Disaster Relief

We are the stepping stone for some and a permanent home for many others. Nevertheless, it will always be a safe haven for girl children across Kadapa, India

Image showing Aarti Home/Village with children

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The main reason for over 90% of Aarti children coming to us is that they are girls

Child Helpline

As Aarti for Girls gained traction around the town, more and more children were being left at Aarti's gates.

We realized we had to do more than just provide a roof over the children's heads. There was a pattern to the problem, girls being abandoned because they were girls. It falls heavily within the deeply rooted ideals and culture of gender discrimination which we realized was the goal to fight against. This led to the creation of Aarti Village, housing K-Master programs, 6 cottages with full-time live-in staff to cultivate the feeling of family, a playground, garden, and more.

Sustainability at Aarti Village

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In 2008, when there was a need to build a new Aarti Home, Swati Puchalapalli, pursuing a career in sustainable architecture, saw the opportunity to actively introduce a sustainable design into Aarti Home

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Apart from Aarti's mission to fight against gender discrimination, Aarti also focuses on sustainability which you can see in the construction of Aarti Village

With focus on environmental sustainability in our Village design, we have also become the forefront of economic sustainability. Our operational utility costs have been significantly reduced (Saved $___) allowing more of our funds to be allocated into our girls, programming, and community.

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Family Based Care

“Poverty is a very complicated issue, but feeding a child isn't.”
- Jeff Bridges
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Family-based Care is a five step program to draw the children out of the cycle of abuse, hunger and addiction, attend school, while continuing to stay with their families. 
Most children who live at home with their parents come to school hungry, and struggle with ill health due to poor hygiene. Many of them have been abandoned/orphaned/abused in ways that we cannot fathom. A few of these communities are migrants and street acrobats like - Budagajangaalu, Marathis, Thandas, Dommari, Erikela, Yanadi, etc. who primarily depend on daily earnings for livelihood which may or may not provide their daily needs. We  have had children coming to Aarti school without brushing their teeth, bathing or wearing basic clothing like underwear. Each of these children were given individual attention to get them to learn to brush their teeth, clean themselves, maintain basic hygiene, dress properly and clean eating habits. All this was possible with the help of our teachers and housekeeping staff. Our counsellors visited individual homes and involved the parents in their children’s progress. It was almost six months before each of these children learned to maintain the basic hygiene and cleanliness. Family-based care, a program that supports children from broken and poor homes without separating them from their families, was evolved in order to address these issues. 
Between 2016 and 2018, 100+ children have been provided special care in school with three nutritious meals, uniforms and books. These children, with a little care have blossomed and are more engaged in school. Many of their markers like haemoglobin levels and skin condition have shown a marked improvement.
It is heartening to see that even though these children may lag behind academically, their talents like drawing, painting, gymnastics, clay work, etc are exceptional. The family-based care program involves 
Step 1: Identification of at-risk children from slums by our social workers and volunteers.
Step 2: Assessment of their home environment for safety and basic values. 
Step 3: Encouragement of parents to enrol their child in formal education with bridge schooling, and involve themselves in this program.
Step 4: Enrolment of the child in school and provision of food, clothing, medical and psychological care and education, and transportation to and from the school. 
Step 5: Monthly visits by our teachers to the child’s home to check on the well being of the child and family.
With this we have made some headway towards being able to take the children out of the cycle of hunger, abuse and addiction.

 

CREATIVE SCHOOL


  "People don’t just have just an intellectual capacity, but have many kinds of intelligence including musical, interpersonal, spatial - visual and linguistic" - Howard Gardner


The Creative School aims at identifying and developing the various types of intelligences in children at Aarti. Many of them respond to different stimuli and excel at pursuits, often non-academic. These stimuli are provided by the teachers at the creative school, where we aim to foster a love for learning in the children and engage them productively. They are taught dramatics, yoga, painting, dancing, singing and terracotta jewellery making, in addition to regular activities like sports and games.
Provision of three nutritious meals has improved the children’s health tremendously and they are more motivated and focussed.

 

"Education in the true sense is helping the individual to be mature and free, to flower greatly in love and goodness. That is what we should be interested in and not shaping the child according to some idealistic pattern." - Jiddu Krishnamurti
 

Aarti Home - A safe haven and a home for children in Need

More than three decades ago, one hot summer day in 1991, Sandhya found two year old Rani on the side of the road, half dead from starvation. This led her to creating a home for Rani and XXX more. Aarti Home is a true home for girls who do not have a safe home of their own. 120 girls living here are either orphaned or unable to find safe environments from abuse at Home. Girls live in a green and sustainable campus, called Aarti Village. Each girl lives with nine/ten other girls in a cottage that she calls home with a house mother to create a loving family unit. The girls, who very often come after being abused, find safety, comfort, love and learn to build dreams of a better tomorrow

Over the years, our children have found happiness in all facets of their life - You can find Aarti kids as nurses, engineers, entrepreneurs, artists, chefs, teachers and mothers. Aarti Home is a ‘Home’ that the girls can come to irrespective of how old they are. Our girls know that it is their own home even after they spread their wings and it is not uncommon to find them at Aarti to celebrate Diwali or birth of their child

 

Story of Harshita

A smiling 3 month old was dropped at our doorstep 19 years ago. We fell in love with her and named her Harshita, the smiling one. Harshita grew up as a happy child, spreading joy as she learnt her tables, fell in love with gardening and becoming an older sister for little children both in her cottage and in others. Today Harshita is second year college student aspiring to be xxx

 

Story of xxx

sunilkanth@gmail.com, please add another story after speaking with mummy

 

Family Based Care - Child care and protection with love of their parents

As we saw our girls build and grow their dreams, we saw many children who were neglected at home and forced into early marriages, prostitution and child labour. We were seeing boys and girls as young as 8 being abused or forced into sexwork. This led us to find a way to reach children who have parents but lose their childhood due to poverty. Family based care was formed in 2018, where Aarti Home cares for the children with support for education, nutrition and basic necessities. Our social workers visit the children every month, help build their dreams, create scaffolding through monetary and physical support so that children can have childhood while staying at home. The child has the love of her mother, hugs of her siblings without needing to be at an institution as long as she is safe

Our volunteers have a 

Step 1: Our volunteers and social workers identify at-risk children from slums by our social workers and volunteers.

Step 2: Our social workers conduct a thorough investigation and assessment of home environment for safety

Step 3: We then encourage parents to enrol their child in formal education with bridge schooling, and involve themselves in the safety and future of their children. We build dreams for the mother

Step 4: We enroll the child in school and provide food, clothing, medical and psychological care and education, and transportation to and from the school. 

Step 5: We continue monthly visits by our teachers to the child’s home to check on the well being of the child and family.

 

With this we have made some headway towards being able to take the children out of the cycle of hunger, abuse and addiction.

 

Story of FBC

XX was coming to Aarti school without brushing her teeth, bathing or wearing basic clothing like underwear. She was losing confidence as she was shunned by her classmates. She was taught to learn to brush her teeth, clean herself, maintain basic hygiene, dress properly and have clean eating habits. Our teachers and housekeeping staff gave tremendous love and spent time with XX. Our counsellors visited her home and involved her parents in her progress. It was almost six months before she learned to maintain the basic hygiene and cleanliness and gain confidence. She truly blossomed and is more engaged in school. Many of her markers like haemoglobin levels and skin condition have shown a marked improvement and she is excited to go to the next class.

XX was a happy child of a xxxx till COVID 19. XX’s dad died during the devastating second wave and he and his mother were kicked out from their family home. He was forced to work as a child labour in a xxx. Aarti volunteers spoke with XX’s mother, created an alternate future for XX and got him back to school

Child Helpline - A place for children to reach out and protect themselves and others

Even with our every effort, children continue to face physical, emotional and sexual abuse on a every day basis. It's our responsibility to support, protect and scaffold our children. Our children need to find a way to seek help. Our need to reach out to more children led us to partner with Childhelpline (1098) and UNICEF. Aarti has been a nodal agency for 1098 since xxx and has conducted xx workshops across the district. We reached out to every school, mobilised the children with knowledge to help themselves and others across YSR and Annamaya districts
We also work with Government officials as part of Childline Advisory Board (CAB), Dist child protection committees DCPC’s - to oversee that child rights are not violated. Aarti is convenor of DCPC in Kadapa and Annamayya districts.

Story of child helpline

AAA was eve teased in xx village by the headboy’s son everytime she went to school. She was worried about her safety. She was also worried about complaining as it could lead to her schooling to be stopped. Raghavendra and his volunteers did a workshop in xx school and she suddenly found hope and called 1098. The team at 1098 involved the police and arrested the miscreant creating a safe environment in the area

 

Story of Child Marriage stopped

14 year old XX was being forced into child marriage in xx village. Her classmates and friends were upset like the previous times such marriages had happened. However, they could do something about it this  time as they had a mobilization workshop on childline. They contacted childline and the childline coordinator went to the parents to counsel, motivate and show alternative paths. As the child was not safe in her local environment, she was brought into temporary shelter at Aarti Home and is now in grade 11.