COLLEGE, CHRISTMAS, AND CATCHING UP
Learning in College and on the Job
Creating opportunities that allow the children and young people of SOFKIN to thrive and reach their full potential is one of our core values. Here are five SOFKIN college students, who are taking full advantage of opportunities that have been offered to them.
Parmesh, a senior at the Indian Institute of Hotel Management, recently participated in a cooking competition at the Institute. He had to create several dishes in real time during Zoom calls, and explain - in English – what he was doing. He worked in a professional-looking “test kitchen” at SOFKIN. (SOFKIN staff and children were excited to help him create this kitchen in a corner of the new kitchen at SOFKIN.) Parmesh successfully passed through 2 levels of competition and just completed his entry for the main level. After a tough competition, he received the 1st runner up position!
Three SOFKIN students have earned internships at the Hyderabad office of PamTen, an IT technology services company. Jagdish, who is in his final semester at the Govt. Institute of Electronics, is working in video editing and animation. Many SOFKIN supporters are familiar with his work, including, most recently, the video of the virtual RHYTHM 2020 celebration. Chaya recently showed samples of Jagdish’s work at PamTen to one of PamTen’s clients in the entertainment industry. The client was very impressed.
Also interning at PamTen are Niharika, a senior at Koti Women’s college, and Nikhil, a senior at Swami Vivekananda Institute of Technology. Niharika is working in HR and Operations, and Nikhil in graphics and design. All three students are working hard at their internships, and grateful for these opportunities for career growth and development.
Finally, Meena who has completed her Bachelor of Social Work degree and is awaiting admission into a masters program recently attended an online course to further enhance her knowledge and skills. Meena earned an e-certificate for her participation in a Virtual Master Class on Social Impact Measurement and Management: Theory, Concepts and Practical Tools.
Wrapping Up the Happy Holidays
Thanks to the generosity of everyone who donated to the Christmas Fund, the children had a lovely Christmas. A total of $1,500 was raised, which allowed each child to receive a gift of a new set of clothes and special food for their Christmas dinner. The donations – along with the money saved because of the children’s fast on Christmas Day – were also used to purchase food for 200 of their destitute neighbors. As is the tradition, the children helped prepare and package the food, although it was safely delivered by SOFKIN staff.
Another highlight was decorating the 2 Christmas trees, which were in the boys and girls buildings. For decorations, the children wrote statements of things they were grateful for onto colored paper and then cut them into festive shapes. These “ornaments” made beautiful decorations for the trees!
Kicking It Up with Celebrations
The annual SOFKIN Sports Day was held on January 2, 2021. Organized by and for the children and staff, Sports Day is a full day event that features different games for children of different age groups. Games for Junior Teams included three legged, sack, running, skipping, and hopping races. Senior Teams competed in Kadabbi matches, tugs of war, various races, throw ball, volley ball and a cricket match. Sports Day is about physical activity and competition, but much more than that. Through games, children learn about abiding by rules, team work, fair play, winning and losing, and respect for others. They thoroughly enjoyed a full day of fun, learning and excitement, outside with their SOFKIN family.
The South Indian festival of Pongal was celebrated in mid-January. Mr. Apparao, the Boy’s Warden, who is also a tailor, created a surprise for the girls in honor of the festival. Using old saris that had been donated, he stitched long Indian dresses for all the girls. They felt very beautiful in their elegant new dresses!
SOFKIN is Always Here to Help
SOFKIN had one new admission in December, a 13-year-old girl, who was referred by the regional Child Welfare Committee. Having run away from her troubled home, the girl was found wandering the streets and brought to SOFKIN in the middle of the night. She is adjusting well and very grateful to be in the safe and loving environment of SOFKIN.
The year 2020 was full of challenges, joys, sacrifices, accomplishments and growth for the SOFKIN family. Read about the highlights in the. 2020 Annual Report
We wish you good health and happiness as 2021 continues to unfold!
Reminder: Our mailing address is 10 Buttonwood Dr., Bordentown, NJ 08505