Family Development Program
After many years of focussing on the needs of children, Sunshine now implements a two-pronged approach, and works with their parents as well. Most Sunshine parents have little education, few employment opportunities and low, irregular income - usually just a few dollars per day. In developing the parents' independence and capacity, risk to the children is minimised and there is far greater likelihood of a strong outcome for the whole family. Sunshine is currently working with 1000+ direct beneficiaries from a total of 188 families.
Each family is regularly visited by staff and parents and caretakers attend bi-monthly Parent Meetings at the centre. Our goal is to see these families develop self-reliance and so we assist with:
Vocational Training & Job Placement
- Arranging and paying for vocational training courses for parents and school leavers. To date, courses studied include beauty care, house-cleaning, hairdressing, motorbike and car mechanics and even soccer coaching!
- Help with job placement.
"I will do my best to study hard as I don't want to disappoint Sunshine which spent a lot of money on this course... I have improved a lot in all aspects: skills, character and confidence."SM, parent and beautician student
"Now I have joined my husband and son as a construction worker because I think that if I stay at home playing cards, it is useless and a waste of money. So I decided that working is better than gambling with cards."Sunshine parent
"Sometimes we didn't have anything to eat, and my husband and I were often in conflict. I was so sad and my health was poor... Now one of my kids studies at Sunshine and two others do vocational training at Smile of a Child. I feel much happier now. My neighbours are more friendly and even praise my kids who have changed a lot."Sunshine parent
- All families are visited by Sunshine staff, who average 60 visits per month.
- Families are introduced to resources within the community, such as free or low-charge clinics, hospitals and NGO's.
- Families are informed about available jobs and small business opportunities.
- Sunshine staff offer counseling to families in distress and children are referred for further counseling, where appropriate.
"Teacher Yutheavy is like my second mother who gives me much more comfort, love and care than even my real mother. She tries her best to encourage me very often and helps my family."Sunshine parent
"Sometimes we didn't have anything to eat, and my husband and I were often in conflict. I was so sad and my health was poor. Now one of my kids studies at Sunshine and two others do vocational training at Smile of a Child. I feel much happier now. My neighbours are more friendly and even praise my kids who have changed a lot."Sunshine parent
Mothers' and Fathers' Clubs
- In a new development, parents now attend separate Mothers’ and Fathers’ Clubs every two months.
- This strategy encourages more fathers to participate.
- Both clubs cover the same parenting topics such as how to take care of children, how to listen and talk to children, child development stages, how to access health care, the importance of education and play, good nutrition and sleep for children, appropriate discipline, child rights and child abuse, human trafficking, drug awareness, domestic violence, basic health care, reproductive health and first aid.
"After my kids were accepted by Sunshine, they can study, have more knowledge and are cleaner. My husband has also changed his attitude and helps me more in taking care of the children. Now I can earn and save some money too."Sunshine parent
Micro-Enterprise Development (MED) & Savings Scheme
- Micro-Enterprise Development is a new initiative, developed as part of a project called "Our Family Future."
- MED provides parents with training in running small businesses.
- Sunshine staff have been trained to communicate the principles of MED to parents.
- So far, 23 families have been introduced to MED to understand why their previous business ventures were unsuccessful.
- The children have their own Savings Scheme - encouraging them to save for a bike (subsidised by Sunshine)!
"Now my husband and I both have jobs and can earn more than before. My husband's income covers daily costs and we can save some of my income. Finally we bought a better quality motorbike for my husband's taxi job and a piece of land at my hometown."Sunshine parent