We live like a big family having hundreds of children who are taken care by foster parents in each and every different part of the house. The children in these homes are the ones who have undergone tremendous physical and mental trauma while being separated from their families. They risked their lives to escape to India, battled against all odds and have reached under the umbrella of Tibetan Homes Foundation. More than anything else, these children yearn for love and a sense of belonging that comes naturally from the foster parents who, like their own parents, love, care and also correct the children as their own..
The working of the homes is unique in itself where the day to day work of cooking, washing and cleaning is done by the children themselves helped by the foster parents that forms an integral part of their everyday life. Duty charts are made involving all senior children in the household chores and for the younger children a matchup of an elder child is made. In this way, the younger children are looked after by their respective elder brothers or sisters: washing of clothes, bathing, providing school needs, assisting with home work are few of the things the senior children have to do for the younger ones. This generates a sense of belonging to the family and provides a natural process of a complete upbringing. The values of love, care, responsibility, honesty, hard work and compassion are all a part of the growing up process in these family homes.
In Tibetan Homes Foundation, we have two different types of family homes where the children live: the “Larger family homes” and the “Smaller family homes”. In the larger family homes, we have a couple of foster parents who look after the children and the number of children in these family homes range between “40 to 50″ children. The SOS families home are smaller in size and are a part of the two SOS Tibetan children’s village: one in Mussoorie and the other in Rajpur. These family homes have just 12 children with one mother to look after them.
The children on completion of their grade level education at school have to part from their homes and live in the senior boys’ and senior girls’ hostel. In the hostels, the children are mostly left on their own to inculcate a sense of self responsibility. The children stay in hostel for two years where they lead an independent life with one warden and a matron to check on their wrong steps. Senior children are encouraged to devote most of their time in studies.
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