Part 2 of our 3-part series on how partnerships help make a difference.
Sarah’s Covenant Homes (SCH) in Hyderabad, India has spent the past 10 years offering shelter and care to more than 130 disabled or terminally-ill children. Two years ago, we partnered with SCH to assist in finding families for children in their care.
Our partnership with SCH has paved a way for Soumya, a six-year-old girl born blind with very little light perception, to return home and be cared for by her family.
Soumya’s mother died when she was only four, leaving her father depressed and feeling unable to care for Soumya and Anusha, her seven-year-old sister. Soumya’s father transported goods for a living and was often gone from home. He felt he would not be able to take care of them well, so he sent Anusha to live with her grandmother, and placed Soumya in an orphanage.
The conditions Soumya faced at the government-run orphanage were indescribable, but luckily SCH found Soumya and took her into their care.
When Soumya arrived at SCH from the orphanage, she was very weak. Although she was four years old at that time, she was so malnourished that she wasn’t able to walk. At SCH, Soumya began progressing in many ways. She quickly gained weight and strength, and began walking. She learned English and is now bilingual, speaking English and Telugu (the local language). Soumya is learning to read braille, sounding out small words, and mastering many skills for her age. However, like any six-year-old, Soumya needs her family.
In partnership with the SCH and Soumya’s father, we created a family reunification plan.
Soumya's father was eager to learn about the next steps in family reunification and accept the responsibility to do his part. As he is getting ready to remarry, SCH staff have been providing counseling to him and his fiancé, helping them create the best home environment for Soumya and Anusha to live in. The father is also looking forward to starting a local transportation business and enrolling both children in a school where Soumya’s needs will be fully met.
“We have been trying for 1 ½ years to reunify Soumya with her father. He loves her. However, after many attempts, we had lost hope. With the tools that CERI has offered, we know we can get Soumya back home in a safe, supportive and loving way.”
– SCH Social Worker
Together with our partners, we are strengthen families helping them to reunite with their children and stay together.