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January 2018: Happenings@Home

Before we begin our update, here’s wishing you, Dear Friend, a very special New Year – one that’s filled with happy days and a lot of love, luck and laughter! Thank you for journeying with us this past year and we hope that you will continue on with us through the years ahead! Your companionship and honest feedback means a lot to us, giving us the incentive to take on larger and more critical projects that are helping transform the lives of the children.

Here’s a quick roundup for December 2017, which we hope you enjoy reading. Don’t forget to visit this year – the children are waiting for you :)

Do check our website for the latest news and sponsorship options.

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THE THUVAKKAM TRANSFORMATION!

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Thuvakkam in action!

Over 30 volunteers from Thuvakkam (an organization that believes in making change happen rather than waiting for it) helped transform the walls of our home’s dormitories, class rooms, dining halls and physiotherapy room into learning portals, by painting them with vibrant and colorful themes. Our children were simply overjoyed with the bright, fresh look – which not only gives the home a happy feel but helps visually stimulate their minds.

Thanks Thuvakkam for brightening their day! As the saying goes: “Volunteers aren’t paid because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless!” And that’s so true. The time, skill, talent and love you freely gave made a huge impact on our children more than any material comfort could. Our walls now tell a wonderful story of how a little love can transform things!

Thuvakkam is a group of volunteers from all walks of life and includes children, students, corporate staff and families.

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SRI ARUNODAYAM'S SPECIAL ADVOCACY PROGRAMS

DDAWO Launching the 2018 Event

Mr. Joseph Ravi and Mrs. Sheeba from SRTC declaring nominations open for the 2018 'Special Mom' Awards

District Differently Abled Welfare Officer (DDAWO) launches Sri Arunodayam’s 2018 ‘Special Mom’ Awards

At a function organized on December 16, 2017, Mr. Joseph Ravi – the District Differently Abled Welfare Officer (DDAWO), Chennai officially launched our second annual Special Mom Awards event that is to take place in May this year. Nominations for the Awards are now open via our website. Mothers of ‘special’ children from all over India are invited to send in their applications through till February 1, 2018 after which the applications will be screened by an eminent panel of judges to arrive at the 15 finalists for 2018. All announcements will be made via our website and FB page.

▪ Click here for a quick roundup of last year’s event - the finalists and their amazing stories, testimonials, and much more!
▪ Click here for information on the upcoming 2018 Award, Nomination Forms and entry criteria.
Click here for a quick roundup of last year’s event - the finalists and their amazing stories, testimonials, and much more!
Click here for information on the upcoming 2018 Award, Nomination Forms and entry criteria.

“Projects like these are truly inspirational. I assure Sri Arunodayam and the Special Moms of all the assistance that my Department and I can provide them. I am happy to be part of transformative programs like these,” Mr. Joseph Ravi says.

Special Mom Forum in session

Mrs. Sheeba, Speech Therapist & Audiologist from SRTC taking the session on Government Resources & Entitlements for the Disability Sector

Sri Arunodayam launches its unique Special Mom Forum

As a follow up to the 2017 Special Mom Awards held on Mother’s Day - May 14, 2017, Sri Arunodayam officially launched its ‘Special Mom Forum’ on December 16, 2017. All Special Mom finalists automatically become members of this Forum – a project aimed at empowering mothers to advocate their issues at all levels of society through joint collaboration and the help of the Forum. Such empowerment can help these mothers become powerful agents of change in society.

Our Special Mom Forum (comprising of 2017’s finalists) was launched through a day-long program of specialized workshops that were tailored to cover issues faced by families of ‘special’ children.

Eminent faculty took the sessions – Government Policy & Schemes for the Disabled (by Mr. Joseph Ravi - District Differently Abled Welfare Officer (DDAWO), Chennai); Government Resources & Entitlements for the Disability Sector (by Mrs. Sheeba, Speech Therapist & Audiologist from the State Resource Training Center (SRTC)); Women’s Health and Stress Management (by Dr. Sumitra, President of the Tamil Nadu Woman Doctors Association); Psychiatric Disorders in Mental Retardation (by Dr. Mythiri Manoharan, Psychiatrist from Kilpauk Medical Hospital); and Legal Counsel concerning Wills & Probates (by Iyyappan Subramaniyan, our Founder & Managing Trustee who is also an Advocate).

Iyyappan says: “The Special MOM Forum is a unique space for mothers of special children. It brings them together to collectively fight for their children's rights and welfare. The Forum mitigates the feeling that they are all alone and ensures their due recognition from society. This program has the potential to transform the lives of mothers of special children and ensure that no child is abandoned due to a lack of support and care.”

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SRI ARUNODAYAM IS DECLARED A 'VOLUNTEER FRIENDLY' ORGANIZATION

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Thank You Volunteers!

Sri Arunodayam has been declared a ‘Volunteer Friendly' Organization by iVolunteer. We are really fortunate to have a large volunteer family supporting us in all our programs. Last year, the number of new volunteers exceeded even our own expectations! Thank you, dear Volunteers, from the bottom of our heart for your selfless service! You stand by us through thick and thin. You represent all that is good in our world and we are proud to honor you.

iVolunteer is a social enterprise that promotes volunteering. Its mission is to bring volunteers and organisations together to promote India's social development. In the past decade it reached out to over 300 organizations in India and over 40 countries globally. iVolunteer’s all India presence is felt through offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune. It engages over 1,00,000 individuals, making it one of the largest volunteering enterprises in India.

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SAI LAKSHMI'S STORY

Sai Lakshmi s Bday

Sai Lakshmi turned 5 on December 7, 2017. Of course this isn’t her real birth-day. She was abandoned at a temple in Villupuram, so we have no official records of her actual birth-date. But every abandoned child has the right to celebrate his or her birthday like other children, so we fixed Sai’s date of arrival into our home as her birthday. And that’s how she got to celebrate it last month amidst much rejoicing and fanfare!

When Sai was discovered, the District Collector ordered that she be sent to the Cradle Baby center at Villupuram. After a while the Child Welfare Committee (Vellore) passed her on to us as she is intellectually challenged.

Sai lives with Cerebral Palsy (CP) – a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain which could have been caused by brain injury or abnormal brain development before, during, or immediately after birth. CP affected Sai’s muscle control, coordination and tone, reflex, posture and balance. It had seriously impacted her fine and gross motor skills to the extent that she was confined to the bed in the early stages of her development. Sai could not speak, interact or do anything on her own. She virtually lived in a world of her own where none could penetrate. To compound her situation, Sai has genu recurvatum (a deformity in the knee joint, so that the knee bends backwards), and she suffers occasional bouts of fits.

Quite a dismal prognosis for any child but Sai is a winner! She is slowly and steadily transforming herself as she works with her teachers, caregivers and physiotherapist at becoming as normal as she possibly can. She’s shown remarkable improvement in the past 6 months and has become quite the talker! She is able to eat on her own, dress up, sway to music, solve complex jigsaw puzzles and socialize so well that it’s hard to recognize this child lives with CP. We believe she’s well on her way to becoming independent by her 6th birthday!

Children are a priceless gift. They aren’t given to us because we are special or entitled, but because they can make our lives special as we choose to receive and love them. If you are interested in making a difference in the life of a child like Sai, please call our office and schedule a visit. There are 114 children like her whose lives can be transformed with a little help!

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Posing by the Christmas Tree

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Thuvakkam in action!

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DDAWO launching the Special Mom 2018 Awards

'Special Mom' Advocacy Programs

Special Mom Forum in session
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Story-telling and finger-painting workshop by the SAS Team

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Finger painting
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Want to donate to any of our projects? Click here.

Until our next update, stay blessed!

Sri Arunodayam is a secular organization with zero tolerance for discrimination against children, whether on the basis of caste, creed, religion, status, color, or gender orientation.

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Sri Arunodayam Charitable Trust

Tel: 91-44-26511450 / 803; Mobile: 91-9444915803; Email: iyyappan@sriarunodayam.org

https://sriarunodayam.org/

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