Child Development Center
Prathik came to VCT in 2016 with a feeding bottle in his mouth. His family migrated from Assam to earn a living, his mother works as a housemaid and his father works at a hotel, along with his younger sister they live in an outhouse on a construction site. The family struggles to take care of their two children and often Prathik is dropped off at VCT even when he is sick, they also struggle with hygiene and nutrition.
Since Prathik has been with VCT He’s learned to speak English and Tamil and is learning to read and write. One of his biggest strengths, his teacher says, is being helpful and he’s always the first person to make friends with new children. Though his parents struggle to provide structure and discipline, extra care is taken to make sure he learns the value of time and responsibility. For children living below the poverty often means living with malnutrition, illiteracy, and neglect. Struggling parents often don’t have the time or means to look after their children. They are left unattended in unsafe spaces like construction sites or near main roads. These children have no access to education or medical care. Their inconsistent lifestyle and income mean that many are never enrolled in school and many more drop out. These children are trapped in the cycle of poverty with almost no way to get out.
At Vathsalya, we help these children have a better future by giving them a better present. The Child Development program supports children like Prathik whose home environment doesn’t provide them with the care and structure a child needs. The program provides daycare as well as informal education to underprivileged children. Due to a lack of time many parents are unable to provide children with adequate emotional affection and affirmation, this makes individual attention that much more necessary. Children are taught from a well-designed curriculum adapted to their needs. Outside this curriculum, we facilitate learning through an engaging DRAMUDA program (Drama, Music, and Dance).
Eshwaran is one example of how this program can impact children. When he first came to VCT he was not used to being instructed and didn’t know how to behave in a disciplined classroom environment. Through Tabla classes, he has learned things like hard work, organization, and structure. He’s one of the most well-behaved children in his class, often keeping the others in check and is ready to attend formal school next year.
We take a holistic view of child development and use evidence-based methods of child development. Knowing that many children come from spaces of neglect and hardship, Vathsalya moves beyond education to make sure each child feels uniquely loved and cared for.
Prathik, Tanusha, Immanuel, Sachin, Jasmine, Sharon, Veronica, and Pavithra are more than just names to us. They are powerful destinies waiting to be shaped. On an annual basis, in just one center we provide Child Development services to 150 children between 2 to 6 years old. With a little support from you, our services could reach many more homes.