I arrived at Dayspring Home a month ago. In a few days, I will go back to my country, 12,500 km away westward. As I think back to these past thirty days and I put in my backpack as many things as I can:
I take Makesh’s pertinence, Williams’ curiosity and Walla’s wisdom. I take Haraharan’s patience, Nalaya’s energy and Danapal’s discretion. I take Djenida’s love, Malathi’s games, Elakiya’s gentleness and Santhos’ hugs. I take Jowel’s jokes, Dhanalakshmi’s happiness, and Vaishaili laugh. I take Esaki’s pout, Kudipandi’s amazement, Muenieshwari’ cheekiness and her sister Selvi’s tenderness. I take Ravi’s humor, Shivakumar’s songs, Prakash’s presence and Aiyyer’s vigor. I take Dana’s elegance, Rajarajeshwari’s simplicity, Nanthini and Mahalakshmi’s Tamil lessons. I take Elizabeth’s delicateness, Valarmathi’s kindness, Dhanalakshmi’s shy smile, and Marishwari’ smartness. I wrap them gingerly, to carry them safely through a long journey back to regular life.
I will bring back all of this. Spending this month with these children is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced and this is because of you.
Thank you for your support, and continue to give to these children. They need it, they deserve it, and they will give you back thousand times what you had given to them.
Coming into Blossom Dayspring with an educator’s perspective I was ready to insert myself into this newfound community as a teacher and spread my passion of language learning. Upon deducing it was summer break, and most of the children would be off with various family members, I was unsure of the purpose of my presence in only four, young lives.
Whenever I find myself in a new environment I dedicate a set of time to observe my new surroundings. The power of observation is such a beautiful thing and allows for reflective thought as well as the ability to engulf yourself in silence, to fully hear what is transpiring around you. Unfortunately, my time here at Blossom Dayspring is limited and my observation process only allowed for a week; today marks the end of that week. From an educational standpoint, the first thing I observed was the vastly different learning context of this experience.
The balance between curiosity and intrigue allowed for close bonds to form instantly. Me, learning how to properly eat Indian cuisine, while educating the children in language development through interactive games and new technologies. But as we exchanged cultural and linguistic differences, I began to note the rare opportunity I was granted in having such a small amount of children. What I was first concerned for soon became my biggest asset; having daily, individualized learning time with a child does not happen often in any teaching context.
The knowledge that each of these children are here over the summer because they do not have another family outlet to go to was, and still remains to be the biggest struggle in living here. However, the normalcy of this fact, and the way in which each member of Dayspring works as a family is overwhelming to me. There is still a place to sleep, delicious food to be eaten, fun to be had, and love to be shared, only one difference - a new western face. Each morning, I have my tea and breakfast with the children, while practicing English vocabulary as much as we can. Marishwari, the youngest here for the summer, has self-appointed herself as my personal hairdresser and goes the work taming my locks. Her attention to detail in everything she does gives me an idea as to how to best reach her linguistically.
Through writing practice, which she instantly loved because of her meticulous nature, we are able to practice new vocabulary in the contexts of writing, reading, pronunciation, listening and conversation. The expression on her face when I let her know she has done a good job, or that she read an entire sentence in English is unlike any other teaching experience I have ever encountered, Blossom allowed this to happen. The consistency of having a home with unconditional love and support is how children grow, not only in an academic sense, but as a whole person. I am very thankful to have been just a small piece of this family for such short period of time and for what I will take away from it and carry with me to my next teaching experience.
With love from Blossom Family,
HELPING THE DESERTED TO BRING BLOSSOM
Tuberculosis is a leading killer of young adults worldwide and the global scourge of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is reaching epidemic proportions. It is endemic in most developing countries and resurgent in developed countries combined with a high rate of HIV .
The lack of enough diagnosis, poor adherence to the treatment, injudicious use of drugs by private practitioners, and so forth have made the condition of TB even worse .Blossom Trust knew this very well so it is creating awareness on TB and HIV. We are encouraging people to take TB and HIV test in government hospitals .Blossom daily works with 500 people and creates awareness among them.Blossom conducts regular meeting and programs on 11 blocks of virudhunagar district to create awareness on TB and HIV.
DOTS is undoubtedly the best available tool all over the world to prevent TB or to keep it under control, with the help of Edu-clowns we are conducting an Interactive discussion with the Child Audience and trying to create awareness against TB,HIV and DOTS. All the myths and misconceptions about TB, stigma and discrimination are made clear. Our Edu-Clowns strategy is a unique Theatre performance which allows the audience to come to a consensus and arrive at a final decision for the problem posed in the drama.
10 Edu - Clowns Campaign was conducted and 50 children support groups were formed to continue with child referral for TB diagnosis and treatment. The outcome of these campaigns helped us to identify 8 children with TB symptoms.This children will be monitored by our Outreach workers who will appoint DOTS providers in their respective villages and supervise their development through their treatment. Since these innovative programmes prove to be successful in tracking the children with TB, we plan to expand and conduct more campaigns to reach out to children with TB.
We thank our various donors who continue to donate to this much-wanted and needed project in this region. We also request you to increase the donations to serve more children with TB and prevent TB among children.
For World AIDS Day 2013, we need your donations to run a powerful Educlowns campaign in Virudhunagar district, Tamil Nadu. We are Blossom Trust, a grassroots NGO committed to improving the welfare of society’s most marginalised groups. We have extensive experience supporting individuals living with HIV/AIDS and/or TB, such as our Dayspring Home orphanage providing care for affected and infected children, forums for those experiencing discrimination in hospitals, and numerous Community Based Organisations and Women’s Self Help Groups. Our projects empower disadvantaged people, who are stigmatised in society. On the 1st December 2013, we want to further our positive impact in Virudhunagar.
Here at Blossom, we prioritise community participation. Our AIDS awareness campaign, right in the centre of Virudhunagar in the railway station, will involve our educational street theatre group ‘Educlowns’. Their red noses, which signal fury at unacceptable societal situations, will be difficult to ignore. Employing clowning, folk dance, and songs, our talented actors will engage passersby in discussions of HIV/AIDS, encouraging them to ask questions to dispel common myths and misconceptions surrounding the disease. Blossom strives to change the negative attitudes towards HIV/AIDS sufferers, and increase the rate of HIV testing. Addressing the prevention, treatment and socio-cultural attitudes of HIV/AIDS in an accessible way, the performances will provoke thought and stimulate behavioural change. For example, a previous Educlowns TB campaign at Mariamman temple festival in Irukkangudi village resulted in a 20% increase of visitors to Sattur Government hospital’s TB centre.
Whilst our actors will be interacting with the public across the station, Blossom staff will be based at the information booth, ready to provide free condoms, counselling, and further information on HIV/AIDS. This will run on a first come first serve basis, but with donations, we can provide a great number of staff to ensure that everybody seeking help receives it! Working in partnership with the Railway Government hospital, a walkable distance from Virudhunagar station, we will direct the public to their services and facilities.
We request your kind donations to help us run this unique and impactful public campaign for World AIDS Day 2013, and be one step closer to universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
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