Children standing tall and proud
Love and Greetings from Sunshine Homes!
Hello friends! This is Ravinder again, heading the Sunshine Homes at Udayan Care. Hope you all are safe and keeping healthy. I also hope that you all have got your vaccination.
The time indeed, has been difficult but also blessed for us. Team Sunshine Homes has once again worked rigorously and successfully curbed the pandemic outbreak. India being one of the few countries worse affected by the ferocious second wave of COVID pandemic, we at Sunshine Homes kept ourselves prepared, strong and battled hard for our safety and survival. With first positive case in April’21 at one of the Homes, the virus continued to infect several others in different Homes. In the first week of June’21, a total of 32 COVID positive cases were there in the Sunshine Homes. Out of this, 20 were children, 10 were care staff and the remaining 2 were aftercare young adults. By the end of June’21, Sunshine Homes had 0 positive cases and with all team’s efforts and prayers of our supporters and well-wishers we continue to be all safe and healthy.
The team Sunshine Homes simultaneously also worked towards getting its team members and aftercare young adults vaccinated. So far, 71 ground staff out of 79 and 35 young adults out of 47 have been partially and fully vaccinated. The remaining members have booked their slots and shall be vaccinated by October’21.
Well! This has all been about preventing and managing COVID pandemic. During the period we have also been able to organize various capacity building workshops for all our stakeholders and engaged the children in many fun and learning activities. Let’s have a look at some of the activities we did during the reporting period –
World Environment Day
Conscience towards the environment was instilled in the children as they engaged in activities such as best out of waste, planting saplings, engaging in theatre to spread the message of conserving Mother Earth. Some of the children also watch a movie showcasing the relation between man and tree. Through the narrative children were motivated to take their sensitivity towards environment protection to the next level.
International Yoga Day
The global trend of staying healthy and rejuvenated is the motive of each individual in today’s world. Yoga comes as one which not only ensures physical fitness but also address the growing mental health concerns during the pandemic. As part of their routine children practice Yoga each morning. On 21st June they made it even more special sending out the message of fitness, mindfulness and a relaxed mind as key to well-being.
Independence Day Celebration
Reflecting the patriotic spirit and immersing in the colors of freedom and creativity, children and staff across Sunshine Homes celebrated the Indian Independence Day on 15th August. From engaging in drawing, flag hoisting and fun games, the celebration was at its peak with the Sunshine Homes Cookery Competition. While the team got into the creative spirit, the dishes reflected the tricolor while enriching everyone with their mouthwatering dishes. The day culminated in the entire Sunshine Home teams appreciating the dishes and enjoying the virtual treat.
Optimism, focus and being thankful in life are some of the core ingredients towards happiness. The workshop conducted by Neeraj, renowned motivational speaker and photographer at the Times of India in association with Art of Living, enabled children to develop a sense of gratitude, incorporate the spirit of meditation and living in the present as the path to a successful life.
Virtual Teachers’ Day Celebration
To honour the support from our eminent educators over the years, on 5th September 2021, Teacher’s Day was celebrated online where children, staff and mentor parents came together to felicitate and acknowledge the efforts of all teachers who have overcome the challenges of online classes. The event graced by eminent guest Gowri, recipient of the Padma Shree Award, encouraged the children to consider education as a medium to soar high and fly. The event also marked the beginning of our series of “Inspiring Idols” where children through skit, song, dance and oration reflected on education as a valuable treasure which a teacher can provide to their students. The online gathering was made grandeur with the presence of principals, directors and head of schools encouraging the children and admiring the tribute to the teaching fraternity. The children poured their hearts out with “Thank You” messages for the eminent guests for being the agents of change for a better tomorrow. The celebrations culminated with the children along with the Mentor Parents felicitating the guests with thoughtful citations making it a memorable evening.
Effective Caregiving; A virtual training programme for caregiving staff at Sunshine Homes
During the difficult times of the Corona Virus Pandemic, the people who have been constant figures to the children to sail through have been the team of carers. From developing an understanding about the pandemic to ensuring a positive environment, the carers have come across as parent figures to the children. While it is essential to keep growing and know more about the children in need of care and protection, the team of carers was taken through an extensive training programme encompassing the legal mandates while working in a Child Care Institution to understanding the mental health concerns that surface while the child is worked with to manage their past trauma. Along with this, the training programme focused on expected protocols to be followed with a visitor, welcoming a new child at the Home culminating into imbibing the essentials of caregiving.
Apart from the above fun-filled and fruitful engagements, children and team at Sunshine Homes have also been able to make some outstanding achievements.
- Arushi, aged 13, from one our Sunshine Homes for Girls has won 2nd prize in a singing competition organized virtually by our partner. She has received a tripod stand and a mic as her prize.
- Deep, aged 12, from one our Sunshine Homes for Boys has won 3rd prize in a singing competition organized virtually by our partner. He has received a mic as his prize.
- One of our Sunshine Homes for Boys has been awarded as the ‘Best Child Care Institution’ in Gurugram, an urban district in the state of Haryana. The award was conferred by the Governor of the Haryana state.
Moreover, I’d like to emphasize that despite having such challenging times here in India, we have been able to continue to provide the required care and protection to all our children at Sunshine Homes. The impact story of one of the children from our Sunshine Homes for Girls reflects the kind of individualized care we have been able to provide to our children. You must read it.
Age: 8 years
Date of Joining: 25th November 2019
Going through the agony of wandering on unknown streets of Badshahpur all by herself and with the diminishing hope of reaching back to her family, Rosy was shattered feeling alone on the crowded streets. Rescued by the authorities and repeated attempts by the Police to trace her family was in vain and destiny had her to be placed at one of the Sunshine Homes. Since the child has come to the Home in 2019, in the wake of her situation, the team made efforts to understand the child’s memories about the home she once called her own. A child with special needs and no family to look forward to, for Rosy, soon the Sunshine Home became family. Picturising and conceptualizing so much was quite unsought for Rosy but within her she has that unrecognized zeal & determination to sail through.
Initially, it was important for the Home team to get her psychological assessment done to understand the conceptual level of the child. The assessment report recorded an IQ of 58. Moreover, the child was also having difficulty in speech as well as struggled functioning in daily life. The support of caregivers was inevitable for the child to ensure she leads a dignified life for herself.
From handholding in eating, bathing and cleaning to managing her emotional outbursts together were a great challenge. For the child unable to process her emotions, aggression was a coping mechanism for every situation. With little language to express, Rosy often resorted to violent behavior as if wanting to convey something. This behavior not only impacted her mental health but also had immense influence on the relations she could have otherwise built with the children.
With lack of clarity in speech, good communication was a far-fetched dream for the child. However, establishing the bridge of communication was something that the team dedicatedly worked towards. From practicing speech development techniques with the child to connecting her with a speech therapist, the first brick towards communicating was laid.
Conducting sessions on basic life skills along with occupational therapy were the second important aspect for child development. Uninterrupted practice of drawing and coloring were part of the counseling sessions helping her develop concentration. Moreover, imagery was incorporated to help her imbibe knowledge of basics such as body parts and things around her.
Seeing Rosy’s journey from one facing separation to now being in a family, the team is proud about the developmental change in her. Considering it natural to be unaware about her family, did not lead Rosy to do away with sentiments of attachment and belongingness. Today, Rosy is seen to be one who has started opening up with people, comes forward to sit in a circle and share. This is also reflected in the attachment she has formed with few elders and young ones at the Home.
Rosy’s story is a testament to the fact that true faith and determination can move mountains. From being a child who was deprived of love to now one who has developed social relationships, Rosy is an example that the spirit of change is not inevitable. The round the clock work done by the team at the Home has brought tremendous change in temperament of the child. The greatest achievement while working with a child with special needs is the responsiveness through the sessions. This has been possible with Rosy and is the reason for the team to keep going with the child upholding the notion that depth of strength, tenacity and resourcefulness are powerful tools for a bright life.
So friends, this is all what I had to share on behalf of the children and team at Sunshine Homes. With this, I thank GlobalGiving and the associated donors for their sustained support which has helped us to continue to provide care and protection to children and youth at our Sunshine Homes.
Hoping to connect again.
International Yoga Day
World Environment Day
Kids planting trees