GIRLS SHELTER – Arushi, a brief update on their activities
Report July – December 2014
July started with immense energy and the planning which we had done during the time we got during the summer vacations of the children. After the trip to the Nanital , Uttrakhand, the children shared a stronger bond between each other and the staff. This greatly increased the co ordination between all of us and acted as a strong motivation to achieve the targets set by ourselves towards the betterment of children’s future.
There were 54 girls at the Home in the beginning of July. The report brings out the activities undertaken at the Home during the period from July-December, 2014.
The various programs progressed as elaborated under:
1. Education –31 Girls are going to reputed private schools. The home has been providing for an efficient teacher pupil ratio for supportive classes after school. 18 girls were attending non-formal classes at the home. Classes are conducted in play way methods and interesting mediums to contribute to learning.
8 girls were enrolled in NIOS, out of which 3 are preparing for 10th standard. Children studying through distance education are also benefitted by the various volunteers coming at the home from different fields of life. They are involved in the various extra curricular activities which also serves as a teaching medium in a playway method. One of the volunteer has been coming from last two months to teach Rashida (visually impaired).
2. Vocational training – 8 of the girls are enrolled in the vocational training programs at the prestigious institutes as under:
- Shehnaz, Purnima and Sonika are going for the beautician course at the famous and prestigious SNS foundation.
- Meena is doing the same course at the VLCC center Gurgaon
- Sunita, Jayshree and Sukhmani had their passion in cooking and were enrolled for a bakery course at the Granny’s.
3. Mental health – The counselor and child specialist team of SBT extends the needed patient listening to its children. Individual attention is given to each child through regular counseling and interactions. Life skill education equips them to respond to daily chores effectively. We had 12 LSE sessions during this period. Group sessions further enhance their understanding of team work and confidence to speak in a group. 8 group sessions were held during the second half of the year.
4. Health –A comprehensive check up and follow up on health is done for each child. Four nutritious meals are provided at the Home.
During this period of 6 months the following interventions were done:
- In house checkup – 161
- First aid – 58 times
- Full Investigation – 3
- Ref to Hospital – 02
- HIV/AIDS checkup – all the children
- Teeth-checkup – 51
- Ear checkup – 1
- Eye-checkup – all the children
- Two girls are on regular treatment and follow up for Tuberculosis
- One of the kids has been operated for corneal implant at Shroff eye centre.
5.Recreation/Sports –The Home provides ample space and opportunities to break out of the routine. Children interact with the outside world through outings and visitors. These interesting moment help children bring out their lighter self and learn perspectives. Some of the instances of recreation and sports activities are listed below:
- 25-30 girls are enrolled for the Yoga class that is being held by 5pm in evening twice a week.
- Volunteers - We had around 12 volunteers in the second half of the year. They extended their support in non formal education, art and craft and life skill education. Volunteers bring in a new set of energy and interest to our children.
7.Repatriation–With the constant and continued efforts by all the staff , 24 girls were restored with their families. This includes the success we achieved in restoring one girl back to her home at Nepal. We all had been struggling to make the ends meet for this child from last 18 months, convincing the government of Nepal and NCPCR India
Arushi plans to strengthen the education system. Girls are being counseled and supported in their studies for the final examinations. Efforts were made to ensure more discipline towards learning. This has been possible thanks to our staff, volunteers and supporter. They helped create good medical care and diverse exciting activities. 16 girls have been restored to their families andtwo girls placed in job. Providing a holistic environment for girls to grow up with a responsible citizen is a priority of the Home.
We have reached our goals so far and if we can continue the successful cooperation with our donators and the companies supporting us, we are positive that we can also reach our goals in the future.
Challenges faced by children:
The primary challenge was to rehabilitate, or mainstream girls who were now adults upon attaining age of 18 years. Having been in the Home for nearly 8-10 years, the girls were scared to leave the nest re. Hence they were very reluctant and became extremely irritable.
The other key challenge was enabling children with special learning needs to cope with curriculum.
Actions taken & Progress of children after actions taken:
Regular counseling sessions were taken by the centre counselor for the three girls who were marked to be rehabilitated. The staff worked as team to promote rehabilitation as a positive term and slowly the children started seeing it as a promotion. Thus all three girls were rehabilitated. The centre staff regularly follows up with the girls.
Children with special needs were given singular attention. They were given positive re-enforcements which boosted their morale. The teachers were caring yet strict when it came to study period. One child who has a rare learning disability had been written off previously as not being able to pass exams. With immense patience and perseverance, the child was able to clear 4 out of five papers in class X. She has just one more paper to give and would be Class X pass!
Challenges faced by organization:
The two key challenges faced by Salaam Baalak Trust are
- Funding : With the number of children increasing and inflation increasing, the Trust struggles to ensure that every child in our care is well tended to.
- Apathy of Harayana Government- The team at Arushi has to deal with the apathy and poor gender sensitized government officials in the Harayana Government.
Actions taken to address these:
- Fund raising and bettering donor relations
- Sensitization and consultation workshops with concerned govt depts
Next steps for the next year:
- Rehabilitation of 18 years old girls (five girls by June , 2015)
o Ensuring job placements or admission in colleges for those who wish to pursue higher education
- Better schools for children below 10 years who perform extremely well in studies
o Meeting with school administration of concerned schools
o Finding sponsors for these children
- Finding more avenues for vocational training
- Sensitization and consultation workshops with concerned govt depts.
o Finding partner to sponsor and collaborate with the workshops