CONNECTED AND CARING
Juggling Schedules for Back to School
The children of SOFKIN have resumed online school classes. You can perhaps imagine the structure and support needed to organize the children in the SOFKIN family for online learning. A comprehensive schedule and timeline have been developed to coordinate and monitor the class offerings. The SOFKIN Staff and group leaders are doing a good job making sure the children on their teams are attending online classes and doing their homework.
Because school will probably continue online for the rest of the school year, SOFKIN is working to increase its online capacity. The number of computer has recently been increased from 4 to 11. Thanks to our sponsors, Seshu Edala and Chakri Mukkasa, for donating enough for us to get 7 computers. However, more computers are needed to accommodate all children in SOFKIN Hyderabad and for the children in the Pune homes. We are working on soliciting some refurbished computers through trusted sources. If you have any unused laptops and are willing to donate them, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the Education Fund through our RHYTHM 2020 event! We have been able to pay for the college fees for seven children and create a sustainable education fund. And if you missed this opportunity, there is still time to contribute. Our need for the Education Fund will only increase as the children continue to move into higher education.
We are also grateful to two or the employees from PamTen, Hyderabad, who did all of the set-up for the computer labs and will continue to provide ongoing technical support. Thank you to Sunai A Arasan and Vara Prasad Pamulaparthy from PamTen’s Networking Team!
Learning Online - It’s Not Just School Work
The SOFKIN children are also fortunate to have some fun, online learning opportunities outside of the school day. Weekly online classical dance classes started in September, taught by classical dancer, Ms. Karuniya. Online yoga classes are conducted 3 times a week by Sacred Space, our long-time partner for cultural, crafts, and dance activities. Sacred Space has also organized online baking classes, where the children learned how to make plain bread and garlic bread. And two classes on tribal art – Madhubani and Gond art – were conducted by Ms. Neha Jain.
RHYTHM 2020 – So Much Fun!
The children were thrilled by the reception to RHYTHM 2020 on Sept. 19, when more than 250 people in India and 750 viewers around the world watched the live broadcast. Daily practice for the cultural dances that they performed – a centerpiece of the online event – started five months earlier. And all of the children were involved in making costumes and props, and decorating the stage for the event. They felt that all of their hard work definitively paid off, as the performances and live panel discussion were much appreciated by all.
For those that might have missed the event, you can watch the show here!
COVID Doesn’t Stop the Need for SOFKIN
In COVD-19 related news, preparedness and prevention activities continue to be carried out at SOFKIN. We are grateful that all of the children and staff remain safe and healthy, with no health issues reported.
The impact of COVID-19 is being felt, however, as it relates to new admissions. An 11-year old girl was recently referred to SOFKIN. The girl’s mother died and her father had not been involved in her care since then. She has been staying with her grandmother, who is now no longer able to care for her. Having heard about how wonderfully children are cared for at SOFKIN, the grandmother decided to bring her here.
SOFKIN required that the girl and the grandmother to test negative on a COVID test and quarantine for 14 days in a separate room at SOFKIN. Because it was unreasonable to ask an 11-year-old to stay by herself in a new place, the grandmother to quarantine with her. They made it through the quarantine, the grandmother left, and the girl is now happily making new friends at SOFKIN and getting involved in all the activities.
The Child Welfare Committee (CWC), the regional governmental body that licenses and monitors NGOs, also notified SOFKIN that they may be referring some children. As a result of surprise audits by the CWC, several NGOs have been shut down because of mismanagement and substandard or neglectful care. Because of SOFKIN’s excellent history with the CWC, along with our effective admission protocols during COVID described above, the government may now be looking to SOFKIN to take in some of the children who have been displaced. SOFKIN has the room to accommodate these additional children, but this requires additional operational funding.
As always, we are so grateful for your ongoing support. We hope you and your loved ones continue to be well and stay safe.