A REAL HOME FOR STREET GIRLS
We found a wonderful location close to Banjaran, just outside of Bandung, that is perfect for our needs.
The location is 1 hectare (10,000 m2 or 2.5 acres) on a hill in a small rural village close to Bandung. There are several buildings: a villa, a separate simple but very large room, a cute wooden cottage and a house where the caretakers live. There is also lots of outside space for the girls and the family to enjoy: a large flat field suitable for playing football, riding a bicycle or flying kites, a small forest, chickens and a vegetable garden.
Rent and furniture
We have a lease on the location until 2018 with the option to extend until 2024. The program bears the costs of the home, including furniture, rent, electricity, municipal tax and any minor or major renovations.
Through donations by Rotary Clubs, Rotaract Clubs, expatriate communities, friends and the Bandung International School, the location is furnished to a reasonable extent, although a higher number of girls will require some additional furniture (beds, mattresses, kitchen items).
To keep the house safe and make it a real home, it is important that the BSCP Home for Girls is not used as a drop-in day centre for street children.
There are several reasons why we decided that we house only girls in the BSCP Home for Girls.
Firstly, there are currently no facilities in Bandung specifically for street girls. Secondly, girls are the ones most at risk on the street. And thirdly, the presence of (older) boys in the Home may compromise the girls’ safety.
The exception is Mr Ira and Ms Ani’s own four-year old son Rafi. Exceptions could also be made for very young boys if their sister is accepted into the Home.
We have many plans to develop the location from 'just' a Home for Girls. With little effort we can use it to host overnight camping parties for groups of street children. We can develop the villa and the wooden cottage into commercial overnight stay options as a means to bring in extra income. We can develop the vegetable plot into a commercial organic vegetable garden, also to generate some extra income.
THE HOUSE FATHER AND HOUSE MOTHER
Mr Ira and his wife Ms Ani Suryani are currently the house father and mother of the BSCP Home for Girls. They live at the location with their young son Rafi. They not only look after the girls that live in the Home, but together with the local caretakers they also look after the buildings themselves.
All staff receive vaccinations against infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis A and B and their medical bills are paid by the program.
They look after the girls as if they were their own. They teach them manners, rules, discipline, cleanliness and personal hygiene, make sure they go to school, help them with their homework and do all the things normal parents do.
In coordination with the Project team, Mr Ira and Ms Ani apply to schools for any children living in the BSCP Home for Girls, assist in finding suitable courses or jobs for the older children and cooperate where necessary with other NGOs or street children organizations.
Mr Ira and Ms Ani are responsible for keeping the local authorities and the neighbourhood up to date of any changes in the household.
Mr Ira and Ms Ani are paid a joint salary that includes money for telephone credit, transport, food and clothing for themselves and their own child, administration, and so on.
For each street girl living in the BSCP Home for Girls longer than one month, we pay Mr Ira and Ms Ani a modest bonus. When there are ten or more street children living permanently in the BSCP Home for Girls, we will arrange and pay for one or more household staff or volunteer, or earlier if needed.
Just as experienced tutors from successful international NGO SOS Children’s Villages have indicated they want to help our Art in a Box outreach workers, they also want to help Mr Ira and Ms Ani to develop their skills.
The training programme consists of awareness of child protection, building a loving home and family life, giving care, unconditional love and acceptance, supporting the child in its rehabilitation, socialization and education processes, awareness of developmental psychology, developing active listening skills and empathy, and storytelling and play activities.
Staff from Universitas Padjadjaran, one of the largest Bandung universities, have indicated their willingness to train Mr Ira and Ms Ani about good nutrition, food safety, self-care, dental care, and general health and will provide materials such as posters and booklets.
Our aim is to have tutors eventually train our house mother and father to train potential new BSCP Home for Girls staff (train-the-trainer model).
FOCUS ON EDUCATION AND MEDICAL CARE
All the girls in the Home for Girls receive formal education, preferably until they have earned a diploma from a senior trade school (in Indonesia: SMK). Very young girls go to a part-time kindergarten.
Up to the age of fifteen, Indonesian schools are officially free of charge, but money is required for shoes, uniforms and books. Some school charge for exams or registration. The program pays all the education costs of the girls in the BSCP Home for Girls. Where possible, schools are asked to give a discount, common in Indonesia for underpriviledged children.
After the age of fifteen, many children in Indonesia stop their education and start working, but we encourage the girls in the Home for Girls to go on to senior trade school or follow a trade course with good prospects.
We help and coach the girls into jobs, where possible helped by the extensive Rotary network, our contacts with other NGOs and our own personal networks.
We are secretly hoping that some of the girls will want to work as outreach workers and help a new generation of street children become independent.
In case of minor ailments, Mr Ira or Ms Ani take the girl to the free local health clinic. In case of severe ailments or psychological issues, they will contact the Project Team who will then seek expert help.
Upon admittance to the BSCP Home for Girls, girls receive the full spectrum of vaccinations in accordance with the government vaccination scheme, as well as a social-medical assessment to detect and exclude social and health issues. Any costs will be borne by the program, but where possible low-cost government-sponsored programs will be followed.
Depending on their age, girls admitted to the BSCP Home for Girls may also need to be tested for HIV. In case a girl is found to be HIV negative, she will be given all the usual vaccinations by a general practitioner. In case the child is HIV positive, we have good contact with an HIV specialist with whom we can discuss the vaccination plan and HIV treatment.
Girls that are admitted to the BSCP Home for Girls are also tested for tuberculosis. Children receive a Mantoux test first (skin test). If this is negative, the child receives BCG vaccination. If the skin test is positive, tuberculosis diagnostics (X-ray and culture) will be carried out to find out if the child has active or latent tuberculosis, and medication (IPT for latent and DOTS for active tuberculosis) will be given.