Child Care Update
House Parents Training
Every year Love One More (L1M) conducts training for the house parents. The house parents from all L1M Children’s Homes gather for a time of learning, sharing and prayer. This year, over 27 house parents from different parts of India gathered to learn and remind themselves of L1M’s vision for their roles and responsibilities.
Every day they had devotion centered on the topic “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Rev Rajah Daniel Stephens came for the opening ceremony and shared God’s word. These training programs allow our house parents to remain informed and gain additional expertise on issues concerning the overall development of the homes.
Our house parents were trained by experts from various fields on community, child development, and spiritual development. This training emphasized relevant topics such as the foundations of leadership, spiritual development, the role of a house parent, basic first aid for children, home maintenance, and more about the sponsorship program. We also newly initiated a children’s campaign program to raise awareness about child abuse and child rights.
The house parent training was done using practical sessions and equipped the staff by providing the latest information on child care and development. The house parents got a clear understanding about how to work with children and were encouraged to learn how their work builds God’s Kingdom. Moreover this year L1M distributed the Child Campaign model kits to the house parents.
Apart from teaching and learning, L1M also organized a one day trip to Yercaud for entertainment. It was a wonderful time for the house parents to enjoy and to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mr. Jose Gideon says that this is his second house parent training through L1M. He was happy about the classes. He thought the Child Campaign training was excellent. He also promised that he take what he learned and conduct the child campaign.
Munirathinam has been attending the training for the past nine years. He said this year was very different from previous years. So he praised God for the successful training. Especially the child campaign training which was so good. He learned about child abuse and child protection through the child campaign training. He says that the child campaign material was very clear and he can use it to teach others. He promised that he will use this material to raise awareness.
The Beth Sankey Children’s Wellness Center is the first of its kind in Salem and is a model for the care and wellbeing of children with special needs. Through various therapies and interventions the center aims to help children with special needs integrate into the mainstream and give them hope for the future, not just for survival but for abundant living.
Parents and children along with staff gathered and expressed their gratitude to God for such a beautiful and meaningful facility. Parthiban, from Sengaradu village, attended the dedication. He is 13 years old and in the 9th grade. Parthiban was brought to the Children’s Wellness Center last April, because he had difficulty speaking as well as developmental and behavioral issues. After an initial assessment, he received speech, occupational and behavioral therapy. He has improved greatly in his learning, motor, and social skills. His parents were pleased that he is now able to learn better and is more independent. His parents were grateful, pleased, and joyous to see the new facilities where Parthiban will continue to receive care. Rev. Paul Wides prayed and dedicated the facility to the glory of God and the extension of His kingdom. The facility has consultation and therapy rooms, as well as good audio-visual equipment for music and movement therapy. Neuro- feedback therapy, a special kind of therapy, is set up at the center and it is the first of its kind in Salem.
There is no doubt that children with special needs who were once neglected and forsaken will find hope, joy, and love at this special place. Our deep gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Jim Sankey for their love and generosity to the children of India. We are grateful for their help providing this facility and for their prayer and partnership over the years to L1M’s ministry and outreach among children.
In April 2018, L1M initiated the “Safe Spaces for Children” campaign with the aim of creating awareness against sexual abuse of children and child marriages. In recent times, the media has reported an increase in incidences of abuse and rape of children, particularly young girls. While such incidences are beginning to gain public attention, a vast majority of these heinous crimes occur in the rural areas. Talking and sharing about these occurrences is taboo in many rural communities and the victims suffer silently without help.
The other major issue is child marriages. India reports the largest number of child marriages. Recent statistics report that 27% of all girls in India marry before their 18th birthday. Girls as young as 7 and 8 are married off because of cultural beliefs. Fueled by social beliefs and gender biases, this poses a threat to the survival, development, participation and progress of women and girls in India. Through this campaign, L1M aims to speak out against these injustices, speak for the victims and speak with the children to fight for their rights. Special tools and training have been created on these subjects to engage and teach children, men, women and young people in the villages. Currently over 25,000 children have received awareness on issues that put children at risk; particularly sexual abuse and child marriages.
Divya, a 16 year old who completed 10th grade, was living in Kanavaipudur with her family. She was helping her parents with household duties but her intention was to study further or to learn a skill. Unfortunately her parents didn’t allow her do so, as they were planning to marry her to one of their close relatives. The L1M staff heard this news and so they went to their home and gave them personal counseling about child marriage and its consequences. Divya’s parents accepted it and they postponed the wedding until Divya is ready physically and becomes mature. They also accepted to send her for skill training.
Independence Day / Sports Day
Every year L1M conducts an annual sports competition on Independence Day. This year L1M organized it for the 2nd week of August to take place at all our L1M children’s homes. Our childcare department staff visited 8 children’s homes and conducted the annual sports competition which was organized in a splendid way. Each and every home organized many games and a few talent contests. All the children actively participated in the competition and had fun. It was a day to bring out each child’s capabilities and it was a platform for them to triumph over stage fear. After the competition a special lunch was provided to all the children. They all enjoyed a tasty meal! After the special lunch all the children were encouraged by receiving prizes. The goal of this competition is best said with the quote “Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose- it teaches you about life.” All the children that participated in the competition, whether they won or lost, learned something from it. On the whole the Sports Day celebration was brilliant, fun filled, and competitive. Children thanked God for the fantastic day of games and excitement. As it was Independence Day, the children praised God for the freedom they enjoy now and kept in mind all the freedom fighters who gave their life for India’s Independence.
My name is Samuel. I am a 15 year old boy and I am in 10th grade. My father’s name is Kuppusamy and my mother’s name is Suseela. There was a problem in my family when I was 7 years old. Due to that problem my parents got divorced and I stayed with my father. My father was unable to give me good care and a proper education. My father was struggling to find a good home for me. Finally my father learned about the L1M Tabitha Home and he admitted me there to get a good education and care. At the time I joined I was in 2nd grade, now I am in 10th grade. For the past 9 years God protected me and gave me courage to stay and learn many new things.
In the beginning I was not active, always crying, and was not able to interact with the other children. But slowly with the help of my house parents, through their care and love, I was able to mingle with others and became active in every area. Moreover I realized that only Christ gives eternal life to everyone who asks for it. I am very interested in participating in all the spiritual programs and activities. This year I am going to write my 10th Board Examination, so please pray for my education. I am interested taking baptism in the future. I recently had an English test at school and I got good marks on that test. I was very poor in English, I prayed and prepared well. Now I believe that God helped to me get good marks. Praise God for that. Kindly pray for my studies and also my spiritual growth.
- Praise God for enabling us to conduct a successful house parents training this year.
- Praise God for the house parent’s commitment and dedication to the children’s future.
- Praise God for His help in organizing the Child Campaign.
- Praise God for the Children’s Wellness Center.
- Praise God for the wonderful sports day.
- Pray for all L1M staff and partners.
- Pray for the Child Campaign, that we should make our goals and to expand this program to other States.
- Pray for the Children’s Wellness Center and for children getting the special care they need.