Meet The Founding Members Of Guardians Of Dreams — Helping Children Feel At Home

February 21, 2017
By Rang De Team

How much do we know about children from shelter homes?

In our journey to make India a poverty free country by using technology, we have seen some amazing partners work for underserved communities all over the country.

Education finance has been one of our recent thrusts but we have always been aware that more than just a student loan is needed for children from underprivileged communities to realise positive outcomes when they reach adulthood.

Ultimately, the funds for these low-cost education loans (<2.5% flat) that our 11,000+ strong community needs to be paired with a willing partner on the ground that regularly interacts with the children creating a strong connection in order to achieve the desired impact — a long-run process that ultimately needs people who are committed to children.

On Saturday, in our latest Rangdezvous — an event where we hope to connect contributors to the beneficiaries or the leaders of the organisations that bring real change on the ground — we look forward to hearing from four spirited social entrepreneurs who have a lot to tell you about their journey of struggle, joy and success in their efforts to help and provide care for those children at risk in shelter homes.

India is home to the largest youth population. A staggering number of Indian children live beyond the purview of the formal systems within the age group of 10 to 24 years

Guardians of Dreams

For affordable microcredit to end poverty, we have always known that we need to start at the earliest stage possible and provide an environment that promotes education for youth living in low income communities.

Guardians of Dreams, our Impact partner, made a loan request of Rs. 16 lakh that will enable them to provide scholarships to children who have achieved decent academic scores despite their difficult upbringing.

The scholastic award helped children like Vinay (name changed to protect identity), the child of a construction labourer, pursue an education beyond 12th Std. Having lived in a shelter home for the majority of his life, he had come close to accepting that his family’s low financial standing would mean he would never be able to study further.

But the work that Guardian of Dreams does goes beyond providing scholarships. Ultimately, they want these children to find a sense of family at a stage in their lives where the concept has been eroded from their little minds.

Many of these children do not have any family apart from their caretakers and fellow children in their shelter homes. See our report from a recent field visit to four homes

Repairing? More like interior decoration

For example, Guardians of Dreams works actively with caretakers of shelter homes so that children can be happy and proud of their surroundings.

Many children still do not have a bed to lie down on at the end of the day and effective sanitation and clean surroundings are hard to come by.

Guardians of Dreams has a volunteer network that offers mentorship and support and also sources funds for these homes so that slowly but surely, these homes brighten up.

Research and analysis — Discovering the truths that are often untold

Another long-term objective that Guardians of Dreams carries ardently in their hearts is a plan to carry out proper documentation, research and analysis. How many children from shelter homes are there in our metropolises? What happens to them after they reach adulthood and have to fend for themselves?

Are there certain programmes that have been more successful than others? What are the major problems that these children face and what governmental programmes or corporate initiatives can be implemented to give these homes the financial and technical support they need?

Aditya Surneni, Gloria Benny, Mekha T and Sujith Varkey would love to speak to an audience that cares about these children and wants to help. They would like to share their story, the stories of the children they have met and give interested individuals a chance to learn how they can play a part in their long term plan to “provide quality life outcomes to children living in orphanages and street shelters in India”.

Giving each and every child from low-income households holistic support will be a long journey with many hardships. However, it can be made easier if we can get together and convene as one.

Please do come down to ThoughtWorks and hear the story of this inspiring organization.

When: 4 pm, February 25 (Sat)

Where: Rangdezvous 8 @ ThoughtWorks B2 (goo.gl/maps/AbWiVemEpp92)

Do sign up on Facebook and see updates from the event over the next few days.