Happy Children in their New Home!
The SOFKIN children have moved into the new building! Everyone has been waiting a long time, but when they came back from summer holiday at the end of June, they moved directly into the new facility. According to Chaya, everyone just loves their new space: it is very open, bright, and airy with excellent ventilation. Because they now have the physical space in which they can really breathe, Chaya is hopeful that this will help to make their whole lives brighter and carry over into their mental and emotional well being.
New Start, New School, New Responsibility
The children were excited to receive welcome kits upon their arrival in their new home. The kits included a new towel, a new bed sheet, socks, toiletries, a new school bag and school supplies, lunchbox and water bottle – everything they need for a fresh start.
All of the school-aged children have registered at the new school in their area. It is close to their home so travel is much easier. In their old location, the middle school and high school students were enrolled at government schools. Although the children did well is classes, the schools were not as challenging as one would hope. A wonderful benefit of the move is that everyone is now registered at a very good private school.
In order to instill a sense that all share responsibility for taking care of their new home, the staff has developed a Responsibility Sheet/Chore Chart. The older children, in particular, are asked to sign up for specific tasks, such as making sure lights are turned off when not in use, daily checks to ensure that toilets and wash basins are clean, seeing that clothes are folded and put away, regularly dusting the door grills, monitoring that everyone washes and dries their plate after a meal, etc.. In return, these children receive pocket change for a task well done. Thank to Jhunu and the rest of the SOFKIN staff for their efforts in keeping everything organized and running smoothly.
Excitement and … Surprises
While the major milestone of moving into the new building has been achieved, there is still a lot of
furnishing to do. Many donations have already been received for fans, lights, kitchen equipment, and storage cabinets. We are very grateful to for the support of our sponsors, friends, and family. A special thanks to our new addition, CSR Manager, Madhupama, for her efforts in increasing domestic sponsors and contributions.
A special thanks goes to Smiles R Us. This organization and its members have been a dear friend and a long time supporter of SOFKIN. This year they raised $7,000 (including corporate matches) at their festive food and drink booth at a local event.
However, as is the case with any new construction, several unknown – and, therefore, unplanned for - issues have arisen. For example, some of the water coming to the building was intended for washing and gardening. Further testing revealed that a water filtration system needed to be installed before even these uses of water were deemed safe. Drinking or cooking with the water was definitely out of the question.
This was just one of the hurdles to overcome during this period. With the new space, we will be blessed to be able to accept more children. We want to help as many children as possible – so we need your continued support!