Ambassador Richier lends France’s support to Udayan Care, 26 july 2012
Ambassador Richier lends France’s support to Udayan Care, a remarkable association working for the uplift of underprivileged children
On 26 July 2012, the Ambassador of France to India, Mr François Richier, visited one of the homes of the NGO, Udayan Care, near Mehrauli village, in south Delhi, to sign an agreement for providing a grant of € 30,000.
- Children from Udayan Ghars share space with H.E Ambassador of France, Francois Richier
- Photo credit: Udayan
Support extended as part of France’s action to protect childhood worldwide
Udayan Care was chosen after a global selection process conducted by the International Adoption Service (SAI) of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. SAI not only offers financial contribution but also recognition to innovative or particularly remarkable actors working to help children in distress and facilitate international adoption.
This year, Udayan Care’s “Sunshine Homes” was shortlisted along with other projects proposed by a network of volunteers for international adoption and protection of childhood, present in eight countries spread over four continents.
Parent-mentors and group family support: innovative concepts for creating a family environment in a collective home
In the region of Delhi, a megalopolis in which more than 1,50,000 children live in the streets and one out of two children does not go to school, Udayan Care’s initiative was selected both for its originality as well as its ambition.
With its LIFE (Living in Family Environment) project, this NGO provides more than a roof to the sheltered boys and girls: it offers them a family life in homes conceived on a human scale, based on the innovative system of “parent mentors”. These parent mentors are all volunteers and experienced parents who are committed to supporting these children from their developmental years through to their adulthood – and even beyond.
Udayan Care also stands out for its desire to give children their best chance to succeed educationally by admitting them to schools with good standards and providing them with the necessary tuition help. Thus, 180 boys and girls benefit from this innovative programme and receive the affection of thirty-two mentor parents placed in twelve homes.
The French Ministry and the Embassy’s grant will help ensure the smooth functioning of a home for fifteen girls for a period of one year. Further, it will particularly help implement a training programme for the association staff, especially focusing on mental health.
A visit marked by special interactions
Ambassador Richier’s visit to the Mehrauli home was punctuated by touching and striking interactions. With Gurmeet, an eighteen-year-old who has been living at Udayan since the age of eight years and wants to be a journalist, and recalls that all the children hosted by this association add Udayan to their surname so as to remain a member of this family forever. With the association’s first five mother mentors, who, after eighteen years since the programme was initiated, are still with the children and have seen some of their protégés establishing companies, marrying and even having children. And, of course, with the entire Udayan team, from director Kiran Modi to the staffers in charge of the children’s daily care.
These interactions and this partnership between the Embassy of France and Udayan Care are an example of what the civil society can contribute – in addition to the robust action of Indian authorities towards protecting childhood – by way of innovation, devotion and humanity for the cause of and aid to precarious childhood.
Click here to read the article of One World South Asia.