Young people: moving on from SBT
The first day a child arrives at a SBT shelter home, their immediate safety and protection is the priority. For some children this is a brief stay, whilst their families are found and they are reconnected. For the hundreds of others, who stay within the Salaam Baalak family until they are 18, the charity provides a platform for them to reach their full potential.
Encouraging the children to flourish are the shelter home co-ordinators, staff, teachers and volunteers, under the management of the Executive Council at Head Office. Children are supported by a specialist mental health team and are enrolled in local schools or home learning programmes. Young people leaving Salaam Balaak's care have become successful photographers, choreographers, actors, dancers, writers and film makers as well as employees in corporate houses such as Coca Cola and DSC, and media houses including MidiTech and Teamwork.
From the most challenging of starts in life, all of the beneficiaries have their own special stories. Here are a few updates from 2020...
Arriving alone to Delhi from Varanasi, a young Amit worked on a tea stall in Connaught Place before connecting with SBT. After taking him in to a shelter home, the charity enrolled him in school. Amit studied hard for 12th grade before graduating from VELTECH University of Chennai and has just been appointed a manager at RBI (Reserve Bank of India).
Roshni spent much of her childhood with SBT in one of its two shelter homes for girls. A special partnership the charity established enabled Roshni to attend The Lawrence private school in Sanawar where she achieved an incredible 94% in her 12th grade exams. Roshni is well on track to achieve her ambition of becoming a lawyer.
Ruhi came to SBT when she was 5 years old. She quickly settled into the shelter home and enjoyed studying. If you've been on the City Walk, you may recognise her as one of the guides. Ruhi will also be hosting tourists in her next role, having been enrolled for training at the Frankfinn Institute (India's Institute of Air Hostesses).
Fleeing his difficult home life in Nepal, Ajay travelled to Delhi as a child. He was placed in an SBT shelter home aged 12, and through his hard work has just secured 88% in his 12th grade exams. Ajay plans to move on to a career in the field of Mass Communication.
Moving to an SBT shelter home as a child gave Rekha the opportunity to study. After completing secondary school, she graduated with a Bachelors degree in Spanish. Rekha has recently been recruited as a Client Relationship Officer at a Bangalore-based company.