encouraging me too”.

It has been an exciting moment for 16 widow mothers on 24th and 25th of May 2016 at Yercaud. For most of the women it has been their first visit outside the district and a time to explore their themselves and to empower themselves to care for their HIV positive children. What started as an introduction led to many women ventilating their fears and concerns of their own and their children's future.

The encouragement was by the positive sharing of Ms. Geetha who herself is a widow living with HIV. Her sharing enabled the women to have a positive thought about the future. Though the trip was a casual plan that emerged from few of the members, it has further encouraged them to sustain the relationship by meeting at least once in two months as a strong support group for mothers.

New ideas have also emerged from the mothers to start a small saving scheme and also a part time business to facilitate an additional income to support the family needs. The women have also planned a yearly retreat of similar kind by generating savings for it through monthly basis.

As the organisation in charge, I was happy on the outcome of the programme and also support the event to encourage well being of the mothers as their well being matters their health and children's health too. I also take the opportunity to thank the well wishers and Global Giving who partnered the initiative - Jeyapaul, Director of Buds of Christ

As a staff and a widow mother living with HIV, I was happy to be part of it ,especially in helping me to encourage them and come together as one family - Geetha Centre Coordinator, Buds of Christ

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.

 

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Organization Information

Buds of Christ Charitable Trust

Location: Namakkal District, Tamilnadu - India
Website: http:/​/​www.budsofchrist.org
Project Leader:
Jeyapaul Sunder Singh
Namakkal District, India
$9,777 raised of $22,940 goal
 
78 donations
$13,163 to go
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