Area of work
An NGO endeavouring to give right direction to the HIV infected adolescents by giving them education, vocational training and other important skills required for a normal livelihood.
The vision of Snehagram was conceived when its partner NGO, Sneha Care Home (a part of Sneha Charitable Trust) began operations in 2008 and started taking care of HIV infected children. The founders began to ponder the challenges of HIV affected children growing up and becoming adults with the advent of better treatment options. Around the world there is still no clear picture of what will the future of these children be.
Most people in the HIV care field think of their medical needs and forget that they are first and foremost children who needs to grow up like any other children to be happy adults. Added to their HIV status, most of them are orphans or will soon be orphans as their parents succumb to the illness. Almost all of them are from the poorest families and their survival and options for building a bright future is very slim. Snehagram is a humble attempt to respond to these questions and evolve some potential answers that can be replicated across the country and in the world, by the Camillians in India.
The land was purchased in 2009 and some initial fencing works were done after that. On September 12th, 2012 the foundation stone was laid by the Bishop of Dharmapuri, Lawrence. The construction works began on February 12th, the day after the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World day of the Sick. The first batch of students – 12 girls and 13 boys moved in to the new campus on June 22nd and the Snehagram campus was formally inaugurated by Bishop Lawrence on July 20th. Snehagram was erected as a residence of Trichy community by the present administration and currently Fr. Mathew as the Director and Fr. Prakash as Administrator runs the program.
Snehagram runs or plan to run the following programs for children:
Snehagram Academic Program
Snehagram is the second phase of Sneha Care Home. It is a residential program for boys and girls who are 13 years and above with a focus on vocational training and rehabilitation. It has the facility to offer residential tainting of 200 children, both boys and girls; Snehagram facilitates a preparatory platform for the adolescent CLHIV to enable themselves to face the challenges of life when they reach their adulthood.
Snehagram intends to impart job oriented classes and training coupled with Academic preparation for Secondary and Higher secondary education under National Open School Curriculum. Thus at large it will capacitate the youths with skills required for them to fetch a job and thus to have stable income. Through this, they intend to make these children capable to stand on their own and to contribute to the society. Some of the areas for skill training we have looked into are electronics, computer programming, language and communication, customer care services, BPO, farming, crafts and tailoring and embroidery. We are hopeful with proper training in these fields, they will be able to find a lot of job opportunities to stand on their own.
Comprehensive health management
Under this programme, children will receive ongoing medical support to manage their health. They follow the preventive, promotive and curative model of health whereby the focus will be on prevention of opportunistic illnesses and promotion of healthy living techniques. There will be regular monitoring and evaluation of their health and routine investigations to determine their immunity status and viral load. They will be integrated to the treatment programmes under the Anti Retro Viral Therapy provided by NACO. An onsite nurse and a group of doctors available for consultations review their health and intervene in their health crisis.
It is stated that adolescence is the period of storm and stress. The children will be undergoing series of existential queries regarding their HIV infection and related complications, social acceptance, stigma, discrimination, the orphan-hood, loss of siblings, and the feeling of loneliness. They require professional assistance in leading a positive life.
The program is developed in such a way as to capture our learning and experiences in managing and guiding adolescent HIV issues in an effective manner. Therefore systems are created to capture evidences of good results in all areas of the life and development of these children. A good database is created to track the growth and development of these children especially in the areas of Health Management, Psycho Social Care and Integration strategies.
Snehagram not only plans to care for children who are living with us in the residential program, but the goal is to reach as many children who are in need as possible. With this goal they have tied up with Karnataka Health Promotion Trust to reach children who are living in the community. They will first offer district wise need assessment and become a hub for adolescents who are seeking support to rebuild their lives.