The Umbrella Foundation has opened its first Youth Flat!!
One of the most challenging issues facing any child care organisation, or any family for that matter, is to prepare their kids for the real World!! The Umbrella Foundation is no different and with 17 students this year, 16 last year and 32 next year all graduating from school the Umbrella Family has a whole new challenge.
The answer – The Next Steps Youth Programme!!
The Youth Programme was designed to prepare our older kids with the tools that they need to survive in the sometimes harsh environment of Nepali life. It is an ambitious project which is the final step in our care for the children.
Career counselling is provided to all of the youths and they are assisted in choosing from the many courses which our team have researched, these range from the Nepali system of Intermediate / Higher Secondary to Vocational Training.
An important part of the Youth Programme is the life skills training which includes moving to the Youth Flat and becoming semi-independent.
Next Steps Youth Flat
At the beginning of February we moved 8 boys to their new home in Kalanki which is 20 minutes down the road from Umbrella. We are extremely proud of our boys who have reacted and adapted amazingly. We visit and check in on them regularly as any parents would when their children move away to college!! It was an amazing experience to have them proudly follow the Nepali tradition of welcoming us with a cup of tea and we have never tasted such a delicious Daal Bhat dinner before!!!
Before anyone moves to the Youth Flat they are given life skills and morality training. Life skills’ training involves cooking, cleaning; bargaining and purchasing in the market place and money management. Morality training begins from an early age and for the older ones it includes regular meetings with our counsellor and compulsory volunteering for another social organisation.
We will be opening our next flat in the coming weeks and next year we will be opening another 2 for boys and 1 for girls.
Jyoti Vocational Training Centre
As some of our children are following the route of higher formal education others are choosing the more employable option of vocational training. Last year one of our boys moved to the city of Pokhara to study in Jyoti Vocational Training Centre. Jyoti is run by a UK based INGO called Child Welafre Scheme. The centre offers 2 year courses in plumbing, electrician, care giver and basic computer. This year another 3 students followed him and all 4 are doing great.
We were especially proud of Anita who moved there this year and is the first girl to move out of Umbrella