Child Development Centres
In North India we are providing daily care for children who don’t have the education to gain access to regular schools… yes that’s right. So the development centre provides a venue for children to come to daily and receive basic education with the plan being to raise their levels to that where the schools will accept them.
You can sponsor the children in this program who desperately need support and these sponsorships are tax-deductible in Australia.
Our other partner is delivering 24/7 care for children through one girls home and two boys homes.
The children come from different backgrounds. Some are orphans, children of HIV/AIDS-affected parents but are themselves negative. Other children have parents who are commercial sex workers. There are children of parents with leprosy and incurable diseases. Our children receive love, care and attention in a safe & protective home. Their needs for food, clothing, medical treatment are met here. They also receive a formal education.
Unlike some children’s homes in India our three care homes each have 24/7 electricity and running water, attached toilets and bathrooms. The dormitories are equipped with individual beds & cotton mattresses for each child, and individual storage space for their belongings.
We don’t provide a child sponsorship program here due to changes in the direction within the government’s child welfare initiatives.
Donations and gifts to the children’s homes are greatly appreciated and are tax-deductible in Australia.
A day in our junior boys home in India
From Monday to Saturday, everyone at home is up bright and early: 6am. The dormitory is bustling with activity as we all race to gobble up breakfast at 7am, and then get ready for school by 8am. Some of the younger boys can’t keep up with the pace so our caregivers help them get ready, and we all head off to school in our school bus.
After a long day at school, we head home at 2pm where our cook & caregivers have a warm, tasty lunch waiting for us. We eat lots of different things as part of the menu the cook prepares for the week: meat, fish, eggs and lots of vegetables (which are not so popular with everyone!). After lunch we rest for a while and then sit down to finish our homework until 4:30pm. The home leader and a few volunteers help us with our studies during this time. When we find it difficult to understand something at school, the carers sit with us during study time at home and helps us understand it properly so that we can do well at school.
With study time out of the way we feast on tea & biscuits at 4:30 pm and head out for my favourite time of the day – outdoor playtime for 90 minutes! We play football, cricket, badminton… so much fun!
We go back indoors at 7:15pm and freshen up for devotion time together. We sit down for dinner at 8pm. After dinner, we have time to talk to each other and get our things ready for the next day. The older children in the home help the caregivers to do things around the home. This helps us learn how to care for others and take responsibility for things. It’s lights out at 10pm by which time we are so ready to just sleep!
Sundays are special days!
We can wake up late and don’t have to think about schoolwork. We just do things that make us happy – relaxing, going to the beach, watching a movie or doing something adventurous or naughty together and have a good laugh! Our leaders supervise us to make sure we don’t get into trouble!
This is not a children’s program however our team began 11 years ago by giving milk powder to a destitute woman who was infected with HIV & could not breastfeed her child. Today this is the Project Sunflower which reaches over 300 individuals.
India has the second highest infection rates of HIV/AIDS in the world and if it doesn’t slow down this will lead to as many as 50 million cases. Through Sunflower over 100 HIV-positive women, who were abandoned by their families, now receive support. This is in the form of groceries, clothing, and medicines every month and they meet at our facility monthly for a day of fellowship and support.
We also have field-workers who provide support and care for women trapped in the commercial sex trade. These women are trained in tailoring, embroidery, bag and jewellery making, or baking. This equips them with skills to seek new employment when they come out of the sex trade. Girls who have been rescued & are being looked after at our homes are also provided similar skill training.
The Link between these programs
Many of these women have children and so the Sunflower program is very much in line with our heart to serve children in need.