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Navajeevan Homes in Hyderabad Province Coping With COVID-19

By Father Yerramaneni Baly
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Hyderabad, Apr. 6. The Don Bosco Navajeevan (New Life) homes are the abodes providing shelter and rehabilitation for street-involved-children and the young-at-risk. There are 07 such homes / child care institutions with 18 subcentres of which 03 are exclusively for girls in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The homes in Warangal, PARA (Rajahmundry), Ravulapalem, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Vizag and Kurnool take care of about 1050 children. Although most of these have been sent to their parents/guardians/close relatives due to the pandemic, about 200 of these young ones are still in the various homes.  During this lockdown, the children are kept occupied with essential instructions of 'Dos and Don'ts' with sessions on health and hygiene.

1. Social Distancing: Thsi is practiced in all the common places such as dining room, dormitory, study room, gardening, and while performing curricular and extracurricular activities. All the staff members are actively involved in shifts to maintain social distance in order to avoid close contact (01 meter or 03 feet) and discipline among the children.  
2. Health & Hygiene: The reality of Covid-19 has taught us to conscientize ourselves to wash our hands at regular intervals for 20 seconds with soap / sanitizers and water and to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In order to facilitate these health tips, the CCIs/homes have inhouse nurses to follow the children in medical emergencies.
3. Stay at Home: Staying at home can save lives to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Hence, the children are kept occupied through various activities like, orientation on life coping skills, study hours, grammar & ppoken English, yoga-meditation, drawing-painting, creative sessions, dance-singing, computer classes, tailoring, handicrafts, gardening and team-building sessions.
4. Directives from Women and Child Department: The staff and children are updated with the directives of the from the Women and Child Department.
5. Ecological Awareness: Environmental awareness sessions to understand the fragility of our environment and the importance of its protection, especially in keeping the places and the campus clean, time spent in gardening.

The Salesian personal accompaniment of the children in care in these various homes is appreciated greatly by civic authorities.
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