Our clients: All of the street children we have so far worked with, face several issues that severely impact their mental and physical development: They suffer from undernourishment, e.g. a continuous undersupply of vitamins and proteins. This results in stunted growth, a lower functioning immune system, etc. The unhygienic living conditions that entail washing dishes in the polluted Ganges water and no access to drinking water result in constant health issues like diarrhea. The alcohol addiction, violence and lack of education of their parents has disastrous impact on the mental development of street children as well. Most of them exhibit learning difficulties, behavioural difficult and a variety of psychological problems. They lack confidence in their abilities, have a lower self-esteem and often a fixed mindset. They are often deeply distrustful in relationships because of the trauma they survived. To counter and address these issues in a loving, yet effective way in kindergarten, is a huge challenge. This is how we go about it:
Our kindergarten is dedicated to providing a safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environment for street children, considering their unique circumstances and needs. Our pedagogical concept
incorporates child-centered education, Montessori principles, trauma-informed practices, and strategies to address violent behaviors. We strive to empower each child to heal, grow, and succeed
academically and personally.
1. Child-Centered Education:
- We believe in the inherent potential of every child, regardless of their background. Our curriculum is designed to honor and respect each child's experiences, interests, and abilities.
- Teachers act as compassionate guides, fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging children to express themselves freely.
- Learning experiences are tailored to meet individual needs, interests, and learning styles, ensuring a meaningful and relevant education.
2. Montessori Approach:
- Our approach draws inspiration from the Montessori philosophy, promoting independence, self-direction, and holistic development.
- The learning environment is carefully structured to support sensory exploration, hands-on learning, and self-paced progression.
- Montessori materials as well as other self-made and purchased materials, are provided to stimulate cognitive, sensory, and practical life skills development.
- Mixed-age classrooms foster peer learning, empathy, and social skills development.
3. Trauma-Informed Practices:
- We acknowledge that many street children have experienced trauma and adverse life experiences. Our teachers and staff receive training in trauma-informed practices to create a safe and supportive environment.
- Sensitivity, empathy, and patience are central to our interactions with children, recognizing and validating their emotions and experiences.
- Predictability, structure, and routines are established to create a sense of safety and stability for children who have experienced instability in their lives.
- Strategies such as mindfulness exercises, relaxation techniques, and expressive arts are integrated to promote emotional regulation and self-care.
4. Addressing Violent Behaviors:
- We recognize that most street children may exhibit violent behaviors as a result of their past experiences. Our approach emphasizes understanding, intervention, and support.
- Teachers and staff receive training in de-escalation techniques, conflict resolution, and positive behavior management strategies.
5. Holistic Development:
- Our curriculum focuses on the holistic development of each child, encompassing cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and creative domains.
- Language and numeracy skills are nurtured through engaging activities and games, not through forced repetition.
- Physical activities, outdoor play, and gross motor exercises promote motor skills development and well-being.
- Social-emotional learning is fostered through collaborative projects, peer interactions, and teaching empathy, conflict resolution, and emotional regulation.
- Art, music, and dramatic play activities provide outlets for self-expression, creativity, and healing.
6. Aesthetically pleasing environment
- Creating and maintaining an aesthetically pleasing environment is an integral part of our philosophy. We believe that a visually appealing and inviting space enhances children's overall learning experience and stimulates their curiosity and creativity.
- Our kindergarten is thoughtfully designed with attention to color schemes, natural elements, and engaging displays that reflect the beauty of nature and the creativity of human beings.
- We incorporate elements of beauty and order to foster a sense of harmony and tranquility.
- The aesthetic environment provides a backdrop for children to explore, discover, and develop a deep appreciation for the world around them, creating an atmosphere of inspiration and joy.
7. Family Engagement and Community Support:
- We recognize the vital role of families and the community in a child's development. We actively engage parents and caregivers as partners in their child's education and try to help them create bonding moments with their children.
- Since alcohol-addiction runs in the families, we try to not judge, but support the parents as much as possible, while trying to keep the children safe.
- Parent education sessions and support groups are organized to provide resources, guidance, and a supportive network. If financially possible, we provide healthcare, too.