What we do : Our approach
St. Catherine’s Home takes a Child Rights based approach which sees each child as a unique and equally valuable human being, with the right not only to life and survival, but also to development to their fullest potential.
Survival Rights : St. Catherine's Home provides all children and women in our care their basic needs of food, shelter, a healthy standard of living and access to medical services (within our campus) for existence.
Development Rights: St. Catherine's Home ensures that all our children and young girls are enrolled in school or some study program (formal/ informal/ vocational/ professional) in the campus school or in institutions outside the school. Counselling and therapy are provided to the children and young girls, to give them skills to cope with their trauma and they are accompanied, so that they realize their true potential. The children and women have access to information through the newspapers and TV. There is a daily time slot for play and leisure for the children and young girls. The children and women are free to exercise their freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Protection Rights: St. Catherine's Home provides a safe and secure environment for the child within its well-guarded campus. Children are educated and rehabilitated into their families (if they are safe) or else into society through adoption when the children are cleared for adoption by the courts or else integrated into society, after they have completed their studies and take up jobs after the age of 18.
Participation Rights: Children in each cottage of St. Catherine’s Home have a Bal Panchayat – a Council of Children – to which children are elected by the children of the respective cottage through secret ballot, to take up responsibilities of being Food Minister, Study Minister, Discipline Minister, Environment Minister, etc. for the concerned cottage.
St. Catherine's Home thus implements the four articles of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which are often referred to as 'general principles'. These are:
- that all the rights guaranteed by the UNCRC must be available to all children without discrimination of any kind (Article 2);
- that the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children (Article 3);
- that every child has the right to life, survival and development (Article 6);
- that the child’s view must be considered and taken into account in all matters affecting him or her (Article 12).
All the girls study in the campus school or through NIOS, depending upon their abilities. Vocational training is provided to girls studying through NIOS to provide them with skills such as artificial jewellery making, Warli art, and gift- bag making. The proceeds of the sale of these items at exhibitions and within St Catherine’s Home are saved in their accounts. For further studies all the girls attend colleges outside the campus, and are also sent for professional training. They are helped to get jobs after their studies. Once they have a bank balance, they are transferred to working women’s hostels. Even after they move out physically from St Catherine’s Home, they are given guidance whenever they need help and are assisted in their choice of a suitable partner in life. Marriage receptions are also held on the campus. Every year in December, there is a get-together for all the girls. In a sense, they are accompanied throughout their lives as they keep in touch with our Home.