Nurture 75 vulnerable children in the RedLightArea

by Apne Aap Women's Collective (AAWC)
Nurture 75 vulnerable children in the RedLightArea
Nurture 75 vulnerable children in the RedLightArea
Nurture 75 vulnerable children in the RedLightArea
Nurture 75 vulnerable children in the RedLightArea
Nurture 75 vulnerable children in the RedLightArea
Nurture 75 vulnerable children in the RedLightArea
Nurture 75 vulnerable children in the RedLightArea
Nurture 75 vulnerable children in the RedLightArea
Christmas celebration with Umang beneficiaries
Christmas celebration with Umang beneficiaries

Success story:

Rima* age 4 years, when enrolled in the Umang Program could not even hold a spoon. Due to the health condition. Annoyed by the cranky behaviour mother hit the child which made the child replicate a similar behaviour in the center. Understanding the issue child was facing the teachers focused and tried to improve the health of the child by providing the child with timely nutritious meal. They also oriented the mother about the issue and how she could take care of the child. The child started showing improvement in health and showed controlled behaviour. The child now participates in all the activities and is one of the sincere children in the Umang Program.

Outreach:

This quarter through outreach we were able to enroll 4 new members in our Umang programme, these beneficiaries have access to kindergarten education (Balwadi), assistance with their health (ex: referrals, camps, nutritional support, etc.), therapies, interactive activities, exposure and recreational visits and rehabilitative measures like night-shelter house amongst other general support and aid.

Education:

This quarter teacher’s focused more on the creative skills of beneficiaries while stimulating their cognitive development. The overall activities that are being conducted revolved around concepts such as comparison, measurement, arrangement of objects in series, recognition of patterns etc. Teachers have conducted special activity music class to improve the beneficiaries’ auditory skill by exposing them to different sounds. Recognition of various sound and their auditory perception has improved having an impact on their speaking skills.

Educational classes are conducted to impart knowledge along with bringing a development in their auditory, oral, gross motor skills for the beneficiaries which include identification of alphabets, identification of two letter- three letter words,Dominos, Identification of numbers, poems, identification of shapes and formulation, memory game, drama session to make beneficiaries familiar with different types of vegetable vendors, Listening and telling.

Ms Marina Dutta’s session are fruitful for the beneficiaries as English learning has speeded up faster they recite stories they understand exercises given and complete the same. Along with education table etiquettes are being focused on the beneficiaries are learning how to have soup with the help of spoon. Marina Ma’am also celebrated Christmas with the beneficiaries during which she distributed Santa caps to the beneficiaries and sang songs with them.

Regular child future planning sessions are undertaken where the mothers are made aware about their child’s progress and are also instilled with skills to help them nurture their child in a better way. This quarter mothers were given awareness about Diwali vacation and how they need to take care of their child during the time period they are at home. They were also made aware about immunization.

Regular oral assessments are conducted this quarter during the assessment it was noticed that the performance of day care and night care shelter was better than the day care beneficiaries. The teachers have started working hard towards the academics of the day care beneficiaries.

Regular social skill sessions are conducted in topics such as good touch bad touch, toilet training and cleanliness, fighting and hitting other children, not to cling to the visitors or teachers, eat without making fuss, eating healthy and not using abusive language with an objective to bring and overall social skill development.

Various Art and Craft sessions were conducted with the beneficiaries which included Diya painting, and lantern making through this session teacher’s tried to promote the cognitive skills of the beneficiaries through the concepts of recognizing the pattern, and comparison. During this activity it was observed that the beneficiaries are improving in their creative skills they also learnt to make Making Zig – Zag, Fish, Gandhi Cap and Rose

Udaan-Umang session was conducted wherein the elder Udaan beneficiaries spoke to the Umang beneficiaries about good touch and bad touch and traffic rules. Umang beneficiaries were attentive and listened carefully. The session was good as the Udaan beneficiaries were effective to convey the preventive measures while walking/crossing the road and also give detailed knowledge about good touch and bad touch.

Health

Physical Health:

Due to the age group maximum amount of nutrition is required for further physical development taking these criteria into consideration we provide our beneficiaries with healthy and nutritional meal, which is prepared according to the diet chart. In order to track progress of the health regularly height and weight measurement is done of the beneficiaries an increase in height and weight show a positive development whereas loss in weight indicates health problem or sudden increase in height.

Monthly medical checkup for the beneficiaries were conducted during which the beneficiaries were thoroughly checked on the basis of the updates provided by the teacher and the beneficiary. The beneficiaries were confident and not scared of the doctors. It was noticed that no beneficiary was suffering from any major illness.

General health camp was conducted in collaboration with doctors from BMC E ward in order to provide Umang beneficiaries with medical assistance. The doctors checked the beneficiaries and prescribed medicines to beneficiaries who were suffering for cold and cough.

Medical camp was conducted in Falkland road center in collaboration with Lion’s Club of Bombay Crescent. Through these camp potential beneficiaries that require medical assistance were identified. The beneficiaries were mainly suffering from mild cold and cough.

Immunization camp was conducted wherein beneficiaries were immunized by trained professional from Nair hospital. During the camp mothers were given awareness about the importance of immunization and not missing on the dates which it needs to be given they were asked to maintain the record of their child.

Initially it was noticed that post enrollment the beneficiaries have to be taken for frequent medical referrals but as days pass and the immunity gets stronger the medical referrals reduce as a result of the nutritional meal, multivitamins, maintenance of health and hygiene.

Mental Health:

To combat further development of their emotional instability and prevent any mental health crisis in the future, we hold various therapy sessions with our Umang beneficiaries. This include art therapy and referrals to external experts for aid with severe mental health issues.

For recreational purposes beneficiaries are taken to garden visits and are engaged in indoor games and outdoor games. Which has positive impact on the overall behaviour of the beneficiaries leading them to be active and relaxed throughout the day.

To promote physical and mental development beneficiaries do exercises and meditation every morning which has become a habit proving to make beneficiaries productive and energetic throughout the day.

Recreation:

All festivals are celebrated with the beneficiaries to make them understand about varied festivals and why they are celebrated. This quarter the beneficiaries celebrated Diwali, Children’s day and Christmas. During Diwali celebrations beneficiaries were made aware about why Diwali is celebrated and it is harmful for the environment to burn crackers.

During children’s day beneficiaries were imparted knowledge about Children’s Day & Chacha Nehru (Jawaharlal lal Nehru) as a symbolization the beneficiaries wore Gandhi Cap and tucked in rose in their shirt. A magic show was organized for the beneficiaries it was seen that the beneficiaries were excited to see the magic and were not scared of any act performed. The beneficiaries thoroughly enjoyed themselves. During Christmas celebration Christmas tree and snow man was made. The also learnt about Christmas and why is it celebrated.

Annual picnic of Umang beneficiaries were conducted wherein the beneficiaries were taken to Tikujiniwadi a fun resort. The beneficiaries enjoyed the varied rides and were excited about the overall surrounding of the place. The beneficiaries also enjoyed the meal provided.

Capacity Building:

POCSO Training:

The training was conducted with staff along with support staff in order to develop their knowledge and sensitivity among staff members about POCSO Act. The session was interactive, provided an open platform for the participants to raise doubts. The staff members learnt about signs that are to kept an eye upon for identifying a victim of sexual abuse. They also gained knowledge of the law that is in place for protection of children against sexual abuse.

Crisis Management and work Ownership

The training was conducted by Adrian Rosario to explain the staff how a crisis can be managed and importance of work ownership. Through this training session the Staff learned about the importance of being alert and proactive and through the group activities staff realized that trust is the most important thing while working in the team.  Discussion with regards to attributes of a good leader was also done.

ICRI training

The ICRI training sessions are conducted in order to train the teachers in various skills of teaching keeping in mind the perspective of the child. Through this training teachers learn varied innovative techniques of imparting knowledge to the beneficiaries and understand the essence of every child’s need and level of grasping knowledge. During the training session in this quarters how they can help a child overcome his limitations and inhibition and learn things faster.

BCPT Training:

To train staff members upon effectively conducting English language learning sessions with young beneficiaries. The training was conducted with the help of educational videos. The participants learnt about ways to effectively teach alphabets, words and sentences to students of primary academic level. The method they learnt was to use e learning content by BCPT, use of flash cards, drawings and live objects for the purpose.

Pictures:

Art and craft activity with Umang beneficiaries
Art and craft activity with Umang beneficiaries
Fruit activity with Umang beneficiaries
Fruit activity with Umang beneficiaries
Immunization camp for Umang beneficiaries
Immunization camp for Umang beneficiaries
Children's day celebration
Children's day celebration
Impact statistics
Impact statistics
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Dental camp for Umang beneficiaries.
Dental camp for Umang beneficiaries.

Outreach:

The toddlers of this community are exposed to many forms of violence and abuse due to which they are susceptible to an exploitative environment. Our outreach team puts in a lot of effort to identify theses toddlers so that they can be given services which can help them grow in a holistic environment away from unsafe red-light area or community and give them tools to a better future.

With the continuous effort of our outreach team, this quarter has been able to enroll 8 new members in our Umang program and 379 home visits were conducted to our Umang mothers. Upon enrolments, these beneficiaries have access to kindergarten education (Balwadi), all forms of assistance with their health (ex: referrals, camps, nutritional support, etc.), therapies, interactive activities, exposure and recreational visits and rehabilitative measures like night-shelter house amongst other general support and aid.

Education:

Teachers have continued to follow the academic timetable for Umang Kindergarten which is specially designed keeping in mind the child’s holistic development. Teachers have incorporated certain changes in the Umang routine such as they started giving each beneficiary small responsibilities such as helping teachers to bring craft materials, holding papers, holding water bottle and distributing it to other children, folding their cloths and keeping it in the cupboard etc.

Apart from the regular changes in the chores the activities conducted for an overall development of the beneficiaries were odd man out, free play, magic bag activity, taste activity, slate writing, sewing activity,dominoes, identification of alphabets,book reading, five senses activitythese activities are catered to enhance visionary perception leading to cognitive development of beneficiaries, inculcating in them imagination skills to complete any activity, develope their gustation (sense of taste) and improved writing skills, improve gross motor skills along with eye hand coordination, developing an understanding of alphabets which help them in identification of word and basic reading and understanding of five senses.

The overall impact of the educational activities has been positive wherein beneficiaries are becoming more responsive and observant, they understand the instructions easily, they ask questions which shows that they are developing curiosity.

The beneficiaries are able to perform all the activities without any hurdles and the group activities are resulting in the formation of connections/relationship with other children. Younger beneficiaries are showing tremendous improvement in their language skills. They can say words and even form sentences.

In addition, beneficiaries are involved in extracurricular activities such as Art and craft Activities, Rain Scenery –Drawing, Paper fan – Origami, Paper Frog, Rakhi for Rakshabandhan celebration, snail, water color activity,finger painting, Ganapati – Paper cups and Clay, Fish Tank, Paper doll,Crushed Paper Ball were made by the beneficiaries. These activities are conducted to enhance knowledge of beneficiaries about monsoon season, improve fine motor skills, facilitate the creativity among the beneficiaries, bring about intellectual development and provide clarity of various concepts.

Ms Marina Dutta’s session are conducted wherein the beneficiaries tend to learn English faster as they hear Marina Dutta communicate in English with them, they also tend to recite the story along with Marina Ma’am which has helped them immensely in language development and understanding of work, they have also become efficient in completing the work Marina ma’am is happy with the performance of the beneficiaries. Beneficiaries have become effective in completing all the activities. Currently focus is being given to Table etiquettes, where the beneficiaries have practical experience of using cutlery on the dining table. The children are learning how to have soup with the help of spoon. It has been noticed that the beneficiaries are improving their five senses, motor skills, cognitive skills and social skills.

Regular monthly assessments are conducted orally for both younger and older Umang beneficiaries. The assessment shows that elder Umang beneficiaries have clarity in speech while pronouncing words which is a sign of speech development among beneficiaries whereas the younger beneficiaries are very good with their general knowledge as they know about animal, birds, parts of body etc.

E learning sessions are conducted for the beneficiaries as visual representation help them in learning faster and retaining subjects longer. By visual and audio representation beneficiaries were taught poems and action songs.

Udaan and Umang sessions are conducted where in the Udaan beneficiaries highlight and teach younger beneficiaries topics of importance and which has relevance to their daily life this quarter the beneficiaries taught Umang beneficiaries about Rainy season, what we use during the rainy season, what care we need to take etc. The beneficiaries were attentive and Udaan’s session was very detailed. It has been noticed that the beneficiaries are now well aware about which month rains occur and in what way they can protect themselves from getting wet during rainy season. The clarity of the topic is visible among the beneficiaries as they now immediately ask their teacher to carry an umbrella when it’s raining outside.

The other topic covered was good habits the Udaan beneficiaries reiterated to Umang beneficiaries about what is good habits it was noticed that the younger beneficiaries carefully listened to Udaan beneficiaries and after the session have started implementing good habits in their schedule they have started washing their hands, combing their hair and greeting other people etc.

Udaan beneficiaries also teach younger beneficiaries songs during the session Umang beneficiaries learnt a patriotic song along with action. The motive of undertaking this session was to instill the beneficiaries with the feeling of patriotism starting from a young age.

Apart from the sessions and activities for the beneficiaries’ regular child future planning sessions are undertaken where the mothers are made aware about their child’s progress and are also instilled with skills to help them nurture their child in a better way. As the mother’s lack to follow rules and regulations of the organization the mothers were made aware about the rules and policies of the organization. The mother’s acknowledged and accepted to follow the rules ardently it was noticed that the mothers who were irregular and did not follow timelines have started following the timelines.

The other topic highlighted was to menstrual hygiene and opening of saving accounts for the children. In detail discussion took place with regards to myth related with menstrual hygiene the mothers were not hesitant and asked queries about the same. It was also explained to mothers how important it is to open saving account for the children for their future education and other endeavors the discussion was impactful as just after the discussion many mothers’ came forward to open account for their children.

Mothers were also asked to send the children regularly to Balwadi(Kindergarten). The problem being faced by teachers due to absence was discussed with them and also the benefits of the services provided were again explained. The result of the meeting was fruitful as irregularity among the beneficiary has reduced.

Regular social skill sessions are conducted in topics such as good touch bad touch, toilet training and cleanliness, fighting and hitting other children, not to cling to the visitors or teachers, eat without making fuss, eating healthy and not using abusive language with an objective to bring and overall social skill development which will be helpful for them to start main stream schooling and also help them unlearn certain bad and unhealthy habits. It has been observed that the beneficiaries have become more sensitive towards other children and also children have stopped using abusive words which was learnt as an impact of their community.

Health

Physical Health:

The beneficiaries come from a susceptible background and suffer from malnutrition it is imperative to provide them with nutrient filled meals for their growth purpose as they belong to the age group maximum amount of nutrition is required as the basis of their further physical development taking these criteria into consideration we provide our beneficiaries with healthy and nutritional meal, which is prepared according to the diet chart.

This quarter it has been noticed that the beneficiaries have increased appetite which is a positive sign of good health. Nutritious meal along with timely multivitamins are improving their health along with an overall improvement in their behaviour they are energetic and happy, they participate in all the activities actively.

In order to track progress in health regularly height and weight measurement is done of the beneficiaries an increase in height and weight show a positive development whereas loss in weight indicates health problem or sudden increase in height.

These quarter beneficiaries were taken for monthly medical checkup where in the beneficiaries were thoroughly checked on the basis of the updates provided by the teacher. It is observed that the beneficiaries are not scared of the doctors they confidently respond when they are asked if any health issue is being faced by them. It was noticed that no beneficiary was suffering from any major illness and number of medical referrals are reduced due to maintenance of Hygiene in the shelter.

This quarter dental camp was conducted for the beneficiaries it was noticed that the beneficiaries were excited to show their teeth to the group of doctors. They did not shy away from the doctors. Doctors were child friendly and were trying to make them comfortable.Majority of the beneficiaries were given positive remarks on their oral hygiene since they brush their teeth twice a day.

It has been observed that beneficiaries initially enroll with the organization the beneficiaries have to be taken for frequent medical referrals but as days pass the medical referrals reduce as a result of the services provided.

Mental Health:

Acknowledging the fact that most of our beneficiaries are born into single parents, violent or broken family structures- their first contact with society, we recognize the fact that these toddlers may not have formed satisfying relationships or learnt to emote coherently in their early childhood. To combat further development of their emotional instability and prevent any mental health crisis in the future, we hold various therapy sessions with our Umang beneficiaries. This include art therapy and referrals to external experts for aid with severe mental health issues.

For recreational purposes beneficiaries are taken to garden visits and are engaged in indoor games. During the visits beneficiaries get to engage themselves in many outdoor activities which makes them energetic and happier. It has also been noticed that the beneficiaries are quite relaxed throughout the day after the garden visit and they have a more relaxed attitude and do not throw any fuss around the day.

The beneficiaries are also doing regular exercises and meditation. This calms the beneficiaries down and make them physically fit at the same time. Exercising makes them energetic and keeps them productive throughout the day. The beneficiaries like to participate and do exercise daily.

Recreation:

All festivals are celebrated with the beneficiaries to make them understand about varied festivals and why they are celebrated. This quarter rakshabandhan was celebrated where the younger beneficiaries tied Rakhi (a decorative thread to be tied on the wrist as a promise of protection, love and care) to the older beneficiaries as sign of brother hood. A feeling of protection towards each other was inculcated among the beneficiaries. Gopal Ashtami celebration also took place where the beneficiaries learnt that handi (pot) has to be broken during this festival. It was explained to the beneficiaries that during the celebration of the festival team work is required. The beneficiaries enjoyed bursting of balloon instead of breaking the pot. The beneficiaries were made to wear handmade tiara a replica of the tiara that Lord Krishna wears it gave the beneficiaries excitement to celebrate the day.

Independence day was also celebrated by the beneficiaries they were made to understand about the country and to made aware about Independence Day. Udaan beneficiaries started the celebration with imparting the information about the freedom struggle and the Independence Day of the India. For Umang beneficiaries it was more of a story so they were paying good attention. They could identify the Indian Flag. The celebration was followed by National Anthem.

This quarter teacher’s day was celebrated wherein during Balwadi classes, Program Manager asked all the children to say thank you to their teachers and wished them Happy teacher’s day. In the evening a combined Celebration was conducted with Udaan team. Udaan kids made greetings for all the teachers and facilitated the teachers by giving them the greeting card and chocolates. Through this celebration the toddlers learnt to respect teachers as it has been noticed that a beneficiary after each activity thanks the teachers.

Exposure visit was conducted for the beneficiaries they were taken to visit Ganapati pandal at the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi. The exposure contained of the visit to Pandal but in the way while walking through the market, they got exposure of fruit vendors, Cobbler, Shops selling different items as well as vehicles. They also went to the Police station where they come across with Police officers in their uniforms and Police vehicle the Children were astonished to see police officers and when asked who would want to be police officer, all elder beneficiaries yelled and raised their hands. It was observed that the observation skill of the toddlers has improved and they consider every minute detail that come in their way.

Capacity Building:

A full day was conducted by ICRI to enhance skills of Balwadi teachers for improving quality of education and to train the teachers different effective methods such as Project Method to teach the beneficiaries about certain concept. It was explained to the teacher that projects change depending on the age group of children. It has been noticed that regular sessions motivate the teachers to use different techniques to teach the beneficiaries better. The dedication towards work and to perform better has increased.

The other session was conducted to introduce alphabets and to teach Phonics to the children of different age group. Through these session teachers are equipped with the skills of introducing alphabets in different methods and not just by writing or learning alphabets by heart. They have conducted activities such as identification of alphabets to introduce the alphabets to the toddlers. The impact of the session is positive as teachers have started making a weekly plan for conducting activities which shows improvement in their working methods. Also, teachers are preparing various Teaching- Learning aids to conduct the Balwadi activities which shows the enhancement in their teaching methods.

Looking at the need for staff training this quarter support staff and teachers underwent a training on “Work Ethics and Responsibility” and Stress Management. During the training the resource person conducted various exercises and games to engage the team. The staff participated whole heartedly they were quite open and expressive which made the session interactive. The staff members learnt about team work and maintain a healthy work relationship by helping one another.

Success story:

ABC, 4 years old, was enrolled in AAWC Day care shelter few months ago. Her mother put her in day center due to her erratic work life and inability to look after her daughter. During initial days, ABC used to cry a lot every time use to ask to let her go to her mother. Once done with crying she used to sit alone in the corner, she avoided other children and did not even respond to teachers, she did not participate in any activity. She was even reluctant to eat lunch.

She was given time to settle in and teachers did not force her to participate in activities; they gave her space and respected her comfort zone. However, teacher used to have healthy dialogue with her time to time in which they introduced her with other children and other teachers. Gradually they asked her to sit in the circle with other children, on which she gave positive response. Once she started observing all the activities she was developing interest to be part of the activities. The improvement shown led teachers to understand her willingness to participate they started taking her in various activities. She has now been participating in all the activities and developing in all aspects.

 Pictures:

Fine motor skill activity.
Fine motor skill activity.
Eye and hand co-ordination activity.
Eye and hand co-ordination activity.
Gopal Ashtami celebration.
Gopal Ashtami celebration.
Art and craft activity.
Art and craft activity.
Independence day celebration.
Independence day celebration.
Umang Impact Statistics.
Umang Impact Statistics.
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Class activity with Umang beneficiaries.
Class activity with Umang beneficiaries.

Ritu* 5 years old, she was enrolled in AAWC night shelter two years ago. When she was enrolled she was very weak, she could not even walk properly as her mother suffers from health issue she could not take care of her daughter’s health properly. Instantly Ritu was given five times nutritious meal according to the diet chart along with calcium and Vitamin D syrup on daily basis to strengthen her bones. Considering her weak health, teachers started conducting fine and gross motor skills activities with her. Teachers also observed that she had not developed her speech when she was 3 years old, so they focused on her language development as well. With such continuous efforts of teachers, she started showing improvements while playing games and reciting poems. Not only her muscles strength improved but also she started to speak in lower tone. Day by day she is improving, her participation in the outdoor activities has increased tremendously.

Outreach:

The toddlers of this community are exposed to many forms of violence and abuse due to which they are susceptible to an exploitative environment. Our outreach team puts in a lot of effort(s) to identify theses toddlers so that they can be given services which can help them grow in a holistic environment away from unsafe red-light area or community and give them tools to a better future.

With the continuous efforts of our outreach team, this quarter we have been able to enroll 11 new members in our Umang program and 453 home visits were conducted to our Umang mothers. Upon enrolments, these beneficiaries have access to kindergarten education (Balwadi), all forms of assistance with their health referrals, camps, nutritional support, etc., therapies, interactive activities, exposure and recreational visits and rehabilitative measures like night-shelter home amongst other general support and aid.

Education:

This quarter the teachers continued to follow the academic timetable for Umang Kindergarten which is specially designed keeping in mind the child’s holistic development. The beneficiaries have been taught alphabets and numbers, poems, storytelling in order to improve their understanding of English language and also enhance their speaking skills.

The timetable also consisted of the following activities: odd man out, matching the pairs, taste and guess, bottle activity, magic bag activity, read the picture, clay activity, sharavanbhed (Identifying the different sounds), object discrimination, three corners and free games. These activities were done to explain the children about five senses, bring about cognitive development, improve speaking skills, to develop the sense of touch, to develop the sense of movement which is in medical term called as proprioceptive senses it involves the ability to perceive certain things even when eyes are closed, improve visual perception, improve auditory perception and improve fine motor skills.

It was observed that each activity catered to the overall development of the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries paid attention and they learned about various taste, sound, discrimination between different objects, balancing, their sense of touch and movement improved. This has helped in instilling confidence and enhancing their communication skill.

This quarter teacher’s not only focused on their academics but also have started to focus on their social development. The objectives of all activities were mainly related to promote their social and emotional development. The activities were involved around the sense of self, responsibility of self and others; and social behavior. Through the activities such as observation game, Friendship, Role-play and teacher assistance etc.; teacher tried to improve the abilities of the children to adjust in new situations, to respect and care for classroom environment and materials, the ability to recognize the feelings of others and respect others.

This quarter e -learning sessions have been conducted to help the children learn more through visual perception. The topic conducted on e-learning was about the earth, moon and sun. The children were astonished to see how the earth looks from space and they had many questions regarding the water bodies visible and living beings. Along with this video they also got an opportunity to explore google maps and understand India is a part of the earth.

The other session was to explain the beneficiaries about water cycle which was done through storytelling and chart as the story was about water cycle the concept of rain became very clear to the elder Umang beneficiaries and they were very attentive and also cleared their doubts through questions.

Another group session highlighted the importance of water and why we should not waste it. The session was interactive and filled with questions from the beneficiaries which made the session helpful and gave a better understanding of water and its use to the beneficiaries.

This quarter Ms Marina Dutta’s sessions were conducted in which she conducted activities such as yoga, puzzles, life of Mahatma Gandhi and storytelling through flash cards and collage making. The activities involved in Marina Dutta’s session have the objective to develop the Physical-Motor skills, Cognitive- Language skills and Social- emotional skills among the beneficiaries. It has been observed that the techniques used by her is effective as she influences the children to speak loud and clear in her session because of which the speech of many beneficiaries has become clear.

This quarter monthly assessments were conducted to understand better the area in whichbeneficiaries require more development on. These assessments are conducted orally and the development made by the beneficiaries is clearly understood through their performance.

This quarter Udaan and Umang session were conducted to form a mentor-mentee relationship among the Udaan and Umang beneficiaries and to represent Udaan beneficiaries as a role model for Umang beneficiaries. In this quarter Udaan beneficiaries have been teaching songs and poems to the Umang beneficiaries, they also tell them moral stories so that they inculcate good values in them, the Udaan beneficiaries have also started teaching their younger counterparts about clock and how to read it starting with the numbers it shows, though the beneficiaries find it difficult to understand the functioning of the clock still the Udaan beneficiaries are trying to make them understand how a clock functions. The Udaan beneficiaries also with the help of a chart have explained the lifecycle of butterfly to the beneficiaries and the concept was explained in very simple words and it was understood by the beneficiaries very clearly.

In this quarter the child future planning session (CFS) was conducted to inform the mothers about birth Certificate and Birth Affidavit which was a repeated session to make the mothers understand the importance of the identity documents of children required for school enrollment.

The other topic covered was the consumption of tobacco by the mother’s in front of children and the harmful implication on their health as the explanation was done through a skit performed by our Udaan beneficiaries it had an impact on their mothers. They understood it very clearly that it is not correct to consume tobacco for their health as well as in front of their children and they always need to keep it out of reach of children.

The other CFS meeting topic was to make the women aware about family planning. This topic was addressed because it has been observed that the beneficiaries were not aware of family planning. As it has been observed that though they are unable to take care of their children still they are expanding their family which is putting financial pressure on them. In this meeting, beneficiaries were first informed about safe sex, contraceptives and importance of family planning. It was observed that the mothers were quiet uncomfortable to share their thoughts with regards to the same but they did understand the importance of family planning.

Social skill sessions are also regularly conducted with the beneficiaries on topics such as Good touch bad touch, Toilet training and cleanliness, No Fighting and hitting other children, not to cling to the visitors or teachers. Eat without making fuss. Not using abusive language. This session is conducted to inculcate good social abilities which will help them to become more social when they start going to school and also to help them unlearn certain bad and unhealthy habits.

This quarter group session was conducted to inculcate the habit of sharing and caring for others this was done through storytelling and video presentation on pet animals and the reciprocation of affection and care from the animals when showed care. The beneficiaries understood the topic very clearly.

Regularly art and craft activities are conducted with the beneficiaries to enhance their skills this quarter the beneficiaries have learnt to make carrot out of paper, wall hanging and collage. The beneficiaries also learnt finger print painting using water colour.

Health and Nutrition: 

Physical Health:

As the beneficiaries come from a susceptible background and suffer from malnutrition it is imperative to provide them with nutrient filled meals for their growth purpose as they belong to the age group were maximum amount of nutrition is required as it is the basis of their further physical development. Taking these criteria into consideration we provide our beneficiaries with healthy and nutritional meal, which is prepared according to the diet chart.

During this quarter, a new diet chart was introduced to the beneficiaries in accordance with the season as it is summer season a lot of liquid items Ampanna (raw mango Juice), buttermilk etc has been added to keep the children hydrated. The new diet has been relished by the beneficiaries. The multivitamins were also given at the right time daily to the beneficiaries.

This quarter whenever the beneficiaries had any health issues they have been taken for referral to both government as well as private hospitals. It has been noticed that referrals are reducing in number and none of the beneficiaries have been suffering from major illness.

Regularly monthly medical checkup is conducted by taking all the beneficiaries to the nearby hospital. This is done to keep a track on all the beneficiaries health under the supervision of doctors and nurses this helps us detect the smallest of illnesses which helps us treat it at the earliest.

This quarter general health camp was conducted in collaboration with the doctors from E- ward. During the camp the beneficiaries were asked about their problems, checked and were prescribed medicines accordingly. Most of the beneficiaries had slight cold and cough. The team of doctors had come along with medicines hence the beneficiaries were immediately provided with the same.

Mental health.

Acknowledging the fact that most of our beneficiaries are born into single parents, violent or broken family structures- their first contact with society, we recognize the fact that these toddlers may not have formed satisfying relationships or learnt to emote coherently in their early childhood. To combat further development of their emotional instability and prevent any mental health crisis in the future, we hold various therapy sessions with our Umang beneficiaries. This include art therapy and referrals to external experts for aid with severe mental health issues.

In order to provide a congenial environment and sufficient amount of exercise we take the beneficiaries for garden visits where they play games and outdoor activities are conducted. The beneficiaries are also involved in many indoor games that help them improve their concentration and thinking capability.

To maintain good health, we conduct fitness activities such as yoga and sports. The beneficiaries are regularly involved in exercise and meditation that keeps them energetic throughout the day and has also helped the children calm their behaviour.

Recreation:

This quarter for recreation purposes children were taken for garden visits regularly where they played various type of games and also got an opportunity to play with mud and create shapes out of it.

This quarter the children celebrated mother’s day by putting forward many performances for their mother’s they danced, they sang songs and also recited poetry. It was an emotional moment for the mothers to see their children perform in front of them. As a way to express their wishes the beneficiaries also made card for their mother’s.

This quarter laughter day celebration took place in collaboration with Book a Smile, initiative of Book My show. In the celebration a show was presented by a Ventriloquist Artist and Charlie Chaplin artist. The beneficiaries at first were scared of the toy with which the ventriloquist was performing but they slowly were amazed to see the toy talk. The beneficiaries enjoyed the Charlie Chaplin show they were laughing to their hearts content and also few beneficiaries got an opportunity to be part of the show. After this all the beneficiaries danced on their favorite song along with Charlie Chaplin.

This quarter Eid was celebrated with the beneficiaries wherein the beneficiaries were taught to make star and moon along with this activity the beneficiaries where explained why Eid is celebrated. The beneficiaries enjoyed biryani and Sheer Kurma and also got an opportunity to hug and wish each other Eid. Immense joy was reflected on their faces.

This quarter the beneficiaries for recreational purposes were taken to YaYa play zone and Wonder park, the children enjoyed both the places and got an opportunity to play different games and enjoy a train ride in the park.

Capacity Building:

This quarter the Kindergarten teachers underwent training conducted by ICRI in order to improve the quality of education in the Umang program and to help the teachers imbibe different methods of teaching English Language to the toddlers. In the training first teachers learned about phonics which is essential for them to understand as it forms the basics of the language development for children. As the session was interesting teachers developed the interest to learn more about Phonics. They also learned the various tips regarding ice-breakers before starting any activities. It has been noticed that teacher’s immediately started implementing the activities they have been taught in the training sessions. They have learned that every activity has objective behind it and they first need to have an objective and then see if the objective is being fulfilled after implementing the activity.

The other training conducted by ICRI involved training the teachers how to introduce numbers through readiness activity. This training helped our teachers to understand the procedure and the sequence of introducing maths- shapes, sizes, counting etc.

The staff members attended a training session conducted by the occupational therapist that aimed to familiarize the staff with Child Psychology and counselling and the process of learning among children.

The session involved making the staff familiar with the importance of five senses in children, the importance of sense of balance and sense of movement. The staff members brought forward all the activities that they are conducting with the beneficiaries to familiarize them with their senses. The participation of the staff and efforts were appreciated by the therapist.

The other session involved information regarding visual perception and auditory perception and different activities to be conducted keeping in mind various concepts to develop visual perception and auditory perception was highlighted. Concept’s such as form constancy, figure group and scanning, spatial relationships and discrimination was explained in detail along with examples that made it very clear to the staff member’s when and where they could utilize it.

The other training session of the occupational therapist was based on stress management. She introduced the staff with various techniques of stress management amongst children as well as the staff themselves. The techniques taught was easy and the staff has been able to implement it easily. The techniques taught have made it easier for the staff to handle children sensitively with behavioral issues.

 Pictures:

Free play activity for Umang beneficiaries
Free play activity for Umang beneficiaries
Umang beneficiaries experiencing rock climbing.
Umang beneficiaries experiencing rock climbing.
Umang beneficiaries playing at Yaya playzone.
Umang beneficiaries playing at Yaya playzone.
Art and craft activity with Umang beneficiaries.
Art and craft activity with Umang beneficiaries.
Udaan and Umang session.
Udaan and Umang session.
Wonder park visit with Umang beneficiaries.
Wonder park visit with Umang beneficiaries.
Eid celebration activity.
Eid celebration activity.

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Annual sports day of Umang beneficiaries.
Annual sports day of Umang beneficiaries.

 “Teacher, when I keep my child at other organization, I can see how bad they treat my child. I like to see the love and care the child gets here at AAWC. Thus I want him/her to live in this organization for 24 hours.”- Umang Mother.

 Outreach: 

The toddlers of this community are exposed to many forms of violence and abuse due to which they are susceptible to an exploitative environment. Our outreach team puts in a lot of effort to identify theses toddlers so that they can be given services which can help them grow in a holistic environment away from unsafe red-light area or community and give them tools to a better future.

With the continuous effort of our outreach team, this quarter has been able to enroll 9 new members in our Umang program and 443 home visits were conducted to our Umang mothers. Upon enrolments, these beneficiaries have access to kindergarten education (Balwadi), all forms of assistance with their health (ex: referrals, camps, nutritional support, etc.), therapies, interactive activities, exposure and recreational visits and rehabilitative measures like night-shelter house amongst other general support and aid.

Education: 

During this quarter a new timetable for Umang Kindergarten was introduced which is designed specifically keeping in mind the aspects of child’s development. It includes activities such as Free play which contains making collage out of buttons, paper balls, stickers, identifying the sound and the object from which it is produced, counting, observing and sharing about any object, matching the pair, classification, identifying the differences between two objects/place etc.

Due to these activities being conducted as part of the timetable the beneficiaries sensory and auditory skills have improved and they are able to identify shapes and sounds easily. This skill has helped them learn shapes, size, colours, animals, birds and vegetables.

Apart from basic education such as alphabets and numbers teachers have also tried to teach words related with our day to day life such as (Day-night, sun-moon, fast-slow etc) the objective of this is to make them understand the difference between different actions, things and commands.

They have also introduced new activities such as putting different things in the box such as beans, pencils using extractor in one hand with the objective of improving their fine motor skills as well to promote their cognitive development. It was noticed that each beneficiary was using a different technique to put the objects in the box.

Overall this quarter it has been observed that children are more participative and interested in the activities due to the innovative learning techniques being used for teaching. The rise in their interest has led to an increase of learning. Though few children still do require the support of their teacher in reading and writing.

This quarter we had educational session by Ms. Marina Duttawith the beneficiaries in which she conducted yoga for children, storytelling session , Exploring and Discovering the Life of Mahatma Gandhi using Flash cards and with the help of replicas of Mahatma Gandhi’s Spectacles, Turban, Chappals, Spinning Wheel, Indio, Salt, pocket watch, Radium Torch, Inedible Ink, Three monkeys, Collage of crazy Chinese floor Mosaics and freedom fighters while listening to music from Bluetooth speaker, Sorting collage material with delight and folding flag handkerchiefs.

E-learning sessions were conducted with the beneficiaries where in videos are shown of various fruits, vegetable, domestic animals and wildlife. This quarter the children were shown videos of water conservation wherein explanation was given to children how we should not waste water and conserve it for future utilization. The children listened attentively but due to their short time of concentration it was difficult to explain the whole concept of rain to them. But when questions were asked to the children it was observed that they understand basics like the tap should not be kept open from a longer time as they were thinking and replying to the questions.

The other session was on five senses video in the relation to the topic was shown and then children were asked to relate their part of the body with the senses it was observed that the children understood the five senses well and were able to point the correct part of the body.

Regular ‘Children Future Planning Sessions’ (CFS) during mother’s meeting was conducted during this quarter which was included information about Measles and Rubella vaccinations. It was noticed that the mothers during the meeting were attentive as they were not aware about the vaccination. We imparted all relevant information regarding the vaccination and also requested them to spread the word in the community.

In the CFS meeting we also discussed about the health, progress and development of their children and in which they need to give more attention and we showed them art & craft things which were prepared by their children. They were really happy to see the things prepared by them. Apart from this we even shared the incidence of chicken pox and explained to them that as it was a communicable disease we had to send the children home as it could have affected the health of other children. After hearing this the mothers of the beneficiaries were very supportive of the decision and they well understood the reason behind the decision made.

The other CFS meetings objective was to inform the importance of birth certificate and birth affidavit to the mother’s. As it one of the necessary documents required for school admissions. They were informed about the process of school admission and the documents required and were also requested to submit the document which will help us for the school admission or else would create a hindrance during the child’s admission in upcoming academic year. It was seen that the mother’s understood the importance as two mothers’ immediately showed interest by approaching us to help them obtain birth affidavit of their child.

This quarter on a daily basis social skill sessions were conducted on topics such as good touch, bad touch, greetings of the day, good habits to maintain hygiene, toilet training, good manners and eating everything without making fuss.

The beneficiaries were taken for an exposure visit to Kidzania (an amusement cum career guidance cum entertainment park) in order to understand the roles of different professions (doctor, fire fighter and police men) through practical implementation as they provide set up of hospital emergency room, Police Station and fire brigade office along with fire extinguishing tools.

Along with the role playing activities the kids also got an opportunity to visit the factory set up of Kellogg’s and fruity. The beneficiaries were shocked to see the preparation of these items as they consume it at a regular basis. It was observed that the beneficiaries were disciplined and attentive during the process The beneficiaries enjoyed the visit and snacks provided.

Health and Nutrition: 

Physical Health:

As the beneficiaries come from a susceptible background and suffer from malnutrition it is imperative to provide them with nutrient filled meals for their growth purpose as they belong to the age group maximum amount of nutrition is required as the basis of their further physical development taking these criteria into consideration we provide our beneficiaries with healthy and nutritional meal, which is prepared according to the diet chart.

During this quarter, the diet chart was regularly followed and Kellogg’s has been added as a new addition to their breakfast which is enjoyed by the beneficiaries and the multivitamin supplements were provided in the right time. Their height and weight assessment were regularly done so that we can track the improvement in the beneficiaries’ health.

During this quarter regular medical check-ups took place along with a health check-up camp where in the beneficiaries were given de- worming medicine and vitamin E supplement. The beneficiaries were not detected with any major or chronic disease. Most of the children have majorly complained about cold and cough and skin irritation.

“They have good oral health, most of the children have clean teeth.”- Dentist

Not only a health camp but also a dental camp was conducted the assessment of which showed no significant oral problems. This reflects that the oral hygiene of our beneficiaries are well maintained.

One of the health related challenge we faced was chicken pox as it is an airborne disease and lack of space led to the spreading of the disease among other beneficiaries

Mental health:

Acknowledging the fact that most of our beneficiaries are born into single parents, violent or broken family structures- their first contact with society, we recognize the fact that these toddlers may not have formed satisfying relationships or learnt to emote coherently in their early childhood. To combat further development of their emotional instability and prevent any mental health crisis in the future, we hold various therapy sessions with our Umang beneficiaries. This include art therapy and referrals to external experts for aid with severe mental health issues.

In order to provide a congenial environment and sufficient amount of exercise we take the beneficiaries for garden visits where the play games and outdoor activities are conducted.

To maintain good health, we conduct fitness activities such as yoga and sports.

On Sports day we saw that beneficiaries who were quiet, are being so sporty and are playing with the fellows actively’, a staff attendant shared her observation.

This quarter we held the annual sports for our Umang beneficiaries. They were very excited during the entire event and were also very happy to participate in all the sports activities that was organized. Activities such as Running race, Lemon and spoon, Frog Jump, Potato race, and throw ball were conducted. It was very interesting to see that the beneficiaries understood the activities and knew that it was a competition they were happy to receive chocolates after the event.

Indoor games are also included such as Catch and throw game, Bowling, Blind man’s bluff was played in the center. Teachers also give them time for their free play where they play with the toys according to their choice.

This quarter free dance hour was conducted by the volunteers from ceres global the beneficiaries enjoyed the music and danced their heart out. It was noticed that the children were following the steps of the volunteers attentively and were trying to do it exactly the same way.

In order to provide a time of enjoyment along with making them understand our of various festivals this quarter we celebrated Makarsankranti wherein the beneficiaries participated in kite making the beneficiaries were very excited when the elder beneficiaries were sharing how they flew kites with their elder siblings when they go home, younger beneficiaries were quite overwhelmed to see the kites with beautiful designs. The teachers along with the kites explained them reason for celebrating Sankranti through telling them a story.

We celebrated republic day with the beneficiaries where the beneficiaries sang national anthem along with the teachers and as part of art and craft session made the national flag.

Teachers celebrated Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti by sharing the story of Shivaji Maharaj with Umang beneficiaries. Umang beneficiaries actively listened to the story and were quite amazed to hear about battles and horses.

This quarter we also celebrated Holi with our Udaan and Umang beneficiaries during the celebration all Udaan and Umang beneficiaries were asked to stand in a row in pair facing each other. Then one by one teacher distributed colors to Udaan and Umang beneficiaries, then they both applied the colors to each other. Then with the joy of having colour on their hands, all children became so excited that they started throwing colors to each other and started applying it on everyone including teachers and staff. They also reciprocated in the same manner. Few of the Umang beneficiaries were scared and were not comfortable to play initially but once they realized that everyone is having fun, they were also participating in the celebration. All beneficiaries were dancing and jumping with the joy after seeing everyone specially the teachers in colorful faces.

Night Shelter:

We also run our own rehabilitative night shelter for the most vulnerable toddlers and adolescent girls of women in prostitution. Acting as a safe space away from the disturbances and brutalities of the red-light district, our night shelter provides a home for many young children who have never known the comforts of a family and healthy living. With a capacity of 25 toddlers, the members of the night shelter have access to all the other Umang activities like education, health, empowerment, extra-curricular, recreational and exposure visits, and celebrations held at our centers.

Capacity building:

In this quarter we have had in house training for our Balwadi teachers by Mrs. Vijaya Murthi from ICRI (International child resource institute) about the issues regarding early childhood education and talked about various methods through which we can improve the quality of preschool education in AAWC. The topic for the training was “Upgrading ourselves professionally as pre-school teachers'”

The session reflected how through games & songs the teachers can sustain children's interest & attention. For this various action songs were demonstrated with the aspects of learning like vocabulary building, concept development, engaging physically to decrease restlessness, learning different new ideas & so on. Through games similarly mathematical concepts were taken up & demonstrated as to how children will get clarity in these concepts which will smoothly assist them in learning like before, after, higher, lower & so on.

Vijaya Ma’am used demonstration technique to show the teachers how to tell stories though teaching skills & techniques of Voice modulation, facial gestures, eye contact & body language. In addition, a session on self-esteem as to how most of us have a low self-esteem & why.  The teachers were also guided as to how to strengthen their self-esteem.

In order to have prolong effect of the training assignments have been given in forms of questions, which will help the teachers to reflect upon to improve their work skills.

Weekly training sessions are also being conducted where in Mrs., Shaila Chitnis teaches our teachers to make puppets and how use these puppets to facilitate an interactive session among the teacher and beneficiaries. According to her puppet can help the children to develop language skills as when the teacher uses puppet and speak as puppet, children listen and identify from where the sound is coming, once they realize it they try to understand the relation between the sound and the movement of the puppet. This activity makes them think and learn in fun way.

These sessions are having a positive impact as apart from the regular academics, study material the teachers are trying to focus on how beneficiaries can develop their knowledge and learn in a simple way with some game based study interaction. Such as Alphabets recognition with the use of Name cards, pista shells, 01 to 10 numbers counting with the use of cold drink bottle caps, recognition of Ascending and descending numbers by jumping on that particular number box (01 to 10 numbers) and Learning with Puppets.

Success story:

Rina* now 4 years old, was just 2.5 years old when she was enrolled in the day care shelter of AAWC. Her mother could not take care of her during night due to exigencies of her work. Her mother is highly active in the red light area as a result her mother used to drop her at the day care shelter she realized that her daughter is learning so many new constructive things so she started trusting the organization and kept the child in night care shelter. Initially Rina* used to do sexual enactments and used to hit/bite other children. Thus no one wanted to play with her. In academics also she was very weak as she didn’t participate in any activities. However, with staff’s perseverance and support, after months, she showed lots of improvement, she not only participated in all the activities but also performed well. She has improved her social skills as well. She has become friendly and she takes care of young beneficiaries, she has also understood the concept of good touch- bad touch. She loves and takes pride in assisting the teachers during the activities.

 

Pictures:

Umang beneficiaries health check-up camp.
Umang beneficiaries health check-up camp.
Garden visit with Umang beneficiaries.
Garden visit with Umang beneficiaries.
Kite making activity with Umang beneficiaries.
Kite making activity with Umang beneficiaries.
Umang beneficiaries in art and craft session.
Umang beneficiaries in art and craft session.
Holi celebration with Umang beneficiaries.
Holi celebration with Umang beneficiaries.

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Umang beneficiaries during fancy dress celebration
Umang beneficiaries during fancy dress celebration

“When Shahid* wrote 1 to 100 on his slate without copying, my heart was filled with JOY. I kept the slate aside and showed it to everyone in the office. I could see how Shahid* was proud of himself. Being a first-generation learner, as his mother is illiterate; she does not even understand poems or oral alphabets that he utters in front of her. Shahid* has become a success story for Umang” – Umang Program Manager.

“You guys are doing excellent work, and these children are so amazing, they are so knowledgeable and well aware about certain things which shows that they are being empowered here. We felt very proud to associate with AAWC.”- Gilbarco Team member.

Outreach: 

The toddlers of this community are susceptible to many forms of violence and abuse, such as being used as pawns for gambling and drug peddling, being exposed to pornography, physical fights, harassment of their mothers or other female family members, and sometimes even being assaulted by themselves. Considering such an exploitative environment, our outreach team is the first and usually preferred point of contact between Apne Aap Women’s Collective and the community inhabiting Kamathipura and Falkland Road, the red-light districts of Mumbai.

With the aid of our dedicated outreach team, this quarter 7 new members joined our Umang program and 516 home visits were conducted to our Umang mothers. Upon enrolments, these beneficiaries have access to kindergarten education (Balwadi), all forms of assistance with their health (ex: referrals, camps, nutritional support, etc.), therapies, interactive activities, exposure and recreational visits and rehabilitative measures like night-shelter house amongst other general support and aid.

Education:

“Teacher, my son has become so used to being at school that when he is at home, he asks me to drop him at school. He says that his teacher has called him to study.”- Umang Mother.

This quarter, our Umang beneficiaries continued to learn alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes, Basic English and Hindi poetry and other fundamental literature of a kindergarten. 214 written and oral assessment for our Umang beneficiaries were done in the last three months. Most of our beneficiaries did well in the assessment, and some have even developed their understanding of alphabets and numbers better because of illustrated charts and regular poem practices.

The teacher’s in order to improve the method of teaching have started creating teaching- learning material which include making of puzzles and cards in addition they have also started conducting activities like collage making which promotes cognitive development among the beneficiaries.

This quarter to improve the general knowledge of the children the method used by teachers was pictorial representation of famous personalities and followed by special days and the significance. For instance, the picture of Mahatma Gandhi was shown to the Children and then they were explained why Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated this helps develop interest in children’s mind and grabs more attention which helps them learn and retain things better.

This quarter we have started a collaboration with International Child Recourse Institute, which work with educating Balwadi teachers in early childhood care and education. We now get weekly visits by specialist Ms. Shaila Chitnis who comes to observe the Balwadi program and then discuss with the teachers about methods of teaching. She has also given illustrations of various activities that will promote the cognitive and physical development etc.

Apart from these assessments and activities, we have also maintained our regular garden visits- while constantly introducing newer games and activities to maintain their attention.

Additionally, this quarter, all the staff at both of our centers have participated in two session on the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 and POCSO act 2012(Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act 2012). Both these trainings were very successful and staff gave positive feedback and requested more such trainings in the future.

Health and Nutrition:

At AAWC, we place utmost importance on the health and nutritional aid provided to our beneficiaries. Acknowledging the fact that all of our members are from a highly vulnerable and marginalized community, and live in environments that often trigger ill health due to undernourishment - our activities range from spreading awareness on general hygiene, sanitation, and required medical support to holding quarterly health camps targeting specific ailments. We have also arranged periodic supply of sourdough breads, healthy salads and sandwiches, which complement the beneficiaries’ daily meals with varied tastes. MR vaccination to all the day and night shelter children were done.

Along with this, we aid our beneficiaries with specialized awareness programs for their mothers (ex: neonatal care, medical treatments for contagious diseases, seasonal healthcare, etc.), routine medical referrals, nutritional aid provided through a well-designed diet chart, multivitamin and protein supplements, following up with hospitals and doctors, etc. Nutritional aid in the form of healthy and warm meals, protein and multivitamin supplements, moringa (drumstick) seeds and soymilk is provided on daily basis. This quarter, we also had our General Health Camp in October.

Counseling:

Acknowledging the fact that most of our beneficiaries are born into single parents, violent or broken family structures- their first contact with society, we recognize the fact that these toddlers may not have formed satisfying relationships or learnt to emote transparently in their earl childhood. To combat further development of their emotional instability and prevent any mental health crisis in the future, we hold various therapy sessions with our Umang beneficiaries. This include art therapy and referrals to external experts for aid with severe mental health issues.

Empowerment:

This quarter, we focused on the procurement of identity documents for the children. For those mothers who have birth certificates of their children AAWC has now helped those children get Aadhar cards (social security number). We have also discussed saving habits at our Child’s future planning meeting where mothers were informed about the opening a savings account process and encouraged to open them for their children. Which lead to two women opening saving accounts after the meeting.

Having noticed that the Umang beneficiaries are closer to the adolescent Udaan girl beneficiaries of AAWC, we realized that designing a few sessions between them might lead to positive changes in both sets of beneficiaries. This quarter, the Udaan-Umang sessions included storytelling and games on the themes of discipline, morals, and kindness. Our Udaan girls had a resourceful and interesting time at these sessions, and have been displaying small gestures of positive behavior like, helping their peers to sleep, taking care of their younger friends, and helping the teachers in managing discipline in classes etc. As assumed, these sessions have led to higher bonding amongst them, with the Umang toddlers finding role models and mentors in their older counterparts.

“My child whenever he sits down for eating, he joins his hand and utter certain words, all my friends look at him and says that my child is very sincere. I know it is all because he comes to AAWC and learns such good habits.” – Umang Mother.

We have continued our new activity on social skills this quarter. These sessions aimed at educating the young Umang children on behavior aspects and routine formation. From teaching the children about washing hands regularly before meals to toilet training for the extremely young, these sessions are imperative in creating a fundamentally healthy and socially adept child. We also teach the children about “good touch and bad touch”, about not fighting with one’s peers and about eating without making fuss.

We also run our own rehabilitative night shelter for the most vulnerable toddlers and adolescent girls of women in prostitution. Acting as a safe space away from the disturbances and brutalities of the red-light district, our night shelter provides a home for many young children who have never known the comforts of a family and healthy living. With a capacity of almost 40 adolescent girls and 25 toddlers, the members of the night shelter have access to all the other Umang activities like education, health, empowerment, extra-curricular, recreational and exposure visits, and celebrations held at our centers.

Recreational Activities:

Activities such as indoor and outdoor games, arts and crafts, story-telling sessions, watching quiz on television, etc. were held this quarter for our Umang beneficiaries. A few of the indoor activities include catch and throw for developing motor skills, drawing, hand clapping games, In and Out etc. All of our beneficiaries have enjoyed these activities, and often look forward to more of these due to the fun and informal nature of such events.

 Celebrations:

“Teacher, Aap Kitne thak Jate honge na harr roj” (Teacher, you must be getting tired daily). These are the words uttered by one elder Umang beneficiary as she was exhausted by enacting one Balwadi (Kindergarten) teacher and teaching younger Umang beneficiary during Teacher’s Day Celebration. When she was teaching younger beneficiary ABC the way we teach I felt very proud of myself, as this is the result of our efforts. Hearing all children wishing us Happy teacher’s day and Thank you, my heart was filled with Joy. – Umang Balwadi teacher

During this quarter, we have had many lovely celebrations, which have really been the highlights of this period. We have celebrated Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd of October marking the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

We have also celebrated Navratri during which our team organized Fancy dress for the beneficiaries; they became flowers, fruits, famous personalities such as Savitri Bai Phule, Chacha Nehru, and Professionals such as doctors, police officer, Vegetable vendor etc. One beneficiary became Maggie, which surprised everyone. In the afternoon, all beneficiaries played Dandiya and Garba (Gujrat State Dance Form) with the teachers and Udaan beneficiaries. All beneficiaries were given their favorite Gulab Jamun (Indian Dessert) sweet.

Children’s Day was celebrated by making crafts with paper and they enjoyed watching photos of their previous Diwali celebration.

However, the big celebration this quarter was of course our Diwali celebration for which our Udaan girls had prepared a Diwali performance of drama, dance, singing and games, which our Umang children participated in with lots of joy. Beneficiaries were given new clothes to wear and they made beautiful sky Diwali lanterns, with which they decorated the room. During the celebration they all joined teachers and program manager to dance to the song “Happy Diwali”.

Program manager also took this opportunity to discuss with children about how harmful and dangerous firecrackers can be and explained them why they should refrain from bursting them during vacations. Before going home from Diwali break small toddlers were gifted slate and pencil and elder children where gifted notebook and pencil to take them along with them at home.

On 21st December, we celebrated Christmas with all the Umang and Udaan beneficiary. They decorated room with Christmas Tree, red caps, Santa clause made with craft paper and symbols of gifts, chocolates etc. Teachers told them stories about Christmas and why it is celebrated. All the beneficiaries were given gifts in which they got beautiful soft toys. Teachers sang songs such as Jingle Bell Jingle bell along with the beneficiaries. On this occasion they were given Chocolates, and cookies all beneficiaries enjoyed a lot.

Pictures of the Umang beneficiaries activities and celebrations:

Umang beneficiaries doing the rope activity
Umang beneficiaries doing the rope activity
Art and Craft session with the beneficiaries.
Art and Craft session with the beneficiaries.
Umang beneficiaries celebrating Christmas.
Umang beneficiaries celebrating Christmas.
Impact Statistics of Umang Programme.
Impact Statistics of Umang Programme.
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Organization Information

Apne Aap Women's Collective (AAWC)

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra - India
Website:
Project Leader:
Manju Vyas
CEO
Mumbai, MH India

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