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Shelter for women and children in distress
1. Introduction of the shelterThe Shelter for Women and Children in Distress Trust Fund was founded in 1991 as a grass-root organization to fill unmet needs for services for battered women, abandoned and needy children. The shelter is manned by a board of trustees all doing social work on a purely voluntary basis. The Shelter is a non-profitable, charitable organization. We provide a safe and nurturing environment where women and children can obtain support and services they need to achieve self-sufficiency. Our institution has brought hope and love into the lives of several children and women over the years. The shelter offers a safe place for 30 residents in distress and is operational on a 24 hr basis.
- To encourage and support women and children in difficult situation in their future
- To protect and care for the emotional and psychological needs of the children and women involved
- To offer support families and offering individual counseling and group counseling
3.Our missionThe shelter provides a comprehensive set of domestic violence services, and is regarded as a professional, stable, mission-driven organization governed by a dedicated volunteer Board of Trustees with the day- to- day operations managed by an experienced and committed staff. The mission adopted by the Shelter is: “To provide protection, safety, intervention and support to Women and Children impacted by domestic violence and other abuses”. Through education and other services the shelter empowers women and children to promote equality and respect in all relationships, and advocate for the fundamental rights of every individual to a life free of intimidation and violence.
At the shelter we believe that all of our residents are special. Our staff begins helping our residents to identify all the underlying issues of distress that move a person into homeless abuses and other destructive behaviour. Our home is designed to provide stability and teach responsible living.
The Shelter is dedicated to helping Women and Children by offering and assisting young girls in job development. We are committed to giving every inmate the best possible start in life. Helping the residents to realize their potential is the key to giving them a sense of self-fulfillment and equipping them well for the future.
The Members of the Board and the staff have a vision to provide the tools to empower our residents to break the cycle of domestic violence and other abuses. We inculcate values such as:
- Treating all with dignity and respect
- Accomplishing results through competence and creativity
- Offering support and opportunity
- Managing our activities with proper regard to the rights of others
- Becoming sober
- Anger Management
- Privacy and Confidentiality
4.Referral agenciesAll referrals to the Shelter come through:
- The Child Development Unit
- The Domestic Violence Unit
- The Police Department
- The Ministry of Social Security & National Solidarity
- The Ombudsperson for children
5. The children are institutionalized because of the following reasons:
- Victim of Physical/Verbal/ Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse victim
- Cases of incest
- Grossly neglected children
- Abandoned children
- Women and children with no place of abode
- Family facing financial problems
- Child labour/Child mendicity
6. Our target groupOur target group is:-
- 0 – 18 Years (Girls)
- 0 – 10 Years (Boys)
- Women accompanied with babies and children
7. Resource person/doctors/psychologistWe have a team of trained staff, a clinical psychologist, two special needs teachers, doctors and other resource persons providing professional help to our residents through counseling, group work, educational assistance and special learning support.
8. MANAGEMENT, STAFF AND VOLUNTEERSThere is a full-time staff of over 12 women and many volunteers working in many aspects of the shelter's programs and our primary service is to provide our inmates with educational program, leisure and creativity activities in a sound, safe and homely atmosphere. We also work with other organizations, individual, and agencies.
9.SOURCES OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT
- We receive an annual grant from the Ministry of Women's Rights Child Development and Family Welfare.
- Private firms and friendly benefactors contribute to our monthly expenses by regular donation in kind and cash.
- Charity shows, bingo parties and other fundraising activities are organized annually to make ends meet.
10.HOW WE HELP OUR CHILDREN AND WOMEN TO DEAL WITH EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND OTHER ABUSES?
- We make time to give the resident an individual attention every day. Even a few minutes makes a big difference.
- We initiate conversation about the violence and let them know it is okay to talk about emotional or physical abuse they have seen or heard.
- We make sure to tell our residents that the violence and other abuses is not their fault. They are victims of the society and they should not feel guilty.
- We tell them that abuse is wrong at any time.
- At the shelter we encourage our residents to be involved in different activities to help them feel less isolated, eg. Music lesson, school sports.
- We maintain consistent routines at the shelter. This will help our residents to feel safe and know what to expect.
- We reduce our resident's exposure to violent toys and violent films.
- We talk to the residents about relationships and sexuality.
- We give our residents love, kindness and affection.
- 24-hour services of safety lodging, clothing and food.
- Emergency shelter
- Individual and group psychological counseling for women and children
- Information about and referral to appropriate agencies
- Legal advice
11. CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES PROGRAMS
(A) We help our inmates in providing an integrated program of educational and supportive services.We organize small classes to promote education. The children are allowed to join in creative and fun education and also time to do what children in the world over should do which is PLAY.
(B) Services are provided to child and young girls regarding abuses including counseling.These services are provided in an effort to help the children feel safe and listened to and to provide access to knowledge and resources. During counseling we address:
- Defining violence and abuse
- Identifying and expressing feelings
- Making and keeping friend
- Building self-confidence
- Education (Special Needs)
- Skills training
12. SHELTER SERVICES
(C) The Shelter programShelter offers an integrated, comprehensive system of programs and services to address the needs of victims of domestic violence, battered and needy children. The shelter offers women and children in violent and abusive relationships sanctuary and safety, education about the dynamics of domestic violence, information about their rights, time to built strength and develop a plan of action, referrals and support in achieving personal goals. The shelter program provides children with a safe place to talk and the tools to build self-esteem. We are committed to keeping intact families, including mother with children. In addition to food and shelter we offer case management and other supportive services to facilitate obtaining a job and other facilities e.g. vocational training in different fields.
(D) The outreach program provides a person advocacy, individual and support counseling, domestic violence and victim's rights information.Women are assisted in developing realistic safety plans, building self-esteem and enhancing their own strengths through supportive services and referrals.
(E) Life skills program
- Educates the inmates regarding domestic violence in a variety of forms.
- Training is provided to the residents on Computer by teachers and volunteers
- Food and nutrition classes
- Dancing and singing classes
- Talks on topics, like moral and spiritual values as well as civic and human values
- Heal their emotional wounds
- Live a fulfilling life
- Become better children through education
- Work and improve their studies
- Grow spiritually
(F) Schooling for inmates
Special Needs School:
A need was felt to make the lives, of the abandoned and needy children and other less fortunate children and teenagers, more meaningful. Shelter made its incursion into social development field by establishing a preparatory school and now has 30 children on roll. Shelter runs a school where the inmates are kept mentally and physically occupied.
Reading, writing, numeracy, drawing and coloring, story telling, creativity programmes are carried out. The children also participate in vocational skills trainings in sewing, hand-embroidery, home economics, flower arrangement, painting and drawing.All school age children attend educational activities daily at the shelter.
Some of the residents go to colleges and public schools. Volunteers provide tutoring for children in the evening. There is pre-school activities so that the children can develop cognitive and socialization skills
(G) After school activity programCreativity and recreational activities are provided by officers of the Ministry of Women's Rights.
(H) Indoor and outdoor activities and celebrationsMonthly birthday parties, holiday and special occasion celebrations are organized at the shelter. We have celebrated then wedding of one of our inmates also. Many weekend activities by volunteers and outing visiting parks, museums, concerts, churches, cinemas, sea-side and camping trips are organized by the staff. The children view video films including those that have preventive message. We also initiate the young girls for gardening.
(I) Health care professionalMedical care is given to all inmates on a weekly basis by a Doctor. A Mobile dental clinic is available at the shelter twice a year. A resource person from the Ministry of Health delivers talks on Non Communicable and Communicable Diseases and AIDS once a month.
Our residents receive weekly skills classes that cover topics related to self-esteem, domestic violence, health and nutrition, anger management and sex education.
13. StatisticsFrom December 1993 till up to date 7200 women and children have benefited from the services provided by the shelter.
14. How can you help?
- Sponsoring a child
- Donating clothes, curtains, bed sheets, toys, books
- Volunteering your time in our efforts
- Donating money for a meal at our shelter
- Donation in kind and cash
- Donation of School materials
15. Our contact
Shelter for Women and Children in DistressMrs Sheela Baguant
Icery Street, Forest Side
- 6748875 (office)
- 6753736 (res)
- 6740375 (fax)