Updated April 2018
Vandanalu (that means hello in Telugu)!
It’s almost day 50 of SCH’s 105 in 105 child sponsorship campaign, so I thought it was time for a general update on current progress. Children who attend mainstream private school have separate funds set aside for just that purpose, to which you can also donate.
If each child and young adult at SCH receives full sponsorship, more of the general funds can go toward general maintenance, operational costs, Indian staff salaries, and emergency care, among other things.
Want to know how to help SCH, but don’t have the extra funds?
Help spread the word about SCH’s mission! Tell your Facebook friends and share on other social networking sites. Talk to your friends, families, co-workers, neighbors – anyone who might be interested in hearing the story or able to help in the cause. Get their stories out there. Triumph with them. Laugh with them, cry with them, envision their happy, healthy futures at SCH and beyond.
Some children (those under the age of 16) are available for adoption. Other young adults over the age of 16 with severe disabilities or needs will stay at SCH for the rest of their lives and enjoy 24/7, round-the-clock care, whether through ayahs (carers) or foster parents in their homes. However, SCH does not turn children away once they reach ‘unadoptable’ age, as do most orphanages around the world. SCH takes care of children from the tiniest newborns and infants, to young adults, and beyond. SCH takes care of those in need, even when the circumstances are less than ‘typical’.
After all, what is ‘typical’, anyway?
These children are thriving. But they need your help. There are everyday expenses, like nutritious meals and necessary supplements, clean drinking water, diapers if needed, physiotherapy, medication or surgeries/medical care if necessary, a place to sleep and live, grow and thrive, 24/7 care, education (whether on-site at SCH or in mainstream private schools), nice clothing, and jewelry for the girls and young women (see previous posts about this detail – clothes and jewelry are an important part of Indian culture!), not to mention so much more than that.
Child sponsorship helps cover these expenses, and the monthly budget for these needs is about $300-$500 per child, depending upon the degree of their care and other factors such as whether or not they attend school and the city in which they live. You can give toward a sponsorship monthly for as low as $25/month. You can also give one-time donations to a child by visiting their personal webpage on SCH’s official website.
You can also become a medical sponsor (ideal for large groups or organizations who wish to support SCH) and donate toward monthly emergency medical expenses.
In addition, you can give a one-time donation to any individual home by visiting each home’s landing page on SCH’s official website, under the heading “Meet Our Kids”! Each of the 7 homes in-country use donations to keep running. The homes are in Hyderabad are: Anchor Home, Courage Home, Joy Home, and Jubilee Home; and the homes in Ongole are: Faith Home, Truth Home, and Victory Home. Each home is divided into 1-4 foster families, each with caregivers, medical and PT staff, and sometimes houseparents.
SCH is currently looking for houseparents! Volunteers ideally will be able to live at SCH for a year or more. Learn more here.
In addition, find out about current summer volunteer opportunities at this blog post. Please note that since it is past the deadline of March 1, applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
At SCH, children learn to speak, roll over, crawl, walk, run, and play, or use adaptive technology like wheelchairs and prostheses to become mobile. Their quality of life is improved.
The children who receive on-site education learn valuable skills that may allow them to hold jobs in the future. One young man has held a job with a water company. Many of the older girls learn how to make jewelry and string garlands in vocational classes at Jubilee and Faith homes. Some of the young men who live at Victory home also participate in a vocational class where they perform tasks such as making thread-wrapped bangles or packaging spices to be sold locally.
Support the vocational programs by purchasing needed items from this Amazon.in wishlist! Note that you will need a separate Amazon.in account to do so, but this only takes a few moments and is completely free. Support the on-site educational programs, New Horizons School, Anjali School for the Blind, and Little Lights Special School, by purchasing needed items from this Amazon.in wishlist.
Sign up to become an educational sponsor and make recurring donations toward an on-site school, or toward off-site tuition costs.
Learn more about New Horizons School, which takes place in Faith and Jubilee homes, as well as donate toward operational costs, here.
Learn more about Little Lights Special School, which takes place in Anchor home, as well as donate toward operational costs, here.
Learn more about Anjali School for the Blind (ASB), which takes place in Courage home, as well as donate toward operational costs, here.
Where SCH is going
SCH’s goals on their official website are described as follows:
Sarah’s Covenant Homes is a collection of family-style homes in India for orphaned and abandoned children and young adults with disabilities. In India, children with disabilities are the most likely to be abandoned and forgotten. We believe that every child has the right to a loving family – no matter their condition. Our mission is to respond to and prevent the abandonment of children with disabilities by providing holistic care in foster homes to enable children to remain with, return to, or join loving families.
SCH is working toward facilitating as many reunifications with biological families as possible. They are also currently building programs to help kids with disabilities in the surrounding communities to stay with their families thorough various forms of support.
In an effort to provide families for as many children as possible at SCH, some of the kids are listed with the adoption advocacy and grant funding website, Reece’s Rainbow! Learn more Learn more by using the top bar of my blog: under the drop-down menu ‘Adoption Advocacy’, click ‘Waiting Children’ for a running list of the kids listed, or ‘Find Me Friday’ to read an expanded post about a specific child who is available for adoption. Many listed are older children who are available for additional grants through the website.
Many other kids at SCH are available for adoption, but may not be listed publicly. You can always contact SCH to inquire about any child under the age of 16.
Why these stories are important
A lot of these children have truly returned from the brink of death. Children like *Felicia, who was near-death when Sarah, the founder of SCH, arrived at the government orphanage and asked to take a small number of children with her. *Felicia is now a happy, healthy, vocal girl who is thriving. Felicia needs $275/month more in additional funds to be fully sponsored! Sign up to sponsor her directly here, or learn more about her by clicking her name above to be redirected to her SCH official webpage.
No child should have to suffer pain, neglect, starvation, or withholding of basic needs, as some of the loves at SCH have, at the age of 7. At 5. At 3. Younger. In government orphanages, children who have manageable or minor disabilities do not receive proper care, and therefore do not have the chance to walk on their own two feet until the age of 13, like twins *Amulya (needs $275/month to be fully sponsored – sign up to sponsor her here!) and *Dhivena (needs $275/month to be fully sponsored – sign up to sponsor her here!) from Faith Home.
Children can develop institutional autism from lack of stimulation and human contact. Children who have what Western dwellers would consider minor disabilities – being blind and/or D/deaf, having cerebral palsy or epilepsy – languish without treatment that could make their lives very different, had they been born in a developed country.
Like *Jasmine or *Cedar, two foster siblings from Courage Purple whose only disability was being born blind, who didn’t learn to walk until age 3 and 5. Or *Hope, who put small items into her ears because her eardrums had ruptured and she was trying to dull the pain. Like *Promise (previously featured; needs $200/month to be fully sponsored – sign up to sponsor her here!) from Faith Home, who had a host of untreated medical needs including spina bifida (since treated), scoliosis, and cataracts that caused her to become blind, which went untreated for an unreasonably long time.
Sick children went without treatment. When they came to SCH, all that changed. Starving children are now healthy. Some children with cerebral palsy can now sit up, roll over, crawl, walk, or use wheelchairs, and are incredibly mobile. Children with mono- or hemiplegia have received treatment, splints, and physiotherapy. Kiddos at SCH receive a plethora of help and assistance that they critically need.
Whether a child has cerebral palsy or epilepsy, is blind, is D/deaf, has autism, Apert Syndrome, Down Syndrome, spina bifida, syndactyly, nystagmus, strabismus, microcephaly, anopthalmia or micropthalmia, an intellectual or developmental disability, or other medical needs or disabilities (or a combination of these needs), they receive what they need at SCH.
No need is too profound. No case is too extraordinary. No child is beyond help. No one is turned away! All the kids and young adults deserve a chance. Every child that arrives at SCH is worthy of everything they receive there. You have a chance to be part of their story, whether it is part of an individual child’s life or the lives of many, or even all of their lives! You can donate. You can volunteer. You can sponsor. You can spread the word! Please share about SCH with friends and family. For advocate materials, visit this page on their official website.
*A note about names: SCH uses online nicknames for the children in order to protect their identity, per Indian governmental guidelines which state that children in care may not have identifying photos of them on the internet, as well as no identifying information such as birth name, place of origin, etc.
Spread the word, sponsor a child!
Thanks for reading.