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

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chaya on your screens

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls...
We are delighted to announce that it is finally here; the much anticipated Chaya film is finished!

Written, acted, filmed and edited by the children, under the expert direction of Thibaud Cheminant,"The day we met" is a short nine-minute film, which tells the story of a developing friendship between a group of privileged boys and two boys who have been excluded from society and left to fend for themselves.



The grand premiere was held at Chaya on the 6th of December, and was warmly received by the friends and volunteers who had gathered to watch it. The boys were very proud of their achievement, and thrilled to find themselves celebrated like famous movie stars!

We have deliberately kept a distance from the many big-name commercial distributors who were battling it out for the rights to this masterpiece! We have opted for simple, modest internet distribution.
For your own private viewing of the film, stay on Chaya Blog:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Daddy called!

On Sunday, the dad of Lokesh and Rajesh called his sons.
(Click to enlarge these happy faces)


Lokesh was just happy, tremendously happy. "My dad is going to buy me a car", he said when the conversation was over. Lokesh has a dad, strong, wealthy enough to buy a car, it's all that matters.


Rajesh was expecting that call like anything, though he picked up the phone with suspicion. He finally unfroze after a few minutes of conversation.

Snaps from the photo workshop

Since we have announced a photo contest, the boys are competing to find the best idea for a good photo. Here are a few of the techniques used.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sameer and Lokesh tell a poem in English


If you understood all the details, please send us an email to help us get the full meaning of that beautiful piece of literature.
Part II is below (for the fans only):

Last shots for the movie

The last scenes from our movie are being shot. We can't reveal the script for the moment (we fear spies from Bollywood studios) but it's going to be damn good!

Here we have Suman and Afrez in action... and concentrating hard.

Didn't know we were shooting a movie? See our last post on this subject.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Suraj and Sunil got 13

Suraj and Sunil just celebrated their 13th birthday.
For once, instead of being given clothes, they could go to a shop and choose. They were a little lost as to where to start. "I don't know what I like" realised Suraj. "At least I know that I don't want to ever wear a pink belt again in my life!" replied Sunil.
(See last post for a zoom on Sunil and his pink belt)
((Please dear friends, if you are giving clothes, remove the pink belts!!))

Getting the date of birth of all the children is not easy because they come from backgrounds where registration and time measurements are considered not so important.
If we can't find out what their date of birth is, we at least try to estimate the year with the help of their families and for the day and month, we use the date of their admission at Chaya.

Their ages and dates of birth are now displayed on a board in the hallway at Chaya. They seem to like it and keep checking it on a regular basis!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's inside the Red Fort?

For our second outing, we decided to take the children on Delhi’ s brand new metro. Before facing the fury of a Sunday afternoon crowd, we split the children in 3 groups and gave them instructions. (Click the pictures to enlarge)


The big ones: Sunil, Suman, Asif, Suraj, were given our driver Bahadur as supervisor. They quickly managed to escape him and ran free, obviously having fun, especially with the escalators.
The medium ones: Shyamu, Ramu, Afrez, Ifrez, supervised by Sidhu and our volunteer Revati. Afrez and Ifrez stuck to Sidhu and asked a lot of questions, most of the time at the least convenient moment to start a conversation, whilst Shyamu and Ramu found that the metro was not so different from the jungle of Jharkhand.
The small ones: The small ones: Lokesh, Kishan, Sameer, Rajesh were supervised by Pascal. They formed a compact commando squad/unit, adopting the ’tortoise position’ as devised by the Roman army.


Thanks to the Photo workshop of Revati, some of the boys are becoming good in shooting pictures. Above are two of their portraits.
We will soon show you more of their productions.


We reached the Red Fort. Lots of stories to tell and to invent, with kings, queens, enemies and ghosts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back from school

  It's already 2pm, school is over, our students come back to Chaya.
"Bye bye Sir", they say. Where do they think they are going??

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Diwali!

  Diwali, the yearly Festival of Lights was very much expected by the children. We spent the day relaxing and playing. Then when the night fell, the children were offered pastries and new clothes. Al dressed up and the mouth full of sugar, they lit up small candles everywhere in Chaya.
But what exactly is Diwali about? In Hinduism, it is the homecoming of Lord Ram, after a 14-year exile in the forest and his victory over the evil demon-king Ravan.
Ifrez is explaining the story.
  Diwali also means a huuuge dinner. Everybody is mobilised is the kitchen to help, except the smaller boys who could have danced all night, who could have spread their wings and done a thousand things they've never done before!
(Yes, we definitely are musical fans !)
  The most exciting moment is to switch on Bengal lights…
The boys wish a very happy Diwali to you and your family. May light be in your hearts for a whole year.

And if that light can be turned into a sponsorship of one of the boys, you will have made that Diwali really exceptional!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Working out at Chaya

  The children have visited a gym club this afternoon. They are very thrilled by that new adventure and decide to show their muscles to the world.

Get ready for a massive explosion of testosterone.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Can we have a line? No

  For security reasons, we always ask the boys to walk in line when we leave Chaya.

But forming a line with 13 excited boys at 5.30 pm is not easy, as you can see...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shyamu sings

  The children sing with Annick, in English, Hindi and French.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a big hand for Shyamu interpreting "Frère Jacques"!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chaya Studios present...

I am Thibaud, a 22 years old boy studying in Delhi and I am a volunteer at Chaya.

I am in charge of the video workshop. I come every week to Chaya for an afternoon to teach the oldest boys how to use a video camera. Now that they have learned the basics of technique, we have decided to make a movie!

With the boys, we found a story, wrote the script and the dialogues. They are now starting to rehearse their dialogues... Of course we will publish our film on that blog! You will see very soon that they all are good actors and also very natural. I was surprised about it. I am very proud of them!



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Out at India Gate

Last Sunday, we had our first excursion. It was so great to go out of our usual environment! We took a minibus and the children were very excited. They particularly loved driving on the flyovers.



According to the boys' demand, we headed to India Gate. Not sure everyone was really listening to the explanations about the monument itself. The children were given cameras and had to click their own photos. Time to learn about framing, exposure, posed and natural photos… Time to understand that a subject can be treated different ways. Time to decide what needs to be shown and told.

On the little lake, we hired 2 boats and started a race...



Team N°1 won easily as team N°2 was only able to make rounds on the water with zero progression. Lokesh (5 years) was desperate: “Our pride is spoiled”. So Indian!

We came back in the late afternoon, exhausted but happy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Children words

Sometimes, the confrontation of Tara boys and western volunteers makes funny stories. Here are a few of them…

The Westerner: In my country, we don't have these big, green parrots.
The Child: I see, you only have the big red ones.
The Westerner: No, we have no parrots at all.
The child (summing up for his friends): In France, they have no birds.

The Westerner just explained the word « delicate » and asks an example to the class.
The Child: Sir, for example you are delicate because when we don't learn our lessons, you don't beat us.

The child: How do you say « massala » in English?
The Westerner: Well, we don't really have massala back home...
The children (amazed): But then how do you cook?!?

We are watching a movie. The young hero comes back in his luxurious home.
Child 1: Whoa! Is this his house?
Child 2: You’re crazy, it can’t be a house, it’s much too big. It must be his school.

The Westerner is putting moisturizing cream on his face.
The child (surprised): Sir, why are you doing that? You are already white!

The Westerner: Why did you put so much sugar in my tea?
The child: Sir, it’s because I like you very much.

On the blackboard, the children drew an old, bald man looking very severe.
The Westerner (in his thirties, slightly loosing his hair): What a nice drawing! Who is this?
The Children: Sir, this is you.

The Westerner explains "Myself", "Yourself" etc. and asks an example to the class.
Child: Sir, you said you would start a new boarding school but as it takes too long, we will go in the jungle, find trees and build it ourselves.

The Westerner just brought a map of India: Look children, this is India!
The Child: Sir, this is not India, this is a drawing.

Tara’s time table

5 am
Sidhu, Jaan, Suman, Javed, Suraj and Sunil wake up and go straight to their Tae Kwon Do class in the park nearby.

6 am
The care taker wakes the other children up. Everybody brushes his teeth and goes for a 15 mn jogging in the park, apart from our smallest guys Lokesh and Sameer who sleep a little longer.

6.30 am
The children grasp a broom, a floorcloth or a sponge and clean Tara. Vishnu the quartermaster prepares the breakfast and the lunch boxes. The boys split between the 3 shower rooms. Misfortune to the coquettish who spends more than 10 minutes washing!

7.30 am
The prayer starts: “I am a student of Tara. I am equal to every men and women on Earth. I love and respect myself. I love and respect all beings. I tell the truth. I am a good person and today I will work to become an even better one.” Cereals, fruits, Complan and milk for everyone, uniform check and the children, split in 5 teams, leave for school by bus or autorickshaw.

8 am
School. The children study in 5 reputed shools in South Delhi:
2 pm
Back to Tara, supervised by our Education Coordinator. The children get quickly rid of the "How was school?" question. They are hunry and tired. Lunch prayer "I believe I can fly".

3 pm
Nap time. Awaken since early morning, the kids literally collapse.

4 pm
Sport in the park, mainly consisting in fighting and running after a ball. When it’s too hot, we do yoga under the fans. Time to unleash the pressure.



5 pm
Homework time. The boys are divided in 7 differents small groups, each of them placed under the supervision of a teacher or a volunteer.

7 pm
Diner. Prayer “Whatever happens, we all are together”.

8 pm
In room N°1, the night staff reads a story to the smallest ones, who generally fall asleep after 5 minutes, which economically allows us to read the same stories over and over. In room N°2, Sidhu reads for the medium guys who want to know the end. In room N°3, the big ones talk about different subjects: girls, girls and girls.

9 pm
Lights off

Welcome to Tara

Sponsor a child

At Chaya, a meal costs 9 Rs. (0,16€).
With a regular donation, you can make a difference for these children.

You will actively contribute to the education of one of the boys:
his food, his lodging, his clothing, his health,
his training and blooming through school tuitions, language activities, sport and art workshops

You enable your child to become a child again, to regain the taste of playing, to trust the adults.
In a small unit like Chaya (20 beneficiaries only), he gets the attention and affection allowing him to grow up.

You are directly connected to your child through Internet and will be able to interact with him. You will follow his adventures thanks to our blog.
And what about a video chat to introduce your whole family?
Of course, you are welcome anytime with your children to share the life of Chaya.

The monthly amount of the sponsorship is 1.800 Rs. (30€)

With that money, what do we do?



Are you ready to commit? Write to us