Aug 13, 2014

Ensuring access to sponsorship scheme for orphan children from Government

It has been a wonderful opportunity for 40 orphan children to avail the benefit for social security under the Sponsorship Program from the Namakkal district collector through the Integrated Child Protection Scheme. Orphan children under the care of extended families were referred to the District Child Protection Unit through Buds of Christ. After due verification process by the committee, 25 of our children have been supported with the monthly amount of  Rs 2000 for next 3 years. This is given directly into the beneficiaries bank/post office account and is primarily to be used for the children's education, nutrition and wellbeing.

For the families that have received the support, it gives an additional support and encouragement to ensure children, especially girls are sent to school and greater benefit for orphan children affected by lifelong illnesses to receive better care.

For instance in the case of Anushya and Tirumalini, orphan and child suffering from lifelong illness; this support from the government will help the grandmother provide better care, otherwise the family is dependent on the grandfather's income which is very less and occasional.

In the case of Poomani a widow woman,  whose living  wage is doing maid work, the benefit ensures better care for her son who is on treatment for kidney problem and her two daughters for their education.

This has been possible with the active representation in presenting the issues of orphan children and children with lifelong illnesses by Mr. Jeyapaul, the founder director of Buds of Christ who was a member in the Sponsorship Approval Committee in Namakkal district under the leadership of the district collector.

Jul 30, 2014

Buds Graduation Scholarship Support

Gowri, 17 years is the second daughter of  four children, three daughters and one boy of her widowed mother. Gowri's brother was born from the second marriage, and being a boy her mother had preferential care towards her brother than the girls. This even lead her mother to stop Gowri's older sister from school when she was in her 9th standard (13 years) and sent for work. Her sister’s earning supported the family which was not sufficient. There were also pressures on Gowri  to work for additional income.
But with support from Buds of Christ, she was encouraged to continue her education. One year before her sister (23 years) was married off, and the pressure came again on Gowri to get married who was doing her 12th to discontinue her studies. But with timely intervention from Buds of Christ she has been able to continue her school studies.
Now that she has completed her 12th grade, her mother wanted her  married, as the marriage proposals were coming with a bride price. But Gowri's interest is to become a teacher. When she expressed her interest and her firmness in going against her mother's plan, there was no support in her family. Even her older sister's family were forcing her for marriage. But in the midst of all these challenges she has been firm and approached Buds of Christ for meeting the educational needs under the Buds Graduation Scholarship Support.
She has even applied for government managed hostel for stay as she feels there would be pressure for marriage again from the family. Gowri boldly says today that the challenges that she face is actually making her stronger and assertive.

There are many young girls like Gowri, who have no free choices to enter college. Often the girls are pressurised for early marriages with older men or sent for work. We realised unless education support is provided till their graduation and followed up actively, girls like Gowri are not able to continue their studies and are vulnerable to the trap of child marriage and poverty.