NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2020
Dear donors, well-wishers, supporters, and friends, we hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and new year! December was a busy month for us with lots of parties with children, a 3 days seminar with more than 100 participants beside our ongoing projects. Here is a small summary of the last few months.
Baby Duck playschool:
Our energetic children in Baby Duck playschool are continuing to learn and grow. Winter party the last day of school 21st December with gift distribution. Reopening of school on 2nd of January.
In November we decided to extend our opening hours from 7 am to 1 pm and again open from 4 pm to 7 pm for the children that do not have a grown up at home during this time. This is because we found children down to 2 years alone when doing house visits. This will only be available for the most disadvantaged children as we don’t have resources enough to provide it for all.
3 days seminar on school sanitation:
From 18th to 20th of December DAYA conducted a 3 days seminar with the title “Seminar on Role of School Management Committees towards school sanitation programs for the girl child to ensure their fundamental rights of elementary education”.
School Management Committees is a mandatory committee in all public schools in India. It consists of parents, teachers, village leaders etc. This committee should ensure accountability of the school.
The participants were largely school management Committees from schools in Khordha district, rural and urban. In addition, there were ASHA workers (village health workers), teachers, headmasters, parents and some students.
The participants learned about why sanitation in school is so crucial for health and learning of the children, they learned about sustainable low costs interventions they can perform in their school. We focused on what is important for adolescents’ girls to keep them is school like privacy when using toilets and menstrual hygiene. We tried to brake some of the barriers with talking about menstrual hygiene and menstruation in general. All the schools participating made a plan to improve sanitation in their school which they got feedback on from sanitation experts.
Before the seminar we conducted a study in urban and rural schools in Khordha to see how the sanitary situation is. We looked at toilets, availability of drinking water, menstrual hygiene and hand washing. The result was disturbing. In almost all the schools the toilets are in very poor and unhygienic conditions. Some schools are also struggling with water scarcity or lack of running water in the toilets. There are no facilities to change sanitary napkins in most of the schools. In schools where there is no borewell the children are often drinking tap water which is not safe. Hand-washing with soap before mid-day meal is an established habit and liquid hand-washing soap is available. Hand-washing soap is not available after using the toilets. (Please visit our web-page for full report www.dayaindia.org)
DAYA child development centre
In November DAYA child development center started dance classes every Saturday. This was on request from several children and parents. Many parents are worried for the children spending so much time without adult supervision as they often have 12 hours working days or evening work and are grateful for an extra activity in our centre.
We celebrated winter party on 20th December. There was lots of dance and fun and lots of good food. We also talked about our centre with the children and encouraged them to speak to us if there is something they want to change. Most of the children were expressing gratitude for having a place to go and study in the evening!
The Child development centre did not take winter vacation this year as most parents are not able to take off, so the children are spending a lot of time alone when schools are closed.
Christmas celebration with staff
23rd December we had celebration with our staff. Santa Clause visited and gifts was distributed.
In December one of our open school 10th student got the result that she passed 10th after 10 years of not studying! We are so happy for her and she will now continue her studies in open school with our guidance.
Christmas gifts given through DAYA
This year several people bought Christmas gifts for us, like the pictures you see under. We are so grateful for all that sponsors us! Only because of the support we are receiving from all of you we can continue our work
DAYA health project
In addition to health camps we also got to spend some more time with the baby that we introduced in November newsletter that was born with amniotic band syndrome. She came to correct the club foot and she and the parents has been staying with us for the last few weeks so that it can be done without admission in hospital to avoid hospital infections.