Cecilia Soren at the tender age of eight had to give up her dream of school education and due to family pressure migrated to Guwahati to become a domestic worker. This is not just one story, but there are many Cecilia Sorens in Shillong, who due to poverty and lack of timely support end up as child domestic workers and risk falling into the hands of traffickers. Coming in contact with many such children made the MSMHC Shillong Province and the NDWM to reflect on the need for establishing a home for their education and rehabilitation. In 2005, the office of National Domestic Workers’ Movement began housing domestic workers that had been thrown out of work or were migrating in search of work and needed temporary shelter. In 2006, the government of India banned the employment of children below the age of fourteen years in domestic work. This prompted the Jaan Foundation to begin a home for children rescued from labour and for their complete rehabilitation.
On 1st October 2007 the foundation stone was laid for the “Ferrando Transit Shelter Home”. (We can also add the details as who funded the construction of the home, when the construction work was completed and when the inauguration took place). Jaan Foundation runs the Home in collaboration with the congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC).
The Ferrando Shelter Home provides care and protection for women and children who are neglected, exploited and abused either in the workplace or otherwise. The home has a capacity to accommodate 20 residents a time. The duration of shelter for children and women depends on each individual case – some may stay just for one night while others may stay for one year or more. Some of the services and activities in the Shelter Home include:
- Formal Education
- Bridge Schooling
- Trauma Counseling
- Legal Counseling and Assistance
- Medical Care
- Group Activities
- Recreational Activities and Games
- Life skill Training
- Reintegration in Family and Community
- Home Visits for rehabilitated children
- Celebrations and Festivals
- Co- curricular activities
Friday evenings and Saturday mornings are set aside for counseling. The counselor of the Shelter Home gives guidance and therapy to each child housed here. Steady progress is observed among most children.
Since its inception the transit shelter home has been able to render service to 350 women and children, who were either victims of trafficking or victims of violence and abuse, orphans, runaways, or child workers. Ferrando Transit Shelter Home thus serves as a home away from home for hundreds of traumatized children. The home also engages in regular outreach activities. In the year 2015 our staff reached to reach out to 22 schools in the city where the child domestic workers or child labourers attend morning or evening classes.
Ferrando Transit Shelter Home,
Mawlai- Mawdatbaki Pata,
Shillong- 793008, Meghalaya