Seva Bharti Orphanage, Kullu
Seva Bharti is a relatively new orphanage having changed it's name and location as well as going from a co-ed to an all boys institution. Housing thirteenteen children aged ten to seventeen, they are situated upon a steep hill on the south side of Bhuntar. They live in two rooms with one toilet/bathroom and have very limited facilities with no outdoor space. It is rare they are allowed on visits outside the orphanage unless it is their daily commute to and from school or to the nearby patch of grass they call a park where on occasion they are allowed a supervised game of cricket. They all attend local government school in Kullu. We are currently visiting with these children every sunday and one evening a week when permitted. Our goal is to help engage them with spoken english, and allow them to have fun with creative and sports activities.
This orphanage would certainly benefit from long-term funding to provide facilities but mainly long-term volunteers to help the children develop necessary life skills.
Bal Ashram, Kalehli, Kullu
This orphanage houses twenty-six children aged six to sixteen, again all boys. The children all attend the local government school. The Kullu project previously worked with this orphanage when it was based in the town of Jibhi, but has a closer connection since it's move to Kullu. Situated on the side of a busy main road the children have only the small yard at the front where they eat and a small dirt area to one side for sports activities. Although this is a government orphanage it also receives a small amount of funding, usually for food and clothing from local businesses.
Currently volunteers visit two- three times per week for two-three hours at a time. Activity sessions with this orphanage are always a lot of fun and again are to encourage english speaking as well as games, educational and creative activities.
The Blind School, Kullu
The Blind School in Kullu is associated with the National Association for the Blind and is one of three blind schools in Himachal Pradesh. The school has several teachers working with Fouty children across seven age groups. The school has a hostel attachted which makes it much more accesible to children accross Himachal.
We currently have volunteers visiting every saturday providing basic english and activities for the younger children. There is also a program in place for the older children to help them prepare for independence once leaving school. The school not only provides education for the children who board there but also programs of functional education for otherwise housebound children and their families.
Naya Sawera, Drug and Alcohol Addiction Re-Habilitation Centre, Kullu
This centre is currently working with sixty-three addicts aged roughly between eight-teen and fifty-five years old. Most patients stay for six to seven months but some inevitably return when they have relapses. Around 90% are non- consenting admissions and are brought by family members. The centre is managed by a very dedicated team who work very hard to help straighten out the addicts under their care. Several are themselves ex-addicts and are very committed to putting the international Narcotics Anonymous re-habilitation program into action.
We hope that we will be able to help this centre either through funding or running team and confidence building activities with the patients.