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
Exposure visit to the Museum
Exposure visit to the Museum

Success story

In our Indian society, the birth of a boy is considered a blessing,  unlike the red light area where birth of a girl child is reason for celebration. Being born as a boy in kamathipura, Aman* was an unwelcomed child for his mother, who looked at him as an extra mouth to feed. Aman was a  neglected child who was found lurking on the streets outside the brothels. Our Outreach worker identified him and convinced his mother to admit him to our Umang program. His mother was more than happy to keep the child in a day and night care shelter so that she could  be free from the burden. Aman was just 3 years old when he came to our centre. He was weak and partly malnourished. He would often fall  ill. Our day care and Kindergarten teachers took good care of him, provided him with nutrient supplements and food, which resulted in an improvisation in his health. He then became playful and started participating in activities. When his mother visits him, he recites the poems and songs taught to him, and now, his mother is dreaming a bright future for her son with hopes that he may free her from this agony.

*Name changed to protect his identity.

Organization update

  • The Jury and Council of Board Members of “World CSR The Congress & Awards summit with the theme of “You We Can The Future of Profit is ‘Purpose’” has conferred Apne Aap Women’s Collective (AAWC) the “CERTIFICATE OF MERIT” at the World CSR Congress & Awards for its exemplary work with marginalized women and their beneficiaries in Mumbai’s red light area.
  • The federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India and the organising committee of West Zone Yuva FOGSI has conferred the Woman Achievers Award to Ms. Manju Vyas, The Chief Executive Officer of Apne Aap Women’s Collective.
  • Apne Aap women’s collective was  conferred with Goldstar India Platinum certification foritslevel of transparency & public accountability.
  • Apne Aap women’s collective was selected by the Radio Station RED FM for their annual campaign, ‘BAJAO FOR CAUSE 2017’, an initiative of social significance taken up to raise awareness and funds to help the cause

 Umang Update

EDUCATION

 This quarter witnessed the end of the previous academic year and the arrival of new one. Balwadi teachers focused on revising  what they had covered throughout the year, including different songs, alphabets, stories, the national anthem, the national song and numbers; which the children enthusiastically learned. The children continue to learn during their weekly educational sessions with our volunteer, Ms. Marina Dutta. Through these sessions children have learned about the anatomy of the human body, yoga & songs, arranging the flash cards, numbers and dot puzzles, threading & buttoning alternatively, pegging alternately, reading readiness skills, matching flash cards and opposites words etc. In one of the sessions she made all the beneficiaries hear their own heartbeats with the use of Stethoscope, which truly fascinated them.

EXPOSURE VISIT

Volunteer Ms. Marina Dutta  took the Umang beneficiaries to Crawford market, is one of Mumbai's most famous markets, earlier named after Arthur Crawford, the first Municipal Commissioner of the city, where she showed the eager children the wonderful sights, scents and tastes of various fruits and gave them an opportunity to apply textbook learning into practice. Also in this quarter children got the  opportunity to visit a museum called Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya where they got flashcards of different historical monuments and took part in activities such as treasure hunt in which they were asked to match the flashcards with respective monuments. This exposure visits served two main purposes, one was to help them see the outer world and second to have an outing where they can enjoy and learn at the same time.

 RECREATION EXCERSION

Weekly garden visits were organized for our Umang beneficiaries, which included warm up activities, running around, observation session, etc. in order to have a fun filled day for the children. During the summer holidays, the AAWC team organized a recreational visit for Umang and Udaan beneficiaries to Jijamata Udyaan, earlier known as Victoria’s garden which is a Zoo and garden located in Byculla. All the Umang children were paired with Udaan beneficiaries so that they could connect in an informal environment and could learn the Mentoring skills. The children had lots of fun as they could see their favourite animals and birds and as a surprise, Penguins too.

 ART AND CRAFT ACTIVITIES

During this quarter our beneficiaries engaged in various art and craft activities, including cloud making, flowers (using waste part of vegetables and with the help of their thumb), abstract art with thread, best out of waste, etc. Our intern from Sweden Ms. Petra Wik took session with the beneficiaries, in which they were given sketch pens, chart papers and mirrors, and were asked to look at their reflection in the mirror and put it on  paper. Using their imagination, the children made beautiful sketches. Petra sent all these sketches to a Sweden based school, where our children’s work has been displayed. Her idea was to create a communication between the children

GROUP THERAPY SESSION

Several Dog therapy sessions which aimed at helping the children  become animal friendly and calm, by spending time with dogs were conducted throughout this quarter, by having various activities such as the animal card activity, fetching the alphabet cards with the dog, and a vegetable and fruit puzzle game. Additional games like Catch & Throw etc. were played as well. Moreover, topics such as aggression, fine motor development, etc. were covered through different group activities. Regular group discussions with the beneficiaries were  conducted by the teachers on different topics such as good touch and bad touch, etc.

 HEALTH

In addition to their monthly height – weight measurement, a general medical camp was conducted in this quarter. In this camp all the children were medically checked up, and medicines, prescribed for their minor ailments were given free of cost. Many children were found to have Prickly Heat, Chicken Pox and other skin infections, so they were referred to hospitals, and subsequent follow ups were done. One beneficiary has diagnosed with three tumors on the back of her head, for which she is undergoing treatment at Nair hospital, the Doctor has also prescribed a test, to check whether she is suffering from tuberculosis, which will be done in the month of July. As it was found that many children frequently suffer from abdominal pain, diarrhea and loss of appetite, De- worming medicines were given to all the beneficiaries. Also, children suffering from fever were referred to Private clinics as the treatment from government hospitals failed to succumb the fever. During monthly meetings our day care and Kindergarten teachers had discussions with the mothers of Umang beneficiaries on topics such as the importance of cleanliness, medicines given to their children, development of their children.

Exposure visit
Exposure visit
fun filled day at the zoo
fun filled day at the zoo
Udaan girls taking session with Umang kids
Udaan girls taking session with Umang kids
Quarterly Statistics From April to June 2017
Quarterly Statistics From April to June 2017
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Umang project report is attached below. 

Text preview of Priti's story:

Priti* is a four year old girl at our Umang program. Her mother has been a commercial sex worker for about 7 to 8 years now. Earlier she used to only work inside the brothel, but lately due to economic issues she has started standing on the road side to get more costumers. She owes money to a brothel owner, to her ex-partners and also has to send money to the family. All the mental and physical worries have made her very weak. She takes proper care of Priti and visits her at the centre whenever necessary. Priti has been at AAWC night shelter for nearly a year. Last year she suffered with herpes, since then she has faced a few health issues. She is recovering well as we (AAWC staff) take her to the hospital for regular health check-up and also provide multi vitamin.

Priti is very interested in learning new things in academics. She is a bright child and is very obedient. Based on the curriculum Priti was taught and was writing the numbers 1 to 7 on her own. Priti wanted to learn more and would often ask her teacher to give more writing exercise. One evening the teacher noticed that priti was sitting with her slate and writing something near the yearly calendar. To her surprise, she saw her writing from 8 to 15. The teacher was very happy and encouraged the child. Priti felt very proud and showed it to her teacher and other staff members.


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*Success Story*

Rohan* is an Umang’s night shelter beneficiary since more than a year now. Initially, he only used to sit in a corner while the rest used to be engaged in the Balwadi sessions. He could not eat properly, keep himself very dirty, poop anywhere he wanted to, unable to stand on his feet etc. The Balwadi teachers used to give him special attention by feeding him, and hold his hand to walk fast etc. Slowly, he started to eat with his own hands and started walking on his own, toilet training was also given to him successfully.

He faced few health issues like spoiled teeth and skin infection on the back of his head. Several counseling and visits was done to make his mother understand about the importance of child’s health and to start the treatment, but his mother was adamant about her decision. Thereby, his dental treatment as well as skin treatment was started at Nair Hospital and follow ups were well taken care by the outreach team.

Today, a lot of improvements have been observed in him. He has also improved a lot in his academics sometimes writing on a slate is very challenging for him as his grip is not appropriate yet. Balwadi teachers help him for the same as and when required.

*name is changed to protect the identity

*ORGANISATION UPDATE*

  • Apne Aap Women’s Collective, (AAWC) once again selected for Deutsche Post DHL Group CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), initiative called ‘Living Responsibility’. This is the third year AAWC consecutively selected for it. DHL Business Development Manager, Mr. Aman Bhalla has chosen AAWC’s to present Udaan Project for it.    
  • The Jury and Council of Board Members of ‘World CSR Congress & Awards’ summit with the theme of “You We Can The Future of Profit is ‘Purpose’” has chosen to confer Apne Aap Women’s Collective (AAWC) the “CERTIFICATE OF MERIT” at the World CSR Congress & Awards for its exemplary work with marginalized women and their children in Mumbai red light area. The award function will be held in Mumbai in February month.

*UMANG PROGRAM UPDATES DURING OCTOBER 2016 – DECEMBER 2016*

EDUCATION: During this quarter, children were introduced to alphabets and numbers through storytelling and flashcards. The elder children could write till letter from A to G, and numbers from1 to 3. Younger children can now draw sleeping and standing lines and learned slanting line on slates. They were also introduced with the parts of computer and what are its uses. They had firsthand experience in using a computer. Marina Dutta during her educational sessions with the children introduced the stethoscope to the children so they could hear their heart beats, they also did matching of animals and human beings skeletons with flashcards, sorting with delight included matching covers of bottles with different shape and size, putting beads onto a thread, solving puzzles, making story sequence with pictures, introducing gothic architectural designs, listening to Christmas carol, spoken English and Travel around the World where children are introduced with different historical monuments, sculptures of India, different landmarks of the city of Mumbai, map of India and Asia using Flash cards. A new volunteer name Ella Craig joined and engages in Art and Craft sessions with the night shelter Umang children. She introduced different colors through videos, songs and pictures. She introduced domestic and farm animals. She also made a ‘family tree’ on the wall with the help of chart papers. Session on general knowledge such as about me, domestic and wild animals, different colors, names of fruits, shapes and parts of the body were covered through pictures and videos.

RECREATIONAL EXCURSION: Children went for a bus ride and were shown some landmarks of Mumbai. Conducted visit to a Museum where they explored all the equipment present there.Children went to visit The Holy Name Cathedral Church to explore the historic agricultural design of the church, and treasure hunt was organized for the children. Children went to visit Nehru Science Center, where they were shown a film ‘I am a Mother’ which was focused on Human Anatomy. They explored to all the scientific equipment present at the science center.  Children attended a show collaborated with Clowns without Borders where the Udaan girls performed drama for the first time. Clowns without Borders, Sweden team had also performed a drama on Panchatantra at the end.   Children are regularly visiting Nagpada Garden where warm up sessions are conducted by the teachers, children explored to all the objects present there through different games.

 HEALTH:  Eye Check -up camp was conducted for Umang Beneficiaries, where children who required spectacles were provided there. Few children were suffering through major dental issues which were taken proper care with all the follow – ups. Apart from this children were suffering from normal cough and cold which was taken care properly.

 ART & CRAFT ACTIVITIES: Following were the activities conducted during this quarter : Making shape out of waste papers and tearing them with fingers, Making fish with paper plates, Making clouds and rainbows with paper plates and  colorful chart papers, Solving puzzles, Flower making with pasting colors on palms, Thumb print activity, Paper cutting  both with fingers and scissors, Dipping different shapes on colors and pasting it, Making earth with the pieces of papers, Making different structures, Scribble foam activity, Flour activity where the children made watch, bangles, slides, flowers, butterfly, alphabets and numbers (elder group), Standing and sleeping lines (older group), Making bracelet with straw, Making alphabets with coloring stripes. The art and craft activities are related to the academics so that the children are in a constant process of learning.

 GROUP THERAPY SESSIONS: Topic discussions on behavior modification, stress relief, self-discipline, personal safety, aggression, fine and gross motor skills, patience and concentration, learning skills were covered through several activities of storytelling, simple yoga, games where they will have to wait for their turn. Regular group discussions are continuously been engaged by the Balwadi teachers so that the children open up with the teachers which again will become easier for them to address the behavioral issues observed during the regular activities.

 CELEBRATIONS: About Navratri and Diwali Celebration: Children enjoyed with lighting diyas, bursting crackers and painting the diyas with different colors. About Children’s Day Celebration: The teachers first gave a brief introduction about children’s day. Traffic signals were introduced through art and craft activity followed by a game. About Christmas and New Year Celebration: Children were briefed about Christmas day and New Year followed with an activity where they stuck cottons, red marble paper to make Santa Claus and a short video on the same was shown to them. Children also attended Udaan’s Christmas and New Year party where they enjoyed the performances performed by the elder girls.


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Celebration of Independence Day
Celebration of Independence Day

Pooja*was an introverted child initially; she used to sit in a corner, and she was more interested in coloring pictures. The teacher used to talk to her and tried to make her feel comfortable for daily activities. Slowly she opened up and started engaging in the activities. She also gradually improved in her academics.

Recently, AAWC started a general group discussion with the Umang beneficiaries, which engages the child and the teacher. In this discussion also, Pooja used to never talk. It took a bit of time for her to open up. She then started to discuss the things she was doing at the center, and when she was back to her home on weekends. She revealed how her mother stands outside of one of the busiest buildings in the area and takes her along. Though she did not like it, she never told this to her mother because of her own introverted nature. When she told this to the Balwadi teacher in the session, the teacher advised her to say it to her mother. She made her understand the importance of talking and also a mother’s affection. During the next discussion with the kids, Pooja informed the same teacher about how she refused to stand outside with her mother and made her mother understand. Now, her mother keeps her at home during her work and talks to her comparatively more on weekends.

*names changed to protect identity

Organization Updates:

GuideStarIndia Transparency Gold Award (Advance level): During this quarter, AAWC received the GuideStarIndia Gold award (Advance level) for transparency and accountability in the Public Domain. AAWC was amongst 51 other awardees throughout the country to achieve this feat.AAWC has to undergo four levels of transparency criteria for achieving the Advanced Gold level certification.

Project Inspire: AAWC was selected as a semifinalist for Project Inspire, which is a joint initiative by the Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard, to help young changemakers create a better world for Women & Girls in Asia Pacific.

Umang Program Updates:

Education: During this quarter, the Umang children were introduced to alphabets and numbers through flashcards. The younger kids started drawing standing, slanting and sleeping lines on their slates. The kids were also shown videos of different colors, names of fruits, parts of the body, and shapes. Our volunteer, Ms. Marina Dutta,conducted educational sessions with the children where they explored using a stethoscope to hear heartbeats, matching animals and human being’s skeletons with flashcards, sorting with delight activity included matching various covers of bottles with different shapes and sizes, putting beads onto a thread, solving puzzles, and making story sequence with pictures. The kids were introduced to gothic architectural designs and imaginary travel around the world, where children were educated on different historical monuments, sculptures from India, different landmarks of Mumbai city, introduction to the map of India and Asia using flashcards. The Udaan girls conducted a session by asking the Umang children to identify numbers on flowers made by the girls.

 Recreational Excursions: In this quarter, the Umang Children were taken to visit Hanging Garden and Funky Monkey amusement center where they explored the various types of equipment installed there. The children had great fun visiting these places. During the Ganpati festival, the children were taken to visit various Ganpati Pandals and scenery in nearby vicinities. The kids were also oriented on why we celebrate these festivals on such a grand level in our country.

 Art & Craft activity: The arts and craft activities in this quarter were conducted with sessions on making butterfly with leaves, fur of a lion with colouring chart papers and leaves, tree with green marble papers, butterfly, flowers, creating alphabets, clocks, tearing papers, making spider by dipping fingers onto different colours, making standing, sleeping, slanting lines, making clouds by sticking cotton, etc. During the Raksha Bandhan festival, the children also prepared rakhis. The objective behind this activity was to enable improvement in following instructions, better hand-eye coordination, memory development, fine motor skills, and developing concentration.

 Animal-assisted Therapy sessions:These sessions were conducted with activities and interactions with a dog, which were designed around sharing, politely asking each other, hiding biscuits, shaking hands with the dog, making alphabets, balls, flowers, apples, and butterfly using clay, introducing different animals through pictures and giving information on how these animals are useful to us. The sessions also included reciting days of the week and months of the year and counting numbers. Activities of feeding and grooming the dog helped to develop a sense of patience in the Umang children.

 Counseling sessions:

In this quarter, the counseling sessions given to the Umang children were based on good touch and bad touch, self-discipline, etiquettes and toilet manners using different game methods. These sessions also included various activities based on stories, discussion on different topics, play therapy sessions, enacting, role play, playing with foam blocks in pairs, passing the ball, collecting different colour beads, filling ball in jar, differentiating between good and bad behaviour, solving puzzles, counting sticks, looking at a book and sharing information of that book, sharing the difference between a village and a town with stories and pictures to develop their imagination skills. The general group discussion had also started from this quarter, conducted twice a week so that the children could open up to the teachers and also take the revision of the educational activities conducted at the Balwadi.

 Celebrations

The celebration of festivals like Raksha Bandhan and Gopal Kala was organized during this quarter along with the national festival of Independence Day. During Raksha Bandhan, the Balwadi teachers prepared rakhis using foam papers and with smiley faces on them. The kids tied Rakhi to each other. A group activity was conducted where the kids dipped a ball in colors and threw it on a chart paper. The Gopal Kala festival was celebrated in common with Udaan & Umang children; all the beneficiaries gathered in a circle to break the Dahi handi at the center. While celebrating Independence Day, the children were introduced to the National Flag of India by orienting them about the tri-colour, which were put on their palms and then pasted on chart paper.

Volunteer Marina Dutta's art class
Volunteer Marina Dutta's art class
Umang Children celebrating Raksha Bandhan
Umang Children celebrating Raksha Bandhan
Recreational activity by Clowns without Borders
Recreational activity by Clowns without Borders
Umang Program Impact Assessment
Umang Program Impact Assessment
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Children enjoying their visit to the garden
Children enjoying their visit to the garden

Rohan’s* mother stayed in a brothel and did not want her son to stay in the same building as she wanted him to grow up in a safe and positive space. However, Rohan disliked staying in shelter homes and managed to escape from the various night shelters where he was placed.

When he was bought to AAWC, the staff was informed of his habit of running away from various shelter homes. As a result, AAWC staff paid key attention to him and ensured regular communication with his mother about his developments. The teachers also focused on increasing his concentration level and keeping him engaged in different activities. Gradually, he started showing interest by participating in all sorts of events and did not wish to go back home.

He now meets his family during the weekly visitation hours and goes back home on Sundays. He loves staying at AAWC and does not show any sign of discomfort.

*names changed to protect identity

 

Organization Updates

Capacity Building:

During the quarter, AAWC Staff attended a Patient’s Rights Workshop conducted by Rangoonwala Foundation and a workshop on CSR and Intellectual Property Rights organized by International Resources for Fairer Trade.

 

Medical Camp:

A Dental Camp and a General Medical Camp were organized at AAWC in association with Angels Dentist Network for all our beneficiaries. 141 AAWC and other community members benefited from the camps.

 

Umang Updates

Education:

Umang children attended daily kindergarten classes which included learning and revising the education syllabus along with e-learning sessions, and poems and songs learning. The children also learnt the days of the week through a series of innovative games. They also learnt about table etiquettes, anatomy, wildlife, geometric designs and architecture, through sorting, counting, picture matching, and other innovative exercises during weekly educational sessions with volunteer Marina Dutta.

 

Recreational Excursions:

The children visited the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum and Hanging Garden with volunteer Marina Dutta. During the Museum visit, the children saw exhibits in the Natural History, Himalayan Art, Sculpture and Miniature Gallery of the Museum and also participated in a treasure hunt contest. They also visited the garden and beaches during the summer.

 

Art and Craft Activity:

The children participated in various art and craft sessions that involved an innovative printing exercise using their fingers and feathers, making sun and butterflies using clay and leaves as well as a pulse activity wherein they stuck different pulses on a flower sketch. They also made various art works using colors and paints.

 

Animal-assisted Therapy Session:

We began animal-assisted therapy sessions for the Umang children at our Falkland Road Centre this quarter. The children at both centers eagerly participated in the sessions and learnt about discipline, following instructions, sharing, social skills, counting and English words.

 

Counseling Sessions:

AAWC’s in-house counselor conducted extensive individual and group counseling sessions with the Umang children focusing on behavior modification, impulse control, empathy, discipline, patience and manners. She also introduced imaginative and creative thinking to the children. The concentration, attention and listening skills of the children were also addressed and strengthened during the counseling sessions.

Conducting Foam Block Activity with the children
Conducting Foam Block Activity with the children
Animal-Assisted Therapy Sessions with the children
Animal-Assisted Therapy Sessions with the children
Learning about human anatomy during a class
Learning about human anatomy during a class
Umang Program Impact Assessment
Umang Program Impact Assessment
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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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