IntroductionWith the valuable grants of Select City Walk, Salaam Baalak Trust has brought a transformation in the lives of girls rescued from streets and difficult circumstances. Living in the child-friendly environment of Arushi residential centre, these girls have shown immense progress in academics and extra-curricular activities in the year 2017. The girls’ continued to improve their personalities and are excelling in various latent talent development and vocational training courses. Progress UpdateA detailed overall progress update of various activities and performance of girls is provided below.
The girls at the residential centre are being supported through a pliable education programme to cater to individual needs of the girls. The different modes of education offered at the centre include formal schooling, non-formal education and open schooling. Teachers with the support of the volunteers took regular classes for children. The academic performance of each child at the centre is mapped by the in-house teachers. Additionally a monthly education report is being sent to the Executive Council to show the progress of the children.
To improve children’s general knowledge quiz and debates were organised. Career counseling workshops were conducted to streamline children’s higher education choices and guide them on the possible avenues for vocational training. The girls who are pursuing higher studies secured more than 80% in Class 12.
Food and Nutrition
The girls were provided three hot cooked and nutritious meals at the centre. Elder girls were involved in preparation of evening nutrition which includes buying groceries (under staff assistance) along with monitoring and distribution of utensils to create a sense of responsibility and discipline. Further, sessions were organised on the importance of choosing nutritious food for school tiffin. These sessions improved girls’ understanding of food, nutrition and balanced diet and resulted in visible changes in their dietary behavior.
To ensure holistic understanding of health and its components, awareness sessions on good hygiene and sanitation practices including tooth cleaning and hand wash techniques were held. Dental check-ups and tetanus vaccination camps were organised at the centre to cover all children. Two dental camps and one eye camp was organised for children.
Skill Development and Job Placement
The girls who are above 18 and/or have passed Class 10 opt for vocational training. Presently the girls are pursuing beauty culture training, guitar classes, piano classes, classical singing and dancing, sketching classes, photoshop editing, English speaking classes
In the last year three a number have been rehabilitated. Many of them are pursuing higher studies and have successfully stepped into adult life. The centre team organised a lunch party for the rehabilitated girls to bid them farewell and assure them of extended support from the team. The staff members also ensure regular follow up of the children. The details of various girls who have been rehabilitated are as follows.
- Roma, Jyoti, Yashmin and Rani are pursuing higher studies in reputed universities.
- Salma was rehabilitated on 25/11/2017. She working a beautician in a reputed parlor.
- Poornima was rehabilitated on 25/11/2017. She working a beautician in a reputed parlor.
- Surbhi was rehabilitated on 21/4/2017. She working as a store helper in a retail shop.
- Preeti was rehabilitated on 21/4/2017. She working a peer educator in one of SBT’s day care centres.
- Ruhi was rehabilitated on 28/8/2017. She a tour guide in SBT’s City Walk programme.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Celebrations
The children engaged in following extracurricular activities in the last year.
- Monthly birthday celebration of the girls
- Girls went for different activities during the summer camp
- Movie outings
- Girls celebrated all the festivals with great fun and enthusiasm.
- Girls went to Sattal, Uttarakhand for a trip. The girls went for natural trails and participated in various life skill sessions.
- The girls visit an old age home once in 15 days.
- 15 girls are going for football classes arranged by bank of America.
- 5 girls have been to Ranikhet for fun camp with Parvah Team .
While working with the girls rescued from streets and managing the centre, the team faces the following challenges.
- Communication gap with the Child Welfare Committee overseeing the enrollment and transfer of girls rescued to residential centres. Detailed legal discussions on provisions on various juvenile legislations is done to ensure that the rights of the girls rescued are protected and they get an opportunity to stay in safe shelter home.
- In the context of education of girls, many girls find it difficult to cope up with the curriculum of age appropriate classes for this the team is planning to provide proper bridge course to these girls.
- Dealing with the needs of special children. Since most of the staff members are unaware about the needs.
The centre team has envisioned following plans to improve the functioning of the centre.