Progress Report – Apr-Nov 2013

by Ravi on Dec 22, 2013

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We are already 8 months into our Financial Year and we are making wonderful progress in our major programs this year.

Child Restoration Program

The objective of Our Child Restoration Program is to reunite as many run-away, lost and abandoned children as possible with their families. Children run away from home due to various reasons, such as poverty, domestic violence, abuse, broken family, academic pressure,  attraction to city life and often as the result of child-trafficking which is a huge problem in India.

The child restoration and the counseling effectively bring the children back to live in a protective environment with their own families.  The results of the child restoration program this year is quite encouraging. By the end of November 2013 the total number of children reunited with their family is 354. We feel satisfied to save the lives of these vulnerable children. They might have been abused, exploited or even trafficked. Some of these children were begging and some of them were on drugs. It took a lot of effort and counselling of both the children and the parents to reunite them.  Our target for this year is 450 children which looks pretty achievable by the end of the financial year.

Our Homes Program

We operate five homes for children who have nowhere to go. These children are mostly a victim of a vicious circle of poverty, discrimination, and lack of education or opportunity.  The children are forced into various dangerous situations at an early stage of their lives by these circumstances or sometimes even by their own parents.

All of our homes (fondly called Apna Ghar which means Our Home) provide a hygienic and protective home environment, food, medicine, clothes, entertainment, basic education and training of life skills as well as psychological counselling.

The children find a sense of belonging again in our homes, which they lost at a very young age or never felt in their short lives.  They live in the care and the guidance of our staffs in a harmonious atmosphere.  They learn how to help each other with a mentoring system (brother/sisterhood), and the children and our staff members live under one roof as ONE FAMILY.

Most of the children in our homes attend school and about 200 children are now studying in the main-stream schools.  The children are encouraged to pursue a higher academic interest or vocational training where their interest lays.  Our counsellors and care-takers provide them the guidance throughout their adolescence when they are preparing to start an independent life.  Even after leaving our homes, the children receive our continuous support so that they live as self-sufficient and contributing members of the society.

You will be delighted to know that three of our students are doing their Diploma in Civil Engineering, one student is pursuing a degree in Nursing, one is doing diploma in Ophthalmology, and two students are learning animation. We hope that these students will inspire other children to go beyond basic education.

Bridge-Schooling Program

We provide non-formal education to the children of homeless families living on the streets and runaway children loitering around public places. These children usually work as rag pickers, beggars or selling petty items. Their parents/ guardians are reluctant to send them to school. The children are deprived of even basic needs and education.  It provides a bridge-school (non-formal education / functional literacy) to these children as well as counselling them and their families, so that they can join the mainstream school system. By the end of November, 156 students have been enrolled in our programme.

Child-Rights Advocacy Program

COME is a strong advocate of the Juvenile Justice Act.  We hold workshops on  child-welfare for police officers and district administrative officers dealing with children in need as well as for cultivating public awareness. Posters and banners are displayed in public places.   We have organised three workshop by the end of November 2013. This program needs extra resources to be more effective. We feel that it can help many children and poor parents by educating them about their rights.

We will update you on the annual report on 1 April 2014. COME family is truly grateful for your help and contribution.

In Gratitude,

Your COME family

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