With focus on education ASHA is working with OSI International since 2008 directly with the child and her family to keep the girl in school to extend her education as far as her capabilities will take her, all the way through to a vocation of the girls own choosing and establishment of her own future. We attempts to address every barrier from providing financial support to free a child from labor so that she can focus on education, to providing parental assistance for single parent children, to group and to individual tutoring and counseling to foster the child’s education. Another aspect of working with the girls is to prevent their early marriages. ASHA also teaches general life skills like nutrition and hygiene. In addition to the educational focus, sponsorship also provides for the child’s other needs, education material and emotional, hygiene, clothing, material etc. and strives to foster these girls self esteem and general happiness level. Every year there is increase in number of girls in group. Fifty girls are in the program. All girls are from low socioeconomic strata. Out of them 11 girls are single parent. Various activities are conducted for girls on regular basis in Janata Vashat under sponsorship program. They are as follows-
- Saturday Sessions– Saturday Session is ongoing activity since 1998 under Better Life Education Program. Currently these sessions are attended by sponsored and non-sponsored girls. Focus of this group activity is on promotion of healthy socialization skills and personality development. On Saturday’s Social Worker interacts with girls on various topics like sensitization, legal awareness health awareness, current issues, issues on environmental cleanliness, gender etc. Every Saturday nutritious diet is given to girls.
- Health: Every year medical checkup of girls is conducted. Various awareness generation programmes on health issues like anemia, physical and mental changes during adolescence, HIV/AIDS, importance of Nutritious diet, discussion on Rainy Season illness, preventive measures of Dengue illness, Swine flu, discussion on maintaining personal hygiene and diseases caused by bad hygiene are taken for girls. Along with this nutritious diet is provided for girls every Saturday.
- Recreation: Our group activity is the place where girls get a chance to express them freely, where they can play games, like Guide, memory games, concentration games, Chinese whisper, preparing greeting cards etc.
- Issue based Discussion: Usually these discussions are conducted on Saturday wherein social worker discusses current news, give information on various days celebrated across the world like on International women’s day. Session on traffic rules by Pune traffic police, career guidance, general knowledge session, session on child sex abuse.
- Hobby Class: Hobby class is conducted every year in summer vacations where girls learn new creative things like marble painting, Mehendi, crosha work, mask making, warli painting etc. During hobby class various competitions are also conducted like fancy dress, cooking, Mehendi, drawing, greeting card making, paper quelling etc.
- Birthday Celebration. On last Saturday of every month we celebrate birthdays.
- Study Class: Study class is ongoing activity for girls in Anandmath everyday in the morning. During study class, girls do home work and study on their own; ask their difficulties. On an average 60 girls are attending study class regularly. Most of the parents are illiterate and busy in their daily earnings so they are not able to go to their daughter’s school to understand their educational progress. Hence social worker regularly visits all girls’ schools as well as tuition class to get information of each girl’s progress. This information is shared with parents regularly throughParent’s meeting. Along with thishome visitsare made as per need.
- English Classes: One volunteer used to come every Saturday to teach English. She taught grammar, spoken English through games and activities to girls. Now after corona pandemic we have online spoken English class.
- Psychological Assessment of girl’s: Through regular observations, feedbacks by school teachers and parents if any girl is identified having emotional / psychological disturbances, their psychological assessment is done by ASHA’s psychiatrist. Based on assessment girls are provided with medicines, special tests like IQ testing, Aptitude testing is done. Majority of the girls in sponsorship program have single parent. It has been observed that most of the girls have unresolved grief that is impacting their health, emotional and educational growth as well as their relationship with their existing parent. To address unresolved grief ASHA has conducted Grief Work sessions twice with 16 girls with help of psychologist. After grief work sessions girls become more outspoken, started expressing their feelings, become much social and shown improvement in their scholastic performance.
- Field Visits: Girls are taken for various exhibitions for exposure like garbage management, vegetable and flower exhibition, poster exhibition on diseases, eve teasing, visit to old age home, historical places in and around Pune.
- Picnics & educational field trips– Every year ASHA takes girls to educational field trips as well as for picnics. Girls have visited places like Science Center, Planetarium, historical forts, and Exhibition on garbage management. Girls have enjoyed picnics at Lonavala, Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar, Panchagani and few resorts.