Continuing to Share
A heart-felt thank you to the many who responded to the appeal from the children of SOFKIN in our previous blog! That appeal, as you may recall, was to encourage the children so they can appreciate what they have and participate in helping the society in dire need because of the COVID -19 pandemic. Because of your very generous response, the children helped feed 100 hungry families in April. Please visit COVID-19 Response Donors for a complete listing of our food assistance donors from India and the United States.
The children continued to sacrifice a meal each week to provide for those in need. With this sacrifice, plus your donations, the children were able to help another 500 families. These were largely the families of day laborers in the neighboring areas, who were out of work because of the lockdown throughout India, and completely destitute. All were sincerely grateful for the badly needed food packets. The children are so happy that they were able to help, recognizing that the need of others was so much greater than their own.
Continuing to Learn
With the beginning of May, school is officially over and children would normally be starting their one month summer holiday. However, as with so much of life under the pandemic, this annual break has been disrupted, and the children remain quarantined at SOFKIN.
SOFKIN has decided to use this time as an opportunity to ensure that all students are fully up
to grade level in their studies. With the older SOFKIN high school and college students volunteering as tutors, school continues to be held at SOFKIN for four hours every day, Monday – Friday. The older students/tutors are very well organized: Studies are conducted in Telugu (the local language), Hindi, English, Math, Science and Social Studies. The children take weekly exams to assess their progress. If they consistently score 80% or better on the weekly exams, they can opt-out of further studies. Those who consistently score 60% – 80% are asked to go to school for only two hours per day.
This concentrated focus on the “basics” seems to be bearing fruit. The student tutors report that children who had been struggling with some of their course work are making good progress under their steady, patient guidance. Some children who had tested out of further studies are also choosing to stay behind to assist those who are still working on their homework. (Being in school can be fun when you know you don’t have to be there!)
As was the practice during summer holidays in the past, children not going to the SOFKIN classes are asked to write a daily diary and read at least one book. And all of the children continue to write in a gratitude book every evening before bedtime.
Continuing to Care
Another consequence of the children’s remaining at SOFKIN instead of going on summer holiday, is that the housemothers won’t receive their annual one month break. To help address this need, and to show appreciation for all the work the housemothers do, the children have agreed to take over all the responsibilities in the kitchen every Thursday during their break. They will do all the food preparation and cooking, cleaning up, inventory, and other chores. This is just one more way that SOFKIN is creatively adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We hope you and your loved ones continue to be well and stay safe. We are, indeed, all in this together.