By Mr. Rahul Raja Sharma | Manager, Udayan Ghar(Home) Programme
Helen Lenga - Trauma & Attachment programme
Udayan Ghar Programme
Udayan Care had set up its first Udayan Ghar (Home) for children in 1996 and created its own model of LIFE: Living in Family Environment. This model enables erstwhile children in need of Care & Protection to grow in a loving family environment. In these homes, the children are loved and cared for by a group of Mentor Parents-socially committed individuals (volunteers) who groom the children with a team of Coordinators at homes, along with resident Care Givers, Supervisors, & Volunteers.
These homes are located in busy, middle class neighborhoods, so children can reintegrate themselves into society through direct community involvement which helps mainstreaming the children ahead. Our children and young adults are receiving quality education in some of the best educational institutions such as: The Sagar School at Tijara, Alwar, Mata Bhagwati school, Genesis Global school, Tagore International School, East of Kailash, Banyan Tree School, Global Indian International School etc and colleges/ universities like College of Vocational Studies, University of Delhi, Hi- Tech Institute of Engineering, Ghaziabad, Punjab University, Lingaya’s University etc.
Since inception, Udayan Ghars have nurtured over 603 children with love, care and protection in 13 Homes across 4 states of India. Presently, there are 164 children across all homes. 30 of our young adults are also being supported through our After Care Programme.
Workshops/ Activities during this Quarter
During the period of March, April & May 2016, the team continued working for the success of the children and the program. March, being the exam time, all the children were too busy with their annual examinations and had a good fun in the vacations. Workshops, which are conducted monthly, addressed several concerns pertaining to Children, Care-givers, Mentor Parents and Coordinators.
Workshops were held with all the program stakeholders (mentors, coordinators, caregivers, and children) on enhancing stakeholders’ Emotional and Behavioral Development, reviewing of committee meetings such as aftercare, education, health and alumni, orienting the new and the old staff with Child Protection Policy and POCSO Act by various trained professionals dealing in terms of child rights and child psychology during this quarter.
Since 2014, under the supervision of Dr. Monisha Akhtar (Psychotherapist and Psychoanalyst Faculty, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia) & Dr. Kiran Modi, the DUKE University students have been conducting a longitudinal research study on Physical and Mental Health Support and Outcomes for Children in Residential Care Programs was initiated. The analysis of longitudinal study of 2014-2015 was shared with the mentors and the coordinators.
In the month of March, Ghar Team (mentors, coordinators and caregivers) got an exposure to a 3 day training programme on Trauma, Attachment and Brain Developmentby Ms. Helen Lenga, who is a registered Australian Psychologist with over 30 years of experience and has specialized in the field of mental health, trauma and attachment. The focus of the training was to expand the staff’s psychological understanding of the impact of loss and trauma so as to assist in the care of the mental health needs of the children.
Like every year, this year too in the month of March, Udayan Care organized its 2nd biennial Conference on Improving Standards of Care and Alternative Child and Youth Care: Systems, Policies and Procedures. Delegates from South Asian countries, experts from the western world, civil society representatives, delegates from organizations and governmental bodies working on child protection and alternative care gathered together to learn from and with one another. The objective of the conference was to share experiences, best practices, research and information on alternative child care, with special emphasis on the development of care staff at Children's homes. It also attempted to examine the gaps in legislative and policy environment of After Care settings in South Asian Region vis a vis the implementation status.
“Life Skills” workshops at home were also held like every other quarter which focused on various subjects like coping with emotions, dealing with feelings and behavior, managing relationships, communication and decision making, knowing myself, managing anger.
International volunteer, Catherine, conducted a life skills programme with the Sant Nagar Children and covered topics like Self-identity, body image, relationships, family and community, healthy habits and stress management.
Mandeep, a national volunteer, and a couple of his friends from Gurgaon dedicated one full week to conduct different sessions for full days with our children starting from imbibing in them the importance of yoga, meditation, team building, confidence building, computer session, theatre, self defense and teaching English grammar.
As a part of Corporate Social Responsibility, employees from Cognizant organized a science exhibition with our Gurgaon Boys on three laws of Newton.
Girls from Ghaziabad Ghar went on an 8 day long trip to Rishikesh, organized by German international volunteers; Sandra, Gabriela, Vivianna, Anna and Tina which was together funded by Ms. Dimple Walia, UK Volunteer. Their accommodation was arranged at a lovely facility called “Nature Care Village”. They went to Rajaji National Park, Ram Jhula, Laxman Jhula, Waterfall, a Temple, New Tehri Dam, local market etc. They did boating in the Tehro Dam lake too. They also attended the beautiful evening arti at the “Triveni Ghat” and went to an orphanage in Rishikesh which caters to the needs of almost 60 children.
Holi, the festival of colours, was celebrated across all Udayan Ghars on 24th March’16. The moment was enjoyed together by all the alumni, aftercare children and home children.
Greater Noida, Kurukshetra and Jaipur children celebrated Mother’s Day with their Mentor Parents.
Ms. Veena Modi sponsored and organized the Jungle Book show for Udayan Ghar children, aftercare, alumni and staff.
In the month of April, free eye camp was organized for Gurgaon Boys by Sat Krishna Public Charitable Trust.
United Health Group celebrated Earth Week by planting Neem trees, Madhumalti, Kari patta and Ashoka plants with Noida Boys & Girls at their Ghars.
In the month of May, people from Baxter visited Gurgaon Ghar and conducted a Yoga Session with the children and distributed gifts to the children.
Greater Noida girls spent quality time during their summer vacations. Mercer group conducted a 5 days Summer Camp for the children. Also, United Health Group conducted 4 days workshop with children and sensitized them regarding issues like cyber crime and cyber-safety. The group organized art and craft session for the children, enjoyed the third day at World of Wonders and last day was dedicated to a talent show.
Children from across all Udayan Ghars celebrated 21st May’16 of their vacation in Kidzania. KidZania is a wonderful place where a child can learn along with having fun. The activities add value as they teach children various skills. The virtual reality created by KidZania helps a child to gain confidence and live a life which they often dream about. There were different role-playing activities based on replicas of real-world industries and services, children can assume the role of a surgeon, detective, chef, candy-maker, fireman, television producer, radio jockey, mechanic and so many more!
The achievements and awards are a never ending process for the Udayan Family:
- Chandani won First prize in Vocational Course of “Packaging” in her school, Akshay Pratishthan School.
- Children won a trophy for securing the IInd Position in a dance competition at their school Annual function, “Akshay Utsav”. They chose a patriotic theme and gave it a title, “Bharat Ko Ek Salaam”
- Hemant won a silver medal in a Taekwondo competition organized by the North East Distt. Taekwondo Association of Delhi.
Sarita(name changed), an 11 year old, studying in Modern School, Vasant Kunj, was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. However, the child is channelizing her hyperactive behavior very well. With the help of constant motivation and enthusiasm, she has done well in her sports and other extra-curricular activities.
Recently, the child was the runner up in a Squash Competition and has bagged a gold medal and a certificate in a football competition held at her school by the Soccer Foundation. This has given the child good motivation and confidence.
This year, definitely, was Sarita’s year as she got an opportunity to go for a year tour to the U.S supported by the International Children’s Network/Matsiko World Orphan Choir Group. This has opened a door for her to experience new cultures and learn to adapt to her surroundings.
2nd biennial conference
Session by Mandeep and his friends
science exhibition by Cognizant
Trip to Rishikesh
Earth week Celebration with United Health group
Sarita - Success story