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Udayan Ghars (Children Homes)
About the Programme
We believe that every child needs the warmth and security of a family. The ‘Udayan Ghar Programme’ literally meaning, ‘Sunshine Homes’ is a unique group-home model founded on the core concept of ‘L.I.F.E.’, an acronym for ‘Living in Family Environment’. The purpose of these Ghars is to nurture Out-of-Home Care (O.H.C.) children including parentless, abandoned or abused children in need of protection.
An ‘UdayanGhar’ is a loving residential home, where we care for vulnerable children to provide them with a compassionate family environment. A close-knit group of around 12 children of the ages 6 to 18 live as a unit in these group homes called UdayanGhars, with separate Ghars for boys and girls. We currently have two multi-unit homes as well.
The programme focuses on providing good education, nutritious food, excellent physical and mental health and plenty of growth opportunities to the children.
A committed team of caregivers consisting of ‘Mentor Parents’ that are lifetime volunteers, professional social workers and other child or mental health care professionals work together to provide the love, protection and guidance that children need to flower. We have placed such homes in middle-class neighbourhoods, and this facilitates a lot of community participation and interaction. Udayan kids flourish as they turn into productive and responsible members of society.
In 1996 we established our first Udayan Ghar. Today, there are 17 Ghars spread across four states in India.
Uplifting Vulnerable Children
We nurture children who lack the protection of their primary caregivers through the UdayanGharProgramme. With access to mentoring support, parental guidance, nutritious food, education, extracurricular activities, clothing and physical and mental health care, our children develop into self-reliant, socially abiding and responsible citizens of tomorrow. The values we instil in our children inspire them to make a positive difference in society when they grow up.
Family ties that bind
A child’s family is his or her first exposure to the world. Children acquire abilities and learn about value systems through parents and siblings. Most children that come to UdayanGhars have lost the protection of their families. The programme builds a loving and supportive family environment for at-risk children. Living life in such an environment reinforces the importance of family in the hearts of children and promotes social integration. Knowing they have a family to turn to in their hour of need increases their belongingness, self-worth and sense of security. Our children and young adults learn to form healthy and safe relationships, and one day have families of their own!
Guaranteeing Quality Education
At Udayan Ghars, children have abundant opportunities to hone their progress based on individual talents, academic interests, skills and aptitudes. Udayan Care prepares and registers children living in Ghars in the most appropriate educational and vocational institutions, and supports throughout their enrolment. The Ghar team encourages children to work hard. The paired dedication of children and the caregiving team results in our children thriving at school and in their vocations.
Fostering Physical and Positive Mental Health
At Udayan Care, we look after the physical, mental and emotional well being of children by addressing their unique health and psychological needs. Children that come to UdayanGhars have often suffered malnourishment, illness and unimaginable trauma, which stems from past exposure to loss, neglect or abuse. Regular health check-ups, timely vaccinations and a well-researched mental health care setup are in place at the Ghars, supplemented by accessible trauma-informed care. These activities address any physical and emotional issues and cultivate psychological resilience in our children; they grow feeling loved, understood, and optimistic about the future, and develop into responsible citizens.
A stable environment teamed with loving attention, plenty of opportunities, training, camps and recreational activities encourage proper physical and psychological development of children under the long-term care of UdayanGhars. We motivate children to advance their innate talents and pursue hobbies, as well as to play sports and experience the wonders of creativity through various forms of art. Udayan children value diversity and believe in mutual respect regardless of socio-economic brackets such as gender, race, ethnicity, economic status, caste or religion.
Aftercare and Permanent Rehabilitation
We have set up the Aftercare programme to support our children from UdayanGhars over the age of 18 until they reach financial independence, thereby ensuring a ‘continuum of care’ even after they reach adulthood. Udayan Care remains by their side, adjusting them to their jobs and marriages as per their needs, talents and education. Children from Ghars remain a part of the Udayan family for life—long after they are well-settled adults.
We facilitate visionaries that are inspired to establish and manage UdayanGhars voluntarily. We also enable volunteers to become long-term parent figures or Mentor Parents at UdayanGhars. These are determined individuals with a passionate desire to make a difference, who apply the experience they have gained with their kids to make a lasting impact on the lives of children.
We also promote initiatives involved in the setting up of alternative care for the rehabilitation and development needs of children in need of protection and care.
Udayan Care has been a pioneer in child protection and cares for over twenty years. Our constant endeavour is to lead the movement for the rights and mental well being of children, adolescents and youth. To augment and share the practical experience we have gained over the years, we have conducted several internal and external research studies, which might be advantageous for other organizations, professionals and government agencies working in the field of child welfare.
Some of our internal researched include ‘Assessment of Mental and Physical Health of OVC’s in Residential Care Organizations: A Longitudinal Study’; ‘Remediation of Cognition in Kids to Overcome Neglect (ROCK ON) 2015-16’; ‘Quality of Life of CareGivers and its Impact on delivery of Services for Children Living in Child Care Institutions: 2015-16’ and ‘Assessment of Personal, Social, Educational and Interpersonal Needs of the Children ( 10 to 18 years) Living across Foster Care Homes: A Longitudinal Study (2011 onwards)’.
At Udayan Care, we believe that it is in the child’s best interest to remain with the biological family as long as there is no compromise on well being of the child. We leave no stone unturned to restore the child to his or her family as early as possible. Some cases allow us to unite the child with his or her family in a short period, however, certain cases may take as long as seven years or longer. Reintegration of children with their families is a continuous process at Udayan Ghars. We have reunited 300 children with their families in the last three years.