Oct 14, 2014

Commemorating International Day of Girl Child on October 11th at Buds of Christ

The International day of the girl child stood it’s purpose, when Preetha, 15 years stood boldly and spoke about the state of rights ensured for girl child at the commemoration of the event with young girls and their care takers at BoC Children’s Center, Tiruchengode on 11th October 2014.

The event started with Ms. Gomathy, 17 year old emerging Buds Leader, shared the purpose why the day has been observed to the rest of the girls. She explained that the observation supports more opportunity for girls, and increases awareness of inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. She shared the issues of access for girls in the context of orphan girls and HIV and AIDS.

The main highlight was the presentation prepared by Preetha and her mother on the status of young girl of a widowed mother living with HIV. In her presentation it was vivid the attitudinal change that happened in her mother from the thought of getting her daughter married at an early age to ensure right to education for her two daughters. The other point was a to have a society that puts a stop to early marriages for girls, ends violence and abuse against young girls, provides opportunities for higher education and protection of girl’s rights.

The day ended with the other participants sharing their experiences of how this day they were able to reflect the status of young girls around them.The care takers expressed that they have been reaffirmed on  their commitment of girl child education and protection of their rights.

Oct 1, 2014

LOSS, GRIEF and BEREAVEMENT | Workshop by Experts from Singapore @ Buds of Christ

It has been a great  learning for the team, social workers and volunteers at Buds of Christ and NGOs working with children to understand loss, grief and bereavement from a group of experts from Singapore KK Women and Children Hospital who were here at Tiruchengode from 5th September to 9th September 2014. The workshop was conducted as part of capacity building of Buds of Christ  by Singapore International Foundation (www.sif.org.sg).

In this  workshop the key topics dealt were understanding what is meant by loss, grief, bereavement in the context of HIV and AIDS. As Buds of Christ focuses primarily among children and their care takers mostly widowed women, the sessions were also handled in these specific areas.

In addition, the new concept of motivational interviewing and the tools that are used during the process was also shared during this workshop. This is to help young people be better adherers to treatment and for the counsellors to explore and support the lives of those in need.

Feedback and Reflections:

Often we perceive grief with loss due to death only, but one thing we learnt is that any kind of loss can cause grief. Now this helped us realise that HIV could also be perceived as a loss of  health among children and adolescents, especially when they have to take the life-long medication. So assurance and support should be a continuous process.
I  learnt that, even small children experience grief, and it is important we spend time and help them cope with the loss .

Motivational interviewing helped us realize using the positive techniques in the helping process can be more encouraging in becoming better adherers to treatment process.

The adolescents (volunteer and Buds leaders) and child based agencies in Salem and Namakkal district also felt well equipped with information and skills to handle young people in this area. 

Buds of Christ and our children express our special thanks to Sylvia Mun, Joanne, Sok Hwee and Liwen for equipping us through their experiences and knowledge to serve the children under our care better.