Project #3419

Quality Care for 400 Destitute children in India

by Catalysts for Social Action
Safe unsafe touch session in Maharashtra
Safe unsafe touch session in Maharashtra

In 2007, the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, released a study on Child Abuse that opened the country’s eyes to the enormity of the problem.
Some statistical data about child sexual abuse:
•  53.22% children in India are reported to be sexually abused, in a study by the Ministry of Women and Children Development
•  In the same study, out of above mentioned number 50% had been abused by people who they knew or were held in a position of trust and responsibility
•  52.94% were boys and 47.06% were girls
•  According to UNICEF, across the world, more than 150 million girls and 70 million boys have witnessed forced sexual intercourse or other forms of violence involving physical contact

It is important to empower children with appropriate knowledge and this is one of the first steps towards prevention and protection against sexual abuse. Specifically in the case of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Prevention becomes the most important pillar, because if the case reaches the intervention stage where the child has already been abused ,the damage is done. The scars of abuse last a lifetime and affect many areas of the child's life including relationships, professional life etc. The experience of abuse can lead to anxiety disorders, substance abuse and depression also.
(Source: CHILDLINE India Foundation)

With this critical point in mind, Catalysts for Social Action initiated workshops on Safe & Unsafe Touch with all children at children’s homes in the age group of 6-14 years of age.  Our staff also attended workshops by CHILDLINE India that train volunteers in running sessions with children in schools on ‘Child Sexual Abuse’ Awareness.

Aim of sessions was to -
* Inform children about the various forms of safe and unsafe touch
* Give children necessary information to prevent abuse
* What should children do in case they are faced with such situations of potential abuse

The workshop consisted of a presentation and screening of video ‘Komal’ (Childline India), a brilliantly conceived short film on child sexual abuse.

The workshops were well received by children as well as caretakers & trustees and this is being seen as an important step towards ensuring that children are equipped with necessary information in order to prevent such incidents.

Safe unsafe touch session @ Goa
Safe unsafe touch session @ Goa
Child care staff training
Child care staff training

 Hi Freinds,

Here we are with a new report to upadate you all with our activities. As you know We work with children in need of care and protection and focus majorly on their well-being, care & protection. However, not much attention is given to the people who work with these children day in or day out. In a regular family setting, dealing with 1 child or 2 children on a daily basis can be a daunting task filled with moments of joy, frustration, excitement, dejection etc. Imagine dealing with 20-25 or even higher no. of kids bursting with energy on a daily basis in an orphanage setting - mind boggling and huge! Staff and caretakers at orphanages are such a major influence on the children and have a big impact on the way a child's future shapes up in the orphanage. Being with so many children everyday coupled with long working hours, can sometimes stress childcare workers & unfortunately children end up bearing the brunt of their stress & frustration. This can of course be detrimental and confusing to children. Therefore, it became increasingly evident that as much as we support the well-being of children in orphanages, we must work with orphanage staff too to address their concerns, stress management, provide them with ways & means of dealing with children in a positive & constructive manner and understanding children, their nature and bringing out the best in children. With this aim, CSA organized workshops for childcare workers and staff who work with children in orphanages we support. We roped in child specialists / councellors to conduct these workshops which were interactive in nature and provided for a lot of dialogue between staff and resource trainer. Various participatary activities like role play, Case studies etc. made it more interactive and participatary. Participants were handed 'Completion Certificates' at the end of the workshop. Some testimonials from
participants –

We received good response in terms of attendance and positive feedback from staff regarding the way the workshops were conducted. Here are few feedbacks from the participants.

1. "The workshop was helpful; some children get angry often & do not listen to us. We keep wondering why? But after interacting with the resource person, we understand
that child may be facing a psychological problem. Now we are planning to take the child to a psychologist and seek medical help. "

2. “The training was needed for our staff. This is the 1st time we were able to attend a session like this with regards to how to behave with children. Now we can understand some of our mistakes which we'll try to rectify going forward."

3. "Thanks to CSA for organising this training. We'll surely put to use the knowledge received at the workshop in our day to day work. "

4. "This was a wonderful session & we look forward to future workshops”

Participant's  response made us understand that we need to have such warkshops frequently, to develop child friendly attitude towards children coming from various backgraound.

Child care staff training
Child care staff training
Participants received certificates
Participants received certificates


Children's committee formation

This time all the CSA staff were busy forming and running of Children's committees at the children’s home CSA is associated with. Its relevance, roles & responsibilities of members – and their active participation………… Officer in Charge of every State (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh , Maharashtra and Orissa) help to facilitate the setting up of Children's Committees to ensure involvement of children in running of the institution. The committee shall be constituted solely by children. CSA has been mobilizing childcare agencies we work with, to form Children's Committees and we have been successful in guiding children to help form these committees. The children's committees are to maintain a register for recording the activities and proceedings, and place it before the managing committee meeting every month. There are also provisions for setting up of a complaint redress mechanism in every institution and a Children's Suggestion Box – accessible to children – where children can drop their complaints in writing. The underlying purpose is to provide guidance on how to function and equip children in improving their confidence levels, engage in decision making, come up with ideas to improve conditions of the institution, develop educational, vocational & recreational plans, support each other in man aging crisis, make suggestions that would be beneficial to all the inmates. We have helped children with selecting their leaders, explained the roles & responsibilities of each member, get them to conduct periodic meetings, maintaining records and minutes of the meeting. It has been observed that on the whole, children are very receptive and have been enthusiastically participating and contributing their time, talent & ideas for various initiatives. Some of the younger children are still in the process of learning to execute their tasks as committee members but in general are quite excited! Some of the initiatives / tasks that Children's committee members have been managing at all locations, • committee members are keeping stock of hygiene kits supply and following up with their peers to ensure that they are following do's and don'ts shared during oral & personal hygiene awareness sessions In Goa and Mumbai, • 'Health & Hygiene' minister demonstrated hand washing techniques and encouraged their friends to follow In Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha, • members have been planning different recreational & cultural activities on different occasions all by themselves with little or no help either from the institute's management or CSA At one of the children’s home in Orissa Children’s committee members strogly demanded for improvement in the quality of the food they were getting. They successfully made an impact to get the better quality food. This truly is a motivation for CSA team and is an excellent means of empowering children and gaining hands on experience on various life and management skills right there at the Children’s home itself....

CSA Staff explaining the concept
CSA Staff explaining the concept
Children's committee meeting


hygine kits given to orphan children
hygine kits given to orphan children

Hygiene Awareness Sessions were conducted across the board based on outcomes from health check up camps that were conducted earlier. Many children had dental issues and skin problems which the doctors narrowed down to hygiene issues. Based on this feedback, CSA conducted awareness sessions on good overall hygiene and dental care practices by giving the children a hygiene presentation and showing them a video on dental care.  More than 1600+ children have benefitted from this exercise

In addition, besides educating children on overall hygiene and oral care, CSA also provided Hygiene Kits to all children [comprising of tooth paste, tooth brush, bathing soap, washing soap]. Provision of hygiene kits will ensure that children are equipped to follow through on the awareness trainings they have received & can make a permanent lifestyle change. At most locations, Children's Committee members distributed articles to children and the Health minister will monitor the supplies along with the caretaker of the institution on a regular basis

Global Hand washing Day (GHD) is a campaign to motivate and mobilize millions around the world to wash their hands with soap. It takes place on 15th October each year. The campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of hand washing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention. The campaign was initiated to reduce childhood mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrheal diseases by introducing simple behavioral changes - hand washing with soap. This simple, accessible action can, according to research, reduce the rate of mortality from these diseases by almost 50 percent. Hand washing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year. Together, they are responsible for majority of all child deaths. Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, hand washing with soap is seldom practiced and difficult to promote. Turning hand washing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention.

Each year, over 200 million people are involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world. Global Hand washing is endorsed by a wide array of governments, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies, and individuals. CSA too celebrated Hand Washing Day in all orphanages that we partner with and over 1600+ children were shown an audio video clipping & demonstration on how and when to wash hands with soap, with an aim to inculcating a behavioral change and improving overall health & hygiene

Global Hand Washing day awareness Program
Global Hand Washing day awareness Program


It can be a party hall after all.....
It can be a party hall after all.....

Improving living conditions is one of the focus areas for CSA and towards the same we needed to organise some badly needed repairs & paint for the walls of an Observation Home at Thane. In between discussions on cost of paint and budgets, one of our volunteers came up with a brilliant idea of a crowd sourced intervention and the innovative 'Wall Heart' Project was born! It took some paint, people and 'poha' to organize the 'Wall Heart' Project – an initiative to add colours in the lives of under privileged children. Volunteers, connected with through Facebook, came together to buy paint and paint the walls of the Home. Our Volunteers comprised a mix of writers, painters, businessmen, dentists, professional artists & social media professionals. From Calvin and Hobbes to an abstract mural, the 'heartists' showcased a plethora of beautiful bright coloured pictures brightening the otherwise dull white walls of the boys dormitory. The children had a bright cheerful room with inspiring messages and a lesson to take home that “The world is not a bad dark place to live in; it can be a party after all"

Here are few comments for the same.  

“The initiative has helped in changing the attitude of these boys. We usually only have a white coat of paint but this initiative has added art & colour to inspire their thinking. We hope for more such creativeassociations with CSA" Secretary of The Dilip Kalantri Boys and Girls observation Home, Bhiwandi.

 “The idea is not just to paint walls but beautify the lives of the children. If a small action like this can inspire them to better some aspect of their life, we could help in changing a life forever. Creative therapy is the best way to divert young energy into something worthwhile" Payal Shah Karwa ,a Communications Professional and our volunteer who conceived the Wall Heart Project.

 “This kind of an experience would not normally have been possible for me. Being able to spend the day adding a little beauty to the sparse surroundings of the facility for children was both humbling andenriching. It was also a lot of fun splashing paint onto walls! Ramya Pandyan, Blogger and Social Media Professional and a volunteer for the Initiative.



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Organization Information

Catalysts for Social Action

Location: Thane West, Mumbai, India - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sidney Rocha
Thane West, Mumbai, Maharashtra India
$14,091 raised of $27,500 goal
203 donations
$13,409 to go
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