The Balemla Hostel Facility was opened by Spread International in 2005 with the main purpose of providing a conducive environment to young children that would help foster their educational and extra-curricular pursuits. Over the last five years, the number of kids in the Balemla Hostel has increased from 17 to 40, excluding the 8 who have graduated since inception. Boys and girls have been drawn primarily from three main underprivileged groups: child labor, orphans and those in extreme poverty. Children live in the hostel while attending the local government schools. After school, children are encouraged to pursue their individual interests, be it in creative arts, sports or other areas. At the same time, we strive to ensure holistic development of their personalities by helping them participate in a variety of activities like painting, singing, yoga, and cultural programs. For children who are academically inclined, their curiosity and energy are productively channeled through participation in events like science exhibitions.
The importance of being environmentally friendly is inculcated through programs like tree plantation and education sessions where conservation of nature is detailed. Given the challenges in learning English language in a region where it is a rare and coveted skill (with few having the ability to converse fluently), SPREADInternational has provided additional classes in English usage and communication skills. The children in the Balemla Hostel have shone as bright stars in many areas of achievement. The performance in the all-important tenth grade board exams has been nothing short of phenomenal, with many students averaging above 85%. They have received awards in regional exhibitions for painting, singing, science projects, etc. Growth in different areas is individually monitored on a continuous basis and consistent progress has been the norm. To meet the growing needs of the children and the new admits, the hostel has been constantly improved with additional rooms and enhanced facilities over the last five years.