The present HIV programmes in India have done incredible work in controlling and preventing new infections among children living with HIV. However, there is a fragile programme and bleak vision to positively guide the growing number of adolescent children living with HIV and impact their adolescent lives. We are still unsure about the type of education that is suitable to them, what should be our approach towards them clinically and nutritionally, how to disclose about their HIV status without any negative psychological and emotional ramifications, how to help them address the day-today psycho-social issues they go through as stigmatized and discriminated orphans and unguided adolescents and ultimately, how to enable them to stay healthy by finding a decent means of livelihood in their adulthood and engage in responsible behaviour and relationships.
Sneha Care Home is a Camillian initiative under Sneha Charitable trust to respond to these needs and comprehensively address these issues through evidence based programming. It is a residential programme for children living with HIV, within the age group of 5 to 13 who have lost their parents or parent and their normal growth and development seem to be difficult in their home or community. At present we care for 98 children.
Sneha Care Home as an intervention model attempts to create an environment that would help children infected with HIV to grow and become beautiful, joyful and responsible human beings. The model which is evolved to meet the long term needs of these children aims at future development. Value based formation, which is a key feature of the model, will inculcate responsible living in these children and consequently will reintegrate the children meaningfully to the larger society in the future.
The second phase of the programme named Snehagram aims at guiding children as they move into adolescence. Vocational training and teaching of life skills required for leading a healthy and independent adult life is the main focus of this centre.