With students at home, staff spent as much time as possible working with parents over the phone and zoom to help encourage them to work with their children. A number of times students were set to return to Raphael when rising covid numbers meant cancelling their return creating anxiety. All Raphael’s activities are now back with the school closing for the summer vacation in mid-May and reopening in mid-July. There has been a long line of enquiries for admission to the school.
There are 89 residents in the hostels with around 65 residents being long term care. About 50 children attend the day school, early intervention programs school or readiness programs. Raphael has been dealing with fairly high temperatures in April and May. Residents have remained well.
The candle workshop sold over 15,000 ‘diyas’ which are clay pots filled with wax for the festival of lights, Diwali celebrated on 4 November 2021.
TB Control Program
The TB hospital is seeing an increase in the number of patients, with an average of 8-9 admitted at any given time. During covid, medications for known patients were sent to local centres to be handed out. Not all patients were able to get to these centres at the right times. This may result in longer than normal times for recovery and possible resistance to medications. The program at Raphael is fully up and running again.
The outreach program in the Dehradun Districts continues providing families with home based programs for pre-school and primary school children. Counselling with these families explores opportunities for livelihoods of the children and awareness programs for the families.
A second outreach program running in districts outside Dehradun continues in collaboration between Uttarakhand Sabhi Ke Liye Shiksha Parishad (Universal Education for All) and Raphael. Counselling camps for parents of children with special needs have been conducted in 60 blocks of the 8 districts of Uttarakhand. A total of 1230 teachers/anganwadi workers attended awareness programs. Parents received individual counselling, referrals were made as required and information shared on the various government schemes. Many parents requested online sessions for their children. At the request of DM Tehri Garhwal, Raphael started assisting with assessments for disability certificates in all blocks of Tehri Garhwal.
The Outreach team spent 9 days travelling to 2 districts. They identified 70 children with disability and counselled 137 stakeholders.
Raphael is happy to accept volunteers again. Volunteers will be required to follow covid protocols such as masking which is mandatory on campus. The Overseas Volunteers’ Co-ordinator has received her first request from a former volunteer of 25 years to return to the centre.
Priyo Lall (CEO Raphael) and Susie Mackerras (Raphael Liaison Project Officer)