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About the Programme
To realise their potential and thrive, disadvantaged youth need continued education, training, counselling, mentoring and support beyond the 18 years the Juvenile Justice Act permits them in a children’s home. At 18, these young adults are not fully equipped to handle life by themselves and need a helping hand. The Aftercare Programme bridges the gap for young adults of the ages 18 to 21 that are just leaving their Udayan Ghars, by providing continued rehabilitative services combined with community, group or scattered housing. We empower Udayan youth to complete their education, become job ready and well prepared for independent living. Apart from board and lodging, the Aftercare Programme covers other expenses ranging from cost of commuting and clothing to medical facilities. Dependents are simultaneously encouraged to learn a vocation or seek a college degree and manage the household. They are responsible for their own daily chores. In this way, we teach them life skills gradually, easing them into adult responsibilities. Efforts are made to settle them into good jobs and even arrange their marriages, if they so desire. Aftercare youth become increasingly accountable for their subsistence. They grow stable roots through jobs, learn to save money, acquire the skills to sustain themselves without state support and finally move out to live on their own as self-assured adults. As on 1st April 2017, our two Aftercare facilities are preparing 26 youth for their reintegration into society.
A stepping-stone towards self-reliance
Children from NGOs have usually had a late start; many children who come to Udayan Ghars have never had formal schooling before. The Aftercare programme has been established to ease youngsters at Udayan Ghars into their adult responsibilities, before their rehabilitation into society. Within a few years and with continued support in the form of education, training, livelihood assistance and mental health inputs, our youth attain both the skills and the confidence to move out into the world.
Easing the financial burden
Through the Aftercare Programme, the youngsters have access to a secure place to stay for free. We ease the stress of finances through monetary support, which gives our youth the freedom to pursue their professional or vocational education according to their interests and aptitude. During the course of vocational training, a stipend may be provided till the youngster gains employment. The programme necessitates that these youngsters make appropriate career choices that enable them to earn a decent living for themselves after they leave Aftercare.
To shield our youth from the common pitfalls faced by many in their peer group—such as alcohol or drug related problems, psychological problems, credit trouble, unemployment or even homelessness—we provide them with continuous mentoring, counselling and trainings. Our Aftercare youth turn out to be socially responsible adults, with sound ethics and values. They value diversity; respect people irrespective of any social construct such as class, gender or ethnicity and posses the ability to form healthy adult relationships.