This Project became the lightening rod for Sahaita after reading an article in Tribune in March 2005 describing the dire situation of an 80+ year old woman trying to take care of 60+ children.
Previously, this was a sole Red Cross institution, and due to other priorities and lack of funds this facility was being neglected. The whole facility infra-structure was in need of repair due to the fact that there was only a single care taker responsible for its upkeep. Bal Bhawan’s campus had two schools; one was for the children mentally challenged and other a Government school for normally active Children. Education level was sub-standard and majority of children were not successful in passing their classes. The serving of the meals was dependent on the availability of donors and food.
Sahaita took over the Bal Bhawan facility with the understanding and goal to provide all these children with a better future and to live a life of dignity and knowing that someone cared and they were wanted. These children had already suffered a great deal in life, and continuous suffering may sometimes become a drastic step in life where they lose trust and respect for society as a whole.
Bal Bhawan Cause Summary
This facility contains two schools and a residential complex for the children. The residential complex houses children, who are physically and developmentally challenged, abandoned and of parents who are themselves disabled.
|Institute Type||Underprivileged Children Care Hostel and School|
|Partnership||In Partnership with Red Cross|
|Number||96+ , Various age groups requiring basic health support|
|Children Type||Requiring assisted living and support
– Deaf and Mute (16)
– Mentally Challenged Physically disabled
|Accommodation||Yes, on-site; All Expenses included|
|Education||Yes, on-site; All Expenses included|
|Food||Yes, Daily Meals year around; All Expenses included|
|Health Support||Yes, children’s have special needs|
|Special Programs||Vocational Training, College Preparation|
|General Support||Facility Management, Facility Upgrades, Recreational|
Key Sahaita Accomplishments
Sahaita Redcross Model School
This facility is privately run by Sahaita and employs highly educated teachers who are very devoted to the studies and helping these children. The school exam results for the past two years speak for themselves, showing that the level of education these children are receiving and the 100% passing rate is equivalent or better than the other schools. In addition, Sahaita is providing the funding to provide the students evening coaching classes in order for them to be able to better utilize their time and in turn increase their level of education. Currently, 7 children are going to high school utilizing Sahaita’s funds and support.
Library and Media Room
Created a separate library and media room with its own study desks and chairs, and a television and a DVD player for children’s entertainment. In addition for the developmentally challenged school, a television and DVD player with corresponding educational program CDs.
Sahaita’s School for the Developmentally Disabled
This School is focused on providing the facilities, education and supporting the associated activities for the developmentally disabled children and with hearing problems. This school also supports the education of surrounding communities for children with development and hearing disabilities.
Sponsor a Child Program
This program continues to support the education of Bal Bhawan children even after they leave Bal Bhawan due to age limitation upon receiving approval from their parents.
Provided storage rooms fitted with custom cupboards so that the children have their own space to place their belongings.
Playground Lawn and Gates
New lawn for the children play ground and for the beautification of the surroundings of the Bal Bhawan, and in addition, two separate security gates are installed for children’s safety.
Facility Improvements & Maintenance
Built new bathrooms, increased the height of the facility walls (including glass and barbed wire) and continue to fund and support on-going facility improvements and maintenance activities
Funded an additional caretaker for sweeping, lawn and landscape maintenance.
Extra Curricular Activities
In order to address the variety of talents these children possess, a part time music teacher was hired to train the children. In addition, dance workshops, Gymnastic classes and other vocational training programs were instituted in order to add variety in learning and address the many interests of the children. It is exciting to report that only after a year of introducing the children to gymnastics that they were able to achieve a runner-up status in Punjab’s gymnastics competition held in Khanna City.
Healthcare and Wellness
Sahaita provides funding to support not only the daily needs but also the healthcare (medical, dental, and psychological) and wellness for all the children within the two Bal Bhawan schools. Additional funding and on-going needed support is provided by donors that are located in local surrounding areas to the facility.
Holiday and Birthday Celebrations
Every month the Bal Bhawan facility holds special events that include both different festival celebrations, magic shows (conducted by caretaker’s husband whose mother was a previous caretaker of this facility), birthday parties for those children whose birthday fall within that particular month. These celebrations include music, dance and just overall fun for all the children. Sahaita India team, local Red cross and Lions club join us in these efforts and make these children feel that they are special.
- To continue and support Bal Bhawan as long as the local Red cross organization allows us to maintain control with the clear understanding that our only goal is the welfare and meeting the needs of all the children within the facility.
- Teach and provide the children the necessary educational tools so that they can better themselves and support the day to day needs of the facility.
- Upgrade the school and provide the necessary facility space for lab and equipment with Computer and labs in order to be able to support higher education plans.
- Children who show the potential and interest in particular areas will be provided the opportunity and necessary tools in order to be able to excel in their chosen areas.
- Continue to support Vocational training so that the children have the opportunity to learn other trades which will help them to become self sufficient and support themselves in life.
- Future upgrade and equipment needs will be supported. The main goal is that the children have the opportunity to receive similar levels of education and rewards as other schools within the community at large.
- Continue to support the dance, gymnastics and music workshops
- Sahaita USA and Canada Teams – Special Bi-annual and annual trips by the US and Canada team members will continue. The main goal of these trips is not only to visit, but spend quality time with the children in order to gain a better understanding of the work sahaita is doing, and at the same acquire the experience as to what these visits mean to the children.