Shakti Samuha is an organization started by a survivor of human trafficking. SS rescues girls and women from the sex trade and from being trafficked to India. NHK has been a referral resource for SS for about 9 years specifically when they rescue girls under 17, sometimes as young as 11. The girls stay in a shelter close by for up to 6 months and NHK often works with them there, though the young ones are transported here so they can benefit from our playrooms. Sometimes the younger girls are relocated to a children’s home (orphanage) and NHK counsellor’s will continue to work with them for as long as they need.
In addition to providing trauma counseling, NHK counsellor’s also have done group work for the rescued girls, provide ongoing training and consultation for the SS caretakers so they can better support the rescued girls. NHK staff also might advocate on behalf of the clients to government agencies, lawyers and even police to ensure their ongoing safety once they are discharged. Because of NHK’s excellent reputation in the community, they have found that the above agencies are more likely to believe and attend to the girls stories when NHK is involved.
Forum for the Welfare of Himalayan Children
Forum for the Welfare of Himalayan Children (orphanage) has over a 100 children under 15 living there. NHK has been working with them since our inception. We have a dedicated play therapy room there and a counselor will spend one or 2 days a week seeing children at that site which is quite far from our office.
New children are always arriving at Bhakunde as they rescue kids who have lost their parents through disease, violence and natural disasters and they often suffer from nightmares, bedwetting, or more severe post-traumatic symptoms.
In addition to doing therapy with the children in need, NHK also provides ongoing training and consultation for the caretakers so they can better support the rescued children. The administration is very appreciative of the good work NHK does and has remarked on the changes that they have seen in the children as well as the caretakers. Because of the training provided, house-“parents” no longer hit, threaten or shame the children. They are more understanding of trauma and their developmental needs and care for them with compassion.
As a further testament of Bhakunde’s appreciation of NHK’s good work their Director joined NHK’s board last year.
Child Welfare Association
Child Welfare Association – CWA is a children’s home (orphanage) that NHK has partnered with for over 8 years. They have 33 children living in their care who have lost their parents through disease, violence and natural disasters and who often suffer from nightmares, bedwetting, or more severe post-traumatic symptoms.
Over the years CWA has become increasingly impressed with the positive changes in the children seen by NHK counselors and have referred more of them. Because NHK sees 4-7 children a week of theirs, and because they are so far away CWA sponsored NHK to set up a counseling/play therapy room on site and an NHK counselor sees the children there one day a week. NHK has provided free individual and group counseling to the children and trauma training to the home’s caretakers. CWA values the partnership with NHK reporting that they feel more secure knowing that NHK is there to support the children in need of therapeutic counseling as well as helping train the staff who care take them. They rely on them in other ways, for example NHK is a part of their hiring committee when they hire new caretakers. Together NHK and CWA are working to change the lives of children in need.
Star Children’s Home
Star Children’s Home – has 2 homes for children whose parents died or are too ill from HIVto care for their children, most of whom also have HIV.
NHK has partnered with Star for 9 years. We have worked regularly with them and eventually they asked NHK to set up a counseling room there and we see 3-6 children a week there. Sometimes when their clients get very sick the counselors visit them in the hospital and support them through their death.
When NHK first began working with Star, no one there talked about HIV. The kids did not know they were ill or what their parents died of. This was because of fears that they would be stigmatized at school and in the community. However, it also made them unsafe and made it impossible to live normal lives.
NHK advocated for over a year with Star’s management to allow us to set up program to train caregivers and staff and the children themselves about how to understand HIV and how it’s affecting them. We had an experienced counselor-volunteer come and train our counsellors and their staff on how to talk about HIV, how to be safe in their lives especially in regards to sexuality,. We set up peer counseling to integrate children when they were new to the house, and regularly run groups for the residents and staff.