Sneha Care Home (SCH) is a residential program for HIV-positive children in rural Bangalore. It is managed by the Sneha Charitable Trust. There are over 150 children, between the ages of 4 to 13 in the program. Most of these children have lost their parent(s), are ostracized by their families and communities and have virtually no basic rights and no education opportunities to learn, grow and get re-integrated back into society.
SCH’s intervention model is an attempt to create an environment that would help these children grow and become beautiful human beings, who would live their lives joyfully and responsibly, by comprehensively addressing their multifaceted needs and preparing them for productive and constructive lives. The program aims to meet the long term needs like childhood development, adolescent issues, personality development, need-based education, value system to sustain them for life, employment, family and community acceptance. It provides a platform to protect the children from exploitation, abuse, violence and discrimination in the absence of their parents.
The first phase, “Sneha Care Home,” addresses the needs of pre-adolescent children who are inherently very impressionable. The focus is on building confidence and self-esteem while inculcating morals and ethics. In a nurturing environment, children are provided educational and recreational opportunities, adequate nutrition and healthcare, and psychosocial support. HIV status disclosure is done in a sensitive and responsible manner along with teaching the children how to deal with social stigmas associated with their status.
Shining Star School is SCH’s academic program. It is a residential school with a comprehensive curriculum that includes health care and attention for each child. The school increases their confidence level and self-esteem and provides a platform for them to bloom and blossom. The school follows the National Open School System tailored to suit each individual child based on their aptitude and intelligence. This value-based formation will enable these children to reintegrate back into their communities as confident and productive adults.