Category Archives: Inside Angels’ Place

A Busy Summer at Angels’ Place

The summer has been a busy time at Angels’ Place!

India continues to face the Covid-19 pandemic. The rate of new cases has declined since the worst period, which was in May of this year, but the disease remains a primary concern for the nation and for managing the community at Angels’ Place. Manipur, the state where Angels’ Place is located, has had lower occurrence of Covid-19, which is fortunate for the staff and children. All those over the age of 18 have received at least one vaccination, and all of the children remain protected by the measures taken by the staff: masking, daily temperature checks, and a no-visitor policy to the campus.

To date, no child has contracted Covid-19, a blessing for which we are thankful.

The state education department decided this summer to cancel board exams for the older children in order to reduce transmission risk for Covid-19. The staff has been working hard to keep the children involved in activities and to support education during this time while the school system has been suspended. Earlier this year, a number of the children participated in a painting competition, and staff has presented a number of presentations geared toward learning professional skills and cultivating a healthy work-life balance as the older students approach adulthood. We also are pleased to share news of several programs held over the summer:

  • Core Classes: In order to keep children on track with their schooling and keep them engaged in studies, the staff started to teach regular classes for all children from nursery school through Class 10. The on-site instructors have divided the responsibilities for teaching writing, communication skills, and reasoning skills. Additionally, students in Classes 9 and 10 are also taking classes in social science, science, English, and mathematics.
  • Bible Study: In July staff had Bible study, which was divided into two groups: nursery school through Class 6, and Classes 7-12.
  • Sewing: Eight of the students participate in vocational training in sewing, which had been suspended because of the pandemic. The program resumed this summer, with modifications to protect everyone’s health.
  • Online Painting Class: A weekly online painting class was organised for interested children ages 9-12. A professional designer, Mrs. Smriti Ahuja, taught the course titled “Healing with Paint.”

Finally, we are pleased to report the graduation of 12 children from their schooling and from Angels’ Place. Sanga and other staff members held a ceremony on July 2, to congratulate them and offer encouragement as they enter their independent adult lives. During the program, the children expressed their heartfelt gratitude to James Connection sponsors and the staff of Angels' Place for all the years of love, care and nurturing that they have received. Their successful transition into adulthood has come due to the generous support of all the James Connection sponsors, who have provided them with a safe and secure home, nourishment, education, and spiritual enrichment.

Dreams Fulfilled!

Before coming to Angels' Place, these children you see pictured would never have dreamed of becoming a teacher, a social worker, or a bank officer.  They knew well, without an education and support, it could never happen, so they pushed their dreams aside.  But just last month, they completed a career survey, the first step on a path toward fulfilling those buried dreams.

One of the most important things we do at Angels' Place is help the children become successful and productive members of their community.  Of course, providing a good foundational education is a big part of achieving that objective.  But that is just the beginning of what we do.  There is much happening inside the walls of Angels' Place you may not even be aware of - far beyond the basics of math and science.  Career counseling is just one example.

First, the children from classes 8-12 completed the survey to assess their personal strengths and interests.  In addition to obvious questions about their favorite subjects in school and extra-curricular activites, there were also questions like:  "What challenge excites you?" and "What impact do you want to have in the world?".   There were also questions designed to help counselors identify potential psychological and emotional barriers to their success so they might better guide them through these obstacles.  Once the surveys were complete, each individual child had a one-on-one counseling session to discuss their responses and help them develop some career goals suited to their unique interests and personality.  As of this date, counseling sessions for all children in classes 8-9 have been completed and upper grades are currently in process.

We are so proud of the many children of Angels' Place who have gone on to successfully pursue their dreams, to become productive healthy members of their community  - and the world.  But there are so many more still waiting for someone like you to open the door of opportunity for them.  To learn more about what you can do, visit our Ways to Help page today.

Our New Vocational Director

This year Angels’ Place added a new staff member, Sangi Duhlian. Sangi’s primary responsibilities will be overseeing the new vocational program at Angels’ Place and providing academic counseling and mentorship to support the learning of the children there. She was contacted about the position in early 2019, and the opportunity to help the children held immediate appeal. She began her new position earlier this year, and we are delighted to report on the expansion of the staff and the program growth that comes with it.

Sangi comes to Angels’ Place with substantial credentials in education and work experience. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work, and completed a second master’s degree (MPhil) in December 2018, right before coming to the orphanage. Her years of education and work include participation in multiple conferences, where she has explored issues of social services and health care in rural India.

Her position at Angels’ Place follows a family history of service to the community. Sangi says that she grew up in a family that always puts faith into action. Her grandparents and parents are “always accepting and helping the needy,” and she continues by saying “they always believe in the principle that when you serve the needy, you serve God.” In her childhood, her father would bring her to spend time with orphans and destitute children, and as she grew, the wish to serve continued. In college and then in her graduate studies, she has pursued study of social work in order to help those in need, especially women and children. “I started developing a strong determination for working for society and giving back to the community to weave change.”

It is wonderful to add Sangi’s sense of generosity and caring to the community of Angels’ Place. In our next article, we will talk more about the program where Sangi will be working.

Inside Angels’ Place: Mary Donthianmawi

There are many wonderful people working with our children at Angels' Place.  Here is a chance to meet one of them...Mary Donthianmawi, Nurse and Supervisor.

Mary's job is to take care of the children's physical and mental health as well as provide guidance in their daily lives.  Her role is extremely important because of the challenges many of them face coming from very poor families with little or no access to healthcare.  Most of them have been largely neglected by caregivers who were barely able to care for themselves.  Some had no caregivers at all.

Mary faces many challenges when working with children from such difficult circumstances.  Motivating some of the kids is not easy but with consistent loving care and a good dose of patience, she has been very successful, even with some of the toughest cases.  Mary finds tremendous reward in helping these troubled kids blossom into healthy thriving young adults.  In her own words..."I love helping the orphan children in whatever way I can.  Giving medical care, helping with their studies and teaching them right from wrong."

Mary is an invaluable asset to Angels' Place.  Not only does she provide the routine healthcare the children need, but she also provides the emotional support and structure required for them to flourish.  We are very blessed to have her as a member of our team caring for all our precious Angels.

Look for more "Inside Angels' Place" stories coming soon!  If you want to meet some of the amazing children Mary works with, click on "Angel of the Week" under categories to the right of this page.  To learn what you can do to help more kids find a home at Angels' Place, visit our Ways to Help page.