SAATHI

PROJECT AT A GLANCE

Funder: Vishal Saluja, US

Duration: January 2008 to June 2009

Project coordinator: Prachi Khandeparkar

Consultant: Dr Gauri Divan 

Collaborating schools: Disha Special School,Panaji, School for Appropriate Learning, Panaji,
Keshav Seva Sadhana, Bicholim

Objective
The objectives of this project were to work with the staff and parents of children with disabilities that are studying in special Schools with a focus on developing the childrens potential and fostering emotional growth. 
     Emotional growth of children with special needs is a neglected area, with special schools generally focusing on building basic academic or self help skills.Teachers are often not equipped to cater to the emotional needs of these children or their families, nor are they always able to handle the behaviour problems commonly encountered.
 
What We Did
The SAATHI Project worked with three special schools in Goa, focusing on building the capacities of teachers and parents. The project introduced the first module of the Zippy’s Friends Program to develop emotional wellbeing in their children.
     We ran workshops on a range of topics: behaviour modification, individualised educational program, health and hygiene, basic remediation and communication skills.
     Lectures and workshops were conducted for parents and professionals by internationally reputed healthcare experts:
  • Dr Jack Piachaud, Psychiatrist , UK - For parents on understanding the future of a child with disability
  • Dr Marc Neimroff, Psychotherapist, USA , Asha Dutia,Psychotherapist, India- ‘Children and Trauma’ and ‘Aspergers syndrome’ , training programs for parents, teachers and professionals.
Impact
Through the project, teachers and parents acquired the necessary skills in dealing with behavior and emotional problems among children with special needs, especially the needs of young adults with disability.