Date: 22 January 2013
Title: 2012 Highlights
Happy New Year to all our friends, family and supporters from everyone at Deep Griha. The past year has been filled with great progress and we look forward to what 2013 will bring!
Newsletter – January 2013
Dear friends of Deep Griha Society, We hope that you have all entered the New Year with positive spirits! 2012 was an exciting and eventful year for Deep Griha Society and with this newsletter we want to share a glimpse of some of the highlights of our many different activities.We are excited and hopeful for 2013 and wish all supporters and friends the best for the upcoming year.
In our 37th year, we are grateful for the continued support of past volunteers, donors and friends from across the globe and within our local community. Without you, Deep Griha would not be what it is today.
DISHA AND WAKE UP PUNE 2012 saw the birth of a HIV-negative baby to a couple who met during our first HIV+ matrimonial event, Melava three years ago. Proof that with the right information and support, people living with HIV can live happy and fulfilled lives. This summer, the event saw 20 couples betrothed and many others found it a positive experience either in finding friends or potential partners. December was a busy time of year with competitions and events across the city, from the Light Up event at Ramtekdi just before Diwali in November right up to the World AIDS Day (December 1) rally along FC Road.
Wake Up Pune became the learning partner of Project Genesis, offering support to Kirloskar Pneumatics employee volunteers who have taken on Wake Up Pune’s message of breaking the silence and spreading awareness and positivity about HIV/AIDS. We look forward to continuing working with Kirloskar in the upcoming year to bring more awareness to the Ramtekdi and Hadapsar area of the city.
The medical clinic at the Family Welfare Centre saw over 20 000 people consulted during 2012 – over half the estimated population living in Tadiwala Road slum. Health checks are continuously being undertaken at the different projects with support of the Armed Medical Forces College and local hospitals, whilst nursing students from Ruby Hall Clinic are working with us to create awareness and aid community work.
The Sure Start programme which ran for a successful 4 years, thanks to funding from the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation through PCI (Project Concern International) continued till August 2012 and is now taken forward as the MOMS (Monitoring of Maternal and Newborn Status) Committee – a charity committee formed with a legal status – and largely run by individuals in our local communities. Health activities for pregnant mothers and newborns have been able to continue in cooperation with government officers and will continue to do so in 2013.
DEEP GRIHA ACADEMY
A school bus was sponsored by Mission Council of the First Community Church of Columbus, Ohio, US at the beginning of the year but as the number of students increased unexpectedly from 120 to 250 we had to take a bank loan to buy yet another school bus.
In June, Deep Griha Academy officially inaugurated a new building sponsored by British Gas/Centrica Plc and sponsoring partners EXL WNS. The new building will house the primary school and has 6 new classrooms, a computer lab and a staff room.The building is fully accessible with ramps and accessible toilets – a step towards DGA becoming fully inclusive of students with special needs, with services for differently challenged students in place. The move occurred over the Diwali holiday with each class from nursery up to 5th standard now in a classroom of their own.
After a four-year wait, DGA received great news just before Christmas and now has fully recognised government approval as an English Medium School!
CITY OF CHILD The boys and staff were happy to welcome another group of students from Audencia University, France during the summer. They spent their time finishing painting the dorm rooms, working in the farms and providing some much needed entertainment for the boys playing games, helping their English (and no doubt their French)!
Though a smaller affair than Diwali, the boys celebrate Christmas with a performance of the Nativity Story, a dance and sang songs to a captive audience of the older boys, staff and guests.
Army trained doctors are now staying at City of Child during the week and bringing necessary medical attention to the people of Kasurdi village and the local rural area.
2012 has seen many successful seminars and information days open to the women from all three centres, equipping them with the knowledge necessary to balance family life with the world of work. These seminars and projects have been a great success including but not limited to afternoon literacy classes, Girl Child seminars and a 2-day Working Women’s seminar as well as an introduction to family planning for fieldworkers thanks to a volunteer initiative which we hope WEP will take on and use.
The end of 2012 has sadly seen the conclusion of the Financial Literacy Training (FLT) project, our popular collaboration with Inter Aid and Swabhimaan. Since 2008, FLT has trained over 2000 women to be more financially self-reliant with staff from Ramtekdi taking the lead in engaging with the local community. Raising awareness on subjects such as financial concepts and decisions, accessing financial products & services and planning towards economic security, we hope this project can continue in the future; providing much needed knowledge so women in the slums can be in control of their finances and provide further stability for their family.
48 new children were sponsored on the Aadhar Kendra programme in 2012, 14 of them girls.
Thanks to BNY Mellon 35 young people from the underprivileged communities in Pune received sponsorship giving them the opportunity to continue their studies post 12th standard in the past year.
31 youngsters above 18 years have graduated from the Yuva Sphurti Kendra IT school in 2012 and 12 are currently studying for their exams.
CHILD NUTRITION/CHILDCARE Deep Griha Society has always been committed to childcare and nutrition and 2012 has seen the Laddo Project lay out some important groundwork for the continuation of this initiative. Traditionally a popular kind of sweet, the laddo recipe and marketing has been altered by two Design Impact fellows to create a nutritious snack product filled with iron and protein. After much research and consultation with the local community and Jehangir Hospital, the laddos are being made by the DGS team of maushis and distributed on alternate days to the children in our crèches.
The second half of the year has been busy involving the wider community in the project and raising awareness of the crucial issue at hand - child malnutrition. As well as close monitoring of the improved health of the crèche children, The Laddo Project took the snacks to local NGO fairs, gaining interest from specialists in the field and drawing the attention of national organisations working for the same cause. We are very proud to share with you that the Laddo Project was nominated for the INDEX Award.
FUNDRAISING 2012 has seen DGS take a new approach to fundraising and community engagement. We have hired a designated fundraiser to strengthen our activities; fostering relationships with local and national companies and engaging them in promoting and aiding the work we do. We are grateful for the opportunities to reach out to even more people and target our services to the local community effectively through the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and the enthusiasm of employees with an interest in working towards DGS' goals.
Last but not least we are very thankful to Cummins, who has kindly offered Deep Griha their assistance in creating a 5 Year Road Map with the purpose of developing professional skills in the areas of organizational structure, finances and HR policy. Small teams of Cummins’ staff are working closely with DGS’s administrative personnel giving relevant and concrete recommendations to strengthen our effectiveness and competencies in helping those in need.