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Sunbeam - A Ray of Hope

MISSION

TO TRANSFORM THE LIVES OF UNDERPRIVILEGED INDIAN CHILDREN GIVING THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO REALISE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.

OBJECTIVES

1.       TO OVERSEE THE HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT OF UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN – THEIR PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EDUCATIONAL NEEDS.

2.       TO MOTIVATE AND EMPOWER THE COMMUNITY TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OVERALL DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR CHILDREN.

TO MAKE SUNBEAM INTERVENTION A PROGRAMME OF TRANSFORMATION RATHER THAN SERVICE DELIVERY – WITH CLARITY ON WITHDRAWAL STRATEGY, SO THAT THE COMMUNITY CAN BECOME INDEPENDENT AND SELF-RELIANT.

ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN (IMPACT OF OUR INTERVENTION) 

EDUCATION 

(Non Formal and Formal)

More than just the ability to read and write, education gives them confidence in themselves.  With space generously donated by contractors at construction sites or by the Education Officer in BMC schools, we conduct Balwadis for pre-primary children (age-group 3 to 5) and Non Formal Education (NFE) classes for newcomers at our existing centres / new initiatives (age-group 6 and above). 

On a regular basis, we introduce sessions like songs, drama, drawing and poetry to enliven the atmosphere in the classroom so as to make studies more interesting.  Once the children have mastered the basics, they are made to join the mainstream, with the centre giving them the appropriate coaching even after they have joined formal schools.

Bridge courses are conducted for children who are of age-group 5 to 10 but those who have never had an opportunity to attend formal schools.  Appropriate training is imparted to enable them to join the mainstream by ensuring direct admissions to classes based on their age and aptitude.

Today, 80% of the children attending Sunbeam study classes are up to the desired levels in the academics and only 20% still attend bridge courses. By the beginning of the next academic year i.e. June – 05 we aim to bring them too up to the desired levels at the formal schools they study in.

1.      HEALTHCARE AND NUTRITION

This covers the aspects of nutrition, health awareness, and counseling.  When we started, healthcare was never a priority with the parents.  Now they are empowered enough to take the responsibility of their children’s healthcare.  These communities avail of the medical facilities available at the Government clinics / hospitals.  They also provide nutritive meals to their children.  Hence, our midday meals programme is limited only to the street children.

2.      COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Over a period of time we have realised that Sunbeam would have achieved little without the underlying support from the parents.  In order to understand the children, their motivation, and their behaviour, it is important for us to build a rapport with the parents.  Contrary to popular belief, they are very concerned about their children’s welfare and would like to give them the best opportunities.  They want to be a part of this positive change that is taking place in their children’s lives.  Therefore, we have introduced community meetings once a month to give them an opportunity to share their thoughts with us.  Here it must also be mentioned that they willingly contribute part of the expenditure incurred on each child.  There has been a steady decline of dependency levels on Sunbeam.

3.      RECREATION

Earlier on in the project we realized the importance of this aspect.  Homework would be completed doubly fast, with the brighter ones coaching, coaxing and even scolding those who had trouble catching up.  So, we regularly take the children on excursions to places of interest or parks.  Besides being a channel for entertainment, we believe that recreation can also be instructive.  So we arrange to take our children on exposure visits.  We have also been fortunate to have the services of NGOs such as Magic Bus as well as individual donors who have been sponsoring overnight outstation camps.  Thanks to Magic Bus, sports too has become a weekly activity for our children, thereby utilizing a child’s potential to its fullest.

ABOUT SUNBEAM                                                                                 

Sunbeam is a story written by many tiny hands - hands of street children, slum children, children of migrant construction workers. Children who very early on learn that dreams are not for them.

Sunbeam has befriended 650 such children in the city of Mumbai and through a comprehensive programme, which stresses education, recreation and community involvement, has sown the dream of a future within them.

Today, children like Rekha, Kishore, Tuljamma and Babu proudly attend classes at Sunbeam centres, go to a municipal school, compete with privileged counterparts in school and aspire for careers on the other side of the street, slum and construction site.

CATEGORY

NO. OF CHILDREN

Street children

130

Slum children

285

Children at construction sites

70

Children from lower economic groups

200

TOTAL

685

II TOTAL OUTREACH – CENTERWISE NUMBER OF CHILDREN –   OCT’04

SR.
NO

CATEGORY OF CHILDREN

Chandanwadi

Bhuleshwar

Worli

Kamla Mills

Bandra

Total no.  
of Children

1

General lot

88

61

166

55

94

464

2

Children attending bridge course

68

10

25

23

15

141

3

Pre-primary section

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

New enterants at the center

0

30

25

5

20

80

 

Total no. of children

156

101

216

83

129