ANNUAL REPORT OF SNEHABHAVAN CHARITABLE SOCIETY
FOR THE YEAR 2015 – 16
GANDHINAGAR P.O., KOTTAYAM – 686 008
Snehabhavan took its origin from an inspiration late Rev. Fr. Joseph Kannampuzha SJ had received, in 1990. The vision of Snehabhavan is to empower the disadvantaged sections of Society especially persons with disabilities and to build up a human community that respects the rights and dignity of the disadvantaged. It had a humble beginning. After completing 25 years of service and steady growth, in 2015 it has grown to be one of the known institutions of Kottayam.
Silver Jubilee Celebrations
We celebrated the Silver Jubilee of this institution in 2014-’15. As part of the Silver Jubilee we gave a face lift to the school buildings and its compound. A new principal’s office room was built. We introduced identity card, school diary and school bag with jubilee emblem printed on it for our school children. We also released a documentary film, ‘Adithattile Pavizhangal’, on Snehabhavan. It is a 20 minutes long film. A special thanks to Fr. Sony Thazhathel SJ who was the master mind behind bringing out this film.
Besides these we organized and conducted a seminar for special school teachers of Kottayam district on “United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. There were 175 participants including the principals and teachers of special schools. On this occasion we specially honoured 11 students from Kottayam district who won medals in the World Special Olympics held at Los Angeles, USA. We also honoured the trainers of these medal winners and the staff who accompanied them to and fro to Los Angeles. On this occasion we also honoured Fr. Roy Vadakel (Chairman, Association for the Intellectually Disabled), Sr. Regi SJC (Secretary, Association for the Intellectually Disabled), Fr. Roy Kannanchira CMI (President, Special Olympics Bharat – Kerala Chapter) and Sr. Rani (Secretary, Special Olympics Bharat – Kerala Chapter) for their praiseworthy services in their respective fields.
The valedictory function of the Silver Jubilee Celebration was on 1 December 2015. The public meeting was inaugurated by Dr. Fr. M.K. George SJ, Provincial, Kerala Jesuit Province and was chaired by Dr. Prof. Jose Augustine, Rtd. Principal, St. Joseph Training College, Mannanam. Around 300 people took part in this meeting. All the cultural items staged by our school children were excellent and were appreciated by the audience. The dance items in general were good. Folk dance was very much appreciated. Congratulations to the performers and thanks to the staff who trained them and the parents and volunteers who co-operated.
Snehabhavan Special School for the Mentally Challenged
Of the two different services rendered by Snehabhavan the service of the Special School for the Mentally Challenged was excellent. As usual the school re-opening day was celebrated with extempore cultural activities by the students. It made the new comers very happy.
The school functions regularly from 10am to 3.30 pm. There are 68 children in the Special School. Some of them are taken to and fro by the school bus and others come by Jeep and auto and line bus. Everywhere there are volunteers chosen from them to supervise and help them. Certain discipline, order and queue are kept in the school. We train the students as per the requirement of each group (Care group, Pre-primary, Primary, Secondary, Pre-vocational and Vocational), however taking into account the standard and ability of each child. Children are making progress in activities of daily living skills, reading, writing, arithmetic and different vocational skills. Vocational section trainees have found a rhythm in their work. Some of them are making progress in their skill of embroidery work, candle making, flower making, etc. Others are learning the skill of vegetable cultivation and a few of them have started vegetable cultivation in their homes.
This year we have introduced a new vocational skill training, Data Entry Training in Computer by joining hands with AMBA for Life, an NGO in Bangalore. The first batch of Data Entry Training for 22 Snehabhavan students is progressing well under the able guidance of Fr. Anil Kochumethikalam SJ and the teachers. Students who are of the age of sixteen and above and having IQ between 20 and 65 (Severe and moderate mental retardation) are specially chosen for this training.
Twenty one girls and boys of Snehabhavan took part in the State Level Special Olympics held at LNCPE Stadium at Thiruvananthapuram. Our students won 3 Gold, 12 Silver and 8 Bronze Medals. In the sports conducted by S.F.S. School, Ettumanoor 8 students won prizes. As usual we conducted annual sports for our school children on the occasion of school anniversary celebration.
We give physiotherapy regularly for the children who need it. It has helped Ananthukrishnan to walk and Dan started sitting erect occasionally.
Focus group discussions were conducted term wise. It helped the parents to understand the problems of other children and of their own children. It was also an occasion to distribute the progress report prepared by teachers to the parents.
We celebrated Onam, the Kerala State Festival with all conventional nuances like competitions, games, ‘Onasadya’. Around 150 people including the staff and students, parents, representatives from CBR fields and a few neighbours took part in this celebration.
Senior students were taken on a picnic to Cherai Beach, Ernakulam. As usual this year also we celebrated the birthdays of our children by distributing sweets or cakes. Special prayer service was conducted on the death anniversary of Rev. Fr. Joseph Kannampuzha SJ the founder director of Snehabhavan.
Regular PTA meetings were conducted. Government supply of milk, egg and rice were cooked and served to the children everyday. Assistant education officer visited our school and recommended our school for grant-in-aid for the year 2015 – ’16.
Two teachers participated in the teachers training organized by Special School Association. Fr. Sanil Mayilkunnel SJ gave orientation class to our staff.
State Bank of India has sponsored 5 special chairs adapted for the use of our children. The Bsc nursing students, School of Medical Education,MG University, visited our school as part of their studies. The Vincent de Paul members of Jaigiri Parish, Kuravilangadu spent a couple of hours with our children and entertained them.
This year anniversary of the Special School was merged with the Silver Jubilee Celebration of Snehabhavan Charitable Society.
Our school has made its growth in curricular and non-curricular activities. This progress was possible with the co-operation of the well wishers, hard work of the staff, encouragement of the parents and neighbours, guidance of the management and above all the interest of the children. 2015 –’16 was a year of special blessings from God.
Community Based Rehabilitation Programme
The second important service of Snehabhavan is Community Based Rehabilitation programme for physically and mentally challenged persons in 4 Gramapanchayats of Kottayam District and some areas in Kottayam Muncipality.
Some change in the mode of running CBR Programme has been introduced to facilitate its activities. According to the new mode the village level committees (Core committees) are given charge for implementing different activities in their respective areas.
Three of the five village committees Anugraha, Sayoogyam and Sahana are doing creditable service in the field of rehabilitating challenged persons. This can be substantiated from their services of rendering help for obtaining financial help for 24 Challenged persons through ‘Aswas Kiran Project’.
Our core committees organized picnics for challenged persons, awareness classes for parents and Medical camps. Besides they gave prizes for children who passed well in the examination and financial help for financially backward children with disabilities.
Our core committees motivated Gramapanchayats and through them made available aids and appliances free of cost and scholarship for children with disabilities. The core committees financed and organized celebrations like Onam, the State Festival and Christmas.
Through the initiative of Snehabhavan financial help was made available from CHAI-LF to Children/youngsters with disabilities for buying medicines for 28 children, for giving physiotherapy for 19 children, for giving scholarship for 84 children and for buying one hearing aid.
We made use of the financial help received from Feed and Shelter Centre, Malayattoor for buying medicines for 11 grownups.
We are thankful to the Society of Jesus, CHAI – LF, Secunderabad, the Government of Kerala, the Feed and Shelter Centre Malayattoor, our generous local and foreign individual donors, friends, and well wishers for their financial support as well as their valuable prayers. I am submitting this annual report for your recognition and approval.
L. N. Venugopalan