Tara Homes for Children, NGO for street children in Delhi, India

Friday, June 24, 2016

Tara Children take the lead on Child Protection

Team Rainbow
Team Ant-Man

On 30th of May 2016, we gathered representatives from Tara Boys and Tara Girls to review our Child Protection Policy. Noorjahan, Sikander and Shyamu united in Team Ant-Man while Vishal, Rakesh and Nandini stood as Team Rainbow.
The two teams went into intense brainstorming about the different forms of child abuses and possible dangers in the Homes, then came up with ideas on how to prevent the latter.
The teams identified several abuses children may face such as neglect; child labour; sexual abuse; violence in words and acts; deprivation of sufficient food, education, basic rights and participation; but also exposure to inappropriate audio-visual contents.

They enhanced the importance of a supervisor presence for such activities as going to the park, cleaning the ground floor (which is overlooking the street), TV time and computer time. They also insisted on the presence of the night staff and of trustworthy adults with them at all times. In case of any incident, the two teams emphasized that the child should find support and counselling with discretion. Any teasing from other children should be strictly prohibited.

The children showed a very mature understanding of Tara Child Protection Policy, which they really consider as their own Constitution! They also discussed the way Tara participates to their empowerment through the election of child representatives, children’s meetings, participation in the writing of our Child Protection Policy and the taking into account of their suggestions in the elaboration of the rules. However, they reported sometimes discovering their activities of the day at the last minute and not being informed enough in advance…

Finally, the children also spoke about their concern on health and safety and their proposals to face these risks: they demanded earthquake drill sessions, training in the use of fire extinguishers and more sessions on First Aid, so as to be active participants in their own protection in such cases.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cooking competition at Tara Girls

Kamal and Noorjahan
Noorie and Deepika

Just over a month ago, the Tara Girls launched the contest Super Talented Girl. Once a month, a challenge is organized, and the girls have to show off their talents!

The first challenge was a drawing contest on the theme of the planet and the environment. The girls had to draw, within a time limit, their ideas on this theme and then explain their work to the jury, which was made up of the whole team working at Tara Girls. Noorjahan brilliantly showcased her drawing, which allowed her to win the competition.

The second challenge of Super Talented Girl competition was a culinary one! Our aspiring Master Chefs had to prepare Paapdi Chaat (a salad with a yogurt base) and a Bhel Puri (a rice salad with vegetables) and submit their creations to the judges.

Rather than tell you their progress ourselves (and especially, reveal the name of the winner), we preferred to hand over to Jyoti who told us how everything went (note that the interview was conducted in English and Jyoti performed beautifully!
She has made immense progress:

Do you all cook at Tara Girls?
"Yes, on Saturday we cooked vegetables. We love to cook, especially desserts. We made cookies and chocolate mousse. It was good!"

Can you tell us about the Super Talented Girl cooking challenge?
"We prepared Paapdi Chaat and Bhel Puri, savoury dishes with tomatoes and onions. Noorie won the competition. Everyone (the girls and the judges) tasted what each girl had made. The Ma'ams had to taste them twice because some dishes were very similar. They then went into another room to decide who would win. I thought it would be Noorjahan, and others thought that Noorie would be the winner. They were right! Anyway, we had fun!"

Why do you like cooking?
"I like it a lot when we train in the kitchen, because you can make and learn everything. When we are adults, we will be able to cook for our families."

What do you like to cook?
"For dessert I like cooking cakes. Cherry cake, chocolate cake or cream cake. And savoury dishes; I like making pasta with massala (a spice widely used and favoured in India) or salads with onions, tomatoes and vegetables."

The next Super Talented Girl challenge will focus on the geography of the world!

Who will be the next winner?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cinema Workshop at Tara Boys

Thanks to Benjamin Lazar, Corentin Leconte and Mélanie Schaan for the shooting of several films at Tara Boys. Writing scenarios, learning technicalities, acting, post production ...

Here are all their masterpieces. So have a seat, watch and enjoy!

Act 1: Tara Cowboys

Act 2: Tara Cowboys - Bloopers

Act 3: The Challengers

Act 4: The Challengers - Bloopers

Act 5: I have a dream

Act 6: I have a dream - Bloopers

Act 7: Tara Girls by Tara Boys

Act 8: Thinking planets

Act 9: The making of by the Tara Boys

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Holi's all colourfull celebration

Last week, all the children and the Tara team celebrated Holi, the festival of colors in India.

The Tots spent the morning throwing colours at each other and chasing the nannies in the garden behind the house. Nobody came out clean!


The Boys and Girls, meanwhile, “rendez – voused” in the Lodi Gardens for the occasion. In an amazing free for all with the staff and volunteers, the children engaged in a battle of colors and water for several hours. Explosions of yellow, green, pink and blue - no one was spared!


After all these exertions, a splendid picnic was shared, and each group then returned to their house to shower and recover after a morning full of colour.
A huge thank you to our volunteer and sponsor Coraline, who, each year, organizes this day in every detail from A to Z thereby allowing the children to take part in one of the most emblematic festivals of India.

For more photos, visit our Facebook page!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

4th anniversary at Tara Tots

The afternoon of January 16th saw the fourth anniversary of Tara Tots. The volunteers who have been with us for many years were invited to celebrate this happy event with us.

We began an afternoon full of activities by watching a set of dances and energetic songs from the children. In particular, they played us a beautiful Indian song based on the theme of hope ("Ashaye" in Hindi).

This was followed by a delicious snack prepared with love by our Tots and a presentation of the activities they take part in with our various volunteers.
They were very proud to show us their work! The volunteers and as well as members of the staff received gifts to show them our gratitude.

Our snack
Adeline, doctor volunteer
Activity with Pascale and Sylvie

Our former Tots who today are now Tara Girls, Deepika, Jyoti, Vansheeka and Noorie, moved us with a speech about their first memories as Tots. At that time, they told us, they nicknamed Pascal "Billi Jeise Aakh" which means "cat eyes" because of his large, clear blue eyes, which are so rare in India.

This anniversary was the first for some of our Tots, who arrived at Tara only a few months ago: Kamal, Simran, Sarthak and Charan.
Their integration into Tara is going well indeed - they already feel at home! Kamal will soon move to Tara Girls, where she already spends a lot of time in order to get used to it there.
Sarthak, who hardly spoke when he arrived, expresses himself much more freely now!
He says, almost systematically, "Thank you" and "hello", always accompanied by an enormous smile!

Charan, Simran, Kamal
Javed, Sarthak, Rashid

To top off this anniversary afternoon, the nannies, the cook and the night staff at Tara Tots prepared a magnificent traditional dance, which really impressed us all!

It’s already 4 years since we started the adventure at Tots, this fantastic project is a success thanks to all of you: volunteers & employees, sponsors, business and foundation partners. So, It is with great emotion, that we close 2015 and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year to blow out the 5th anniversary candle!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tara Boys launch their own book

Yes they write and they’re good!
This anthology of stories and poems was written by sixteen remarkable Tara boys aged seven to fifteen.
For the past six months Katie Waldegrave has been allowed to enter their world, witness to their fierce imaginations and vivid memories.

The authors, at Oxford Bookstore for the launch
Katie Waldegrave, author from UK

Katie moved to Delhi, earlier this year, with some trepidation. Once she found Tara the city began to feel like home.
From day one Sameer, with his beautiful great smile, hugged her on arrival.
Each Wednesday, fuelled by chocolate biscuits of various kinds the Boys have written together. (There was much debate, but in the end it was decided that oreos and bournville are the biscuits most conducive to great writing.)
The range of this anthology is testament to the boys’ willingness to experiment and the range of their talents and experience. They considered calling the book "Chocolate Biscuit Stories, Memories and Poems" but decided that it was too clunky.
At the start of the project the boys were quite certain they could not write a story, let alone a poem. Indeed several of them didn’t know the English word poem. But somehow, over the past six months or so, they put aside their anxiety and produced this book.
Sameer, reading his story

Piyush, Lokesh and Arun

The writing in Chocolate Biscuit Stories ranges from the sublime:
• Vinay’s piece about flying boys or
• Shyamu’s about how to make a sunset
• to the ridiculous: Rashid’s Greedy King or
• Sameer who would like to turn all vegetables into chocolate

There are powerful flights of imagination:

• Sachin’s ghosts
• Manoj’s magical girl
• Or poignant memories:
• Sikander on the sweet mishit doi his father used to buy him
• Vishal on Maharashtra and the Arabian sea or
• Manish, dreaming of his mother
• Sharwan on his friend Rohit- "a white tiger, strong and fierce"

They embraced metaphors and simlies with the enthusiasm of true poets:
• Lokesh’s idea of love which "Smells like a donut with chocolate in the middle"
• Ishwar’s of sadness which "Smells like dirty socks"
• Sachin, with his cheeky grin, always wrote pieces that made us laugh, many about his various girlfriends
• Manu, who has been speaking English for a month, produced a moving dedication to his mother

And all of them wrote, at some point, about Tara and about Pascal:

• For Mohid, Tara is the "dove that flies with me"
• For Arun, "Tara is fried chicken, when we all eat together"

What has been remarkable to see is the way they’ve taken to writing and they way their ideas of writing has changed. At the start the boys wanted to write fables with neat morals.

We hope and think that they have begun to find their voice and know that voice has value.
As Philip Pullman put it "Real writing can liberate and strengthen young people’s sense of themselves as almost nothing else can."

After writing part, a word about the launch we celebrated it at Oxford bookstore, which is one of the most famous in New Delhi.
One by one the boys were reading piece of their stories and have signed their book just like real and professional writers to their fans!

The book is now available in France and in India, at the price of 4€ or 300 INR (with additional mailing fees), so if you want a piece of "Chocolate Biscuits stories", send us an email ...

Enjoy reading!