Category Archives: Projects

Micronutrient support

HCLT Foundation the ERS-Medical Diagnostic delivery Units in Chennai and the HS team in Bangalore under the CSR program started the Micronutrient support to orphans of AIDS in partnership with CHES from January 2012. The project has completed one year. CHES has provided this support to 85 children at Anandha Illam and another 14 double orphans at community living with grandparents or extended families. The cost per child works to Rs.300 per child. The project aims to cover 101 children. The biggest success was among the orphans at Anandha Illam who have shown greater response and many have improved in their height and weight and Body mass Index.

Cradle Baby scheme

All infants admitted at Anandha Illam undergo a repeat HIV test at the end of completion of 18months to 2 years of life to find their real HIV status. All those who test negative for the retrovirus are linked to the licenced adoption agency through the Child Welfare Committee and the Department of Social Welfare. So far 57 have been linked to adoption since 2000 and have been placed in to families successfully. Those who test positive for the HIV virus remain at Anandha Illam and are managed under the AIDS orphan care program.

Resource Center

 Resource center is attached to the Government home and reception center for boys at Royapuram run by social defense. More than 60 boys and girls are brought to child welfare committee each month who are admitted in to the reception center. CHES provides psychosocial support, psychotherapy, group counseling, assesses IQ to such children, conducts games, takes them out on picnics and the most rewarding activity is linking the lost children back with their families. There are two social workers working with a psychologist and psychotherapist. Different kinds of games activity, indoor and out door sports, Life skill education are integral part of the program. Similar activities are also conducted at the government run reception unit and home for girls and also at the observation for the children in conflict with law.  

Camp Rainbow

Camp Rainbow is a unique opportunity for children living with HIV who are aware of their HIV status to participate in HIV education and traditional camp activities aimed at enhancing campers’ adherence to treatment and medication, it focuses on providing children with serious fun! The activities at camp are designed to help children live positively and develop hope for their future by fostering resilience, rekindling a sense of joy and curiosity, teaching them how to make informed decisions and surrounding them in a supportive community with positive role models. This camp has been specially designed to take utmost personal care of each deprived child in a more meaningful way. The duration of the camp is 5days and we hold 40 children per camp. 

Kanmanighal Project

CHES and UNICEF joined in partnership in July 2013 on request from both superintendents of the Government run Boys reception unit and Girls Home to uplift the living status of the children.

The Goal of the project was to “Build the hope of the children that their life would be renewed to face the challenges in the world outside”. The strategic directions were to understand the working style of the home and provide assistance to build the center as a child friendly safe model center for girls, to build the capacity of the children during their stay to handle challenges in life and to develop a model home with minimum standards of care and protection implemented

Project Vidiyalai Theadi

CHES started to work at the Government Reception Center at Royapuram since 2007 when the NGO was invited to provide support to the resource center at the Government center by the then chairperson of Child Welfare committee.

This project helps children to voice their story and their decision to go back home or to a suitable safe destiny is the main agenda. The project also attempts to create a child friendly center, a child friendly atmosphere for the children at the Government Reception center for Boys at Royapuram. Social workers spend time taking detailed history from the child does a care plan based on the child’s status, tracks his family, invites the family to come to collect their ward, counsels child and parents and reintegrates the child back in to the family if a family is there and follows the child placed in family at Chennai city alone.

The project provides psychologists, nurses to assess their health standards, trains the JJ stakeholders
on various aspects from Child Rights to POCSO act. The project has reached around 1730 children and has placed nearly 96% of them back in to the family. The project has developed a 5year database for the home, Has developed and put in use a Child Protection Policy and has developed a self assessment tool for the admin team at GHB to assess the minimum standards of care.

Project Anandha Illam

In 1993 two children tested HIV positive among 50 children who underwent HIV testing in a Chennai city based orphanage. The orphanage management admitted both these children at the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for children, Egmore. The word that children were living with a dreaded disease soon spread and flocks of people used to come and see these two children. The panic that was raised because of the stigma drove the caregivers who were taking care of the children. The children also suffered from Hepatitis B. After a period of six months the children were discharged and had no place to go. It was then Dr.P.Manorama who working at ICH& HC decided to take them with her and she also initiated the NGO called CHES. Community Health and Education Society (CHES) became a pioneer when it took in these shunned children when no one else would and offered refuge and solace.

The Institution after initiation soon took efforts to curtail unnecessary admission by following the system of Gate Keeping criteria where HIV infected orphans were given priority. At the same time CHES took efforts to mainstream the children admitted in Anandha Illam. All available options such as reintegration in to extended family, unrelated foster care and adoption were tried. Since then we have had 70% of the children with families reintegrated back and regular family meets are being organized once in three months. Three girls babies were given on unrelated foster care and so far xxx children who tested HIV negative after the 18months have all been given on adoption. All admission in to Anandha Illam has now been routed through either the social welfare department as a special home and through child welfare committee. The institution has also been awarded a Fit Institution Status.

Here at the shelter home called Anandha Illam [meaning Happy home] mainly the infected and affected and vulnerable children are provided a safe space to live, medical care including health education and HAART, educational and psychosocial support and recreational activities. After 15years of struggle for an appropriate safe environment to live children have been gifted with a wonderful center a dream come true for the entire team. All our constraints met over years living at various rented places have been taken care in this new project. All HIV infected children have been linked to Government run ART centers and all children are being educated on simple self health care based on a manual Kutiyn Nalam
developed by CHES.

The greatest achievement is that children with HIV have started to live beyond childhood in our experience at Anandha Illam. The biggest challenge was to admit children in to regular schools. Until 1998 we struggled and since there was a lot of discrimination we started our own in house school. Thanks to the efforts of government of Tamilnadu Anandha Illam children are now in to regular schools from 5th onwards and until then they study at the in-house school. Children have started to complete school and are now entering college. As part of the recreational activities children visit interesting spots on excursion, go an annual tours, have started to learn music with an aim to form Anandha Illam music troupe and have started to learn the art of fencing and are bring laurels back home. Psychosocial support is provided to those who need it through trained counselors and psychologist. Effective monitoring of food supplied, education provided and children status have been inbuilt in to the program.

Project Thayee Sayee Nalam – Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission

CHES works with center of excellence the government institute of Obstetric and gynecology in prevention of parent to child transmission program. Here we cover over 4 corporation zones in Chennai district covering around 67 corporation health out posts and work closely with the community such as SHG, antenatal, post natal and lactating women. The goal of the project is to work towards a future without prejudice for children and their families infected, affected due to AIDS so as reach their fullest potential by offering a quality of life.

The Strategic directions of the projects are raising awareness about PPTCT program and services offered at IOG, linking all pregnant women to the same center and following antenatal women who test positive for HIV through home based care and providing them free ART services. The team links with corporation health post, balwadis, ICDS, VCCTC, positive network and NGOs providing support services. The infected pregnant women are followed through home based care and are empowered through providing health education, linking them to the various need based services including ART services, testing services, other medical services, TB screening and other support services. Their husband and children are also addressed through this program. This project is supported through the Global fund round 2 and 3.

Project Thooli – Care of children infected, affected by AIDS in Chennai metropolis.

A HIV care program for children infected, affected by AIDS in Chennai metropolis a pioneering effort by CHES and has been acclaimed as a model project. Initial home care were all adult centric and it was CHES which initiated and developed a child centeric HIV Home based Care program.

The home visits are planned and done after written consent of the parents/guardians. The team used many innovative methods to reach children from changing the time of visit, addressing general issues, conducting educational sessions etc; During home visit social workers/community nurse build the capacity of the entire family including that of the child by helping them learn the correct information’s on all health aspects including on health, hygiene, nutrition, routine pediatric care, OI identification, management of simple symptoms at home and more about HIV and AIDS. Based on the structured need assessment Care plans are developed for each child and followed. There are more than 1000 children on the follow up.

As part of service provision CHES has developed by developed a resource directory for families so that the families can link independently to such supports. Family members are trained as caregivers through a structured two-day training based on the module “NURTURED HOPE”. Children living with HIV are linked to government run ART centers, TB screening, ICTC etc; the families are assisted to disclose their status to family members and follow up supported is provided. The project became more specialized when the counselors started to use child friendly tools to reach children and the biggest success was when they started to talk to children about HIV and their status. Participation of children was
the hallmark of this program and this happened through Life skill education and through children club activities where in child peer educators came in to active force. Volunteer’s strength improved in support of the program and PLHA women were enrolled in Self Help groups. As an outcome of the Life skill education sessions children court has emerged.