Tong-Len Charitable Trust - Compassion in Action: charity based in dharamsala supporting displaced communities in Himachal Pradesh, India. Compassion in Action

Children's Support Hostels

Tong-Len’s Child Sponsorship programme allows children from Charan slum to attend school daily while living in the enriched environment of the Tong-Len hostels. Although some of the children living in the camp now attend school, with varying degrees of success, for most it is difficult or impossible to complete their education. The hostel program is designed to break the cycle of poverty by supporting the children in their academic, social, emotional, and physical development.

he children live in the support hostel located at Sarah near Dharamsala. The hostel is on a bus route which allows the parents inexpensive transportation for visits. There are boys and girls hostel dormitories for the older children. There is also a hostel for small children. The children together use the library, computer lab, and playground.

At the hostel the children live in a family environment with experienced caregivers and professional teachers. The hostel staff provides balanced nutritious meals, help the children with their homework, and organize recreational activities. The children contribute to the domestic tasks and have the opportunity to learn cookery and other essential life skills. They are also encouraged to play sport, study dance and singing and learn a musical instrument if they wish. Computer time is very popular and the children are given individual lessons by the hostel teachers. The family atmosphere of the hostels is important to all. For most of the children it is their first experience of a secure family life.

The hostel children attend Dayanand Model Sen. Sec. School and their achievements have been outstanding. All of the children receive good marks and many are top in their class. Two of the children, a boy and a girl, placed in the top five out of almost a million students in their class five State Board Exams.

The children spend weekends and holidays with their families in the slum. The children retain close relationships with their families and give back to their community. They assist with health and education projects in Charan and participate in community events. Tong-Len teaches the children to remain proud of their parents, and their accomplishments, no matter how small, and to understand the challenges that their families face. The parents are very proud of the children.

Sponsors are urgently needed to support the additional children who can be accommodated in the newly constructed hostels. Sponsors receive regular updates and newsletters and are welcome to visit their child.