With India being home to 23.6 million orphan children, providing adequate support to enable these children to become independent and resilient becomes an issue of prime importance. 2.1 million of these children are in the age group of 15-17, which is an indication of the vulnerability of youth advancing towards adulthood. Lack of basic tenets of education often lead to negative long-term outcomes such as unemployment or low wages, making it difficult for children to access decent life opportunities.
At Bridgin, we believe in providing equitable learning opportunities for all children to learn, lead and grow. Working across various shelter homes in Bangalore, we provide children with guidance in completing their education, making them career aware, developing life skills and training on how they can nurture their own personal development.
The inadequacy of life skills, low educational achievements, absence of positive life experiences and limited social integration add to a host of difficulties in transitioning from childhood to adulthood. Through our 3E approach, we aim to provide children with the needed support and guidance to transition successfully into the next phase of their lives. Each child has had unique life experiences, and through our programs, we try to customize and support, guide and counsel them to work towards achieving their true potential.
We are a volunteer driven organization and believe in the potential of young change makers to create a positive impact in the lives of the children they interact with. The volunteers make a minimum commitment of a year and spend about two hours every week teaching, mentoring and enabling children to ensure that they get the support and care they need.
From finding it difficult to recognize alphabets to accurately spelling words, I saw Arya traverse that journey on a weekly basis through the Bridgin curriculum and mentor support. These little milestones work wonders in strengthening their confidence and enabling them to achieve more.
Last year when I first met Pratheesh, I barely saw him speak during our classes. Over the course of the next few months, he eventually started opening up during our ‘Listening and Speaking’ sessions. From speaking one or two words to taking charge during sessions, Pratheesh’s progress makes me proud of him and inspires confidence in the potential that our children have.
As a part of the Bridgin curriculum, we teach two good habits to our children in every class. These habits range from being courteous to each other to apologizing when wrong and being grateful for helps and favours. These might seem trivial at first, but when I saw two of my children fight in class and apologizing to each other an hour later, I realized the impact of inculcating and practicing such habits from an early age.