ESSAY PART 1 What does community mean to you

What does community mean to you? For me the word community means identity, kinship and unity. All these words have one thing in common that is relationship or togetherness. Humans cannot live in isolation and relationship with others is a central part of human existence. So, does that mean a human should share his relationship with only his family or society. What about the other vulnerable population don’t we not have to share the same bond with them? This reminds me about a quote stated by an anonymous “You have two hands. One to help yourself, the second to help others.” I had the opportunity to help a selected vulnerable population, i.e. children from broken family which was run by a “Bishop Aelen Home” in Egmore. The home is being maintained by 2 sisters and 2 wardens and the number of children in the home is around 20-25 who are aged between 5 – 13 years of age. Through observation, interaction with the children and the sister, the problem that was identified among this sector of children is that they are in need of self-knowledge, they are in need of opportunities to explore their area of interest and most importantly the need for love, attention, and care. The claim for this study is that by exposing these girls to activities that will develop their multiple intelligence and also providing them an equal opportunity like the other privileged children. The children will be benefiting from this study because they are gaining new knowledge, exposure and opportunity to things which wasn’t experienced by them.

Through the qualitative approach I was able to gather a detailed analysis about the functioning and dynamics of the organization and also an initial exploration to the problem. Most of the information is obtained through the process of interaction and observation. The interaction with the sister gave me an insight about the background of the children. The background of the children in this home are from broken family, single parent (either dead or left them) and have a problem in financially supporting their children expenses, there are also children who are living with their extended family as both parents remarried. There are few children who live with their sibling in this home. The biggest advantage for these girls in the home is that they are provided with education, the girls attended two different schools which is near to their locality. The sister plays like a parental authority who provides the girls with proper guidance in general and spiritually, discipline, the basic emotional support. The girls have a rigid schedule that needs to be followed and the older children have the responsibility of taking care of the younger girls. The home also allows the family members to meet the girls on regular basis and also allows the girls to stay with their family members. The future of these girls in this home is that after they complete their 10th STD they are either placed in another home where there is other educational facility that is available or provide them with a job like in beauty parlour for them to sustain.

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The social capital in this home contains both component of objective association and positive subjective/emotional tie. Some of the objective of the home is to provide care, support, providing an inclusive environment encouraging people from all ethnic group and fostering, to afford the opportunity for personal development through the provision of programs that enhance life skills, self-image. The network that sustain the bonding of this community is SR. Rose and SR. Vijaya but SR. Rose acts as the parental authority who trains the girls in a discipled way, teaching them proper manner which they are not exposed to in their family surroundings. The girls have each other for a mutual understanding, for sharing their responsibilities, and for sharing their happy and sad moments with each other. These girls also have their family members on whom they can rely on for their emotional support, most importantly the love that these girls are yearning for. The other social network that helps in the bonding of this community is through the organization i.e. school and church which they attend the girls gain a lot of knowledge and spiritual guidance’s. which helps them by looking at life in a positive way.