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.

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.