There have been recent changes to the structure of AIC's Residential Program, due to changes in local regulations. For more information, see here.
Residential Program (affectionately known as "The Home")
Since the arrival of its first few children in June 2005, AIC's Residential Program, a home for orphaned and abandoned street children, has grown into a family of twelve children. AIC believes in investing as much as possible in each and every child, and for this reason has committed to keeping its Residential Program small, so that the children grow up in a loving and supportive family environment and permanent home, rather than in a larger institutional setting. The Residential Program currently houses five boys and seven girls, ranging in age from 3 to 18.
Our local, live-in caregiver and Residential Program Director provide love, discipline and stability within the home. A cook, housekeeper and driver provide daily support in various capacities, and our international and local volunteers assist with tutoring, extracurricular activities and general childcare.
The Residential Program family lives a large, free-standing bungalow in a quiet, suburban neighborhood on the outskirts of Pune. The bungalow provides housing for the twelve children, the caregiver and a Residential Program Director, as well as space for traditional classrooms, a family room, a computer room and a library. The gated compound provides security, privacy and a safe front yard for the children's nightly soccer games, badminton tournaments and capture-the-flag matches, while the front porch acts as a little spot to sit and read, or the perfect vantage point from which to watch the sports and games activities in the yard. The children take pride in sweeping the compound every morning, spend hours playing with their friends from around the neighborhood, and love the independence of walking to the corner store, neighborhood temple, and stationary shop by themselves. We are so lucky to have found such a perfect spot to establish a home for our children.
Education is highly stressed and valued at the home. All of our children, after coming to the home not knowing a word of English (and often illiterate in their mother tongues as well), have worked extremely hard to gain admission into prestigious private schools, where they study in English medium, while also continuing with Marathi and Hindi. On a daily basis, the children attend supplementary "English Study" sessions at the home, in which they are tutored in various subjects including geography, science, math, history and civics, environmental studies, and reading comprehension. We strongly feel that a solid education with fluency in many languages is a pivotal part of our children's future success.
Local and international volunteers devote many hours to designing enrichment projects for the children. These projects aim to complement their formal educations by providing stimulating and engaging activities that boost self-confidence, teach life skills, and foster self-motivated learning. Past and current activities include:
- Arts and Crafts: 2-D and 3-D design, photography
- Dance: Bhangra, Bharatnatayam, free-style, hip-hop
- Music: tabla, singing, recorder
- Health and Nutrition Studies
- Outdoor Sports and Play: cricket, dodge-ball (ultimate!), 4-Square, Kabadi, Kho-Kho, soccer/football, jump-rope, 50-yard dash, yoga and stretching
- Religious Diversity Education (all theologies)
- Conflict Resolution
- International Cultural Studies and Exchange