Student Support Services
A key foundational value of HUGGS is to provide holistic support to its students. Family, nutritional and medical support are all provided, so that the students’ physical and emotional health is assured and they can focus on their studies. In addition, HUGGS ensures that students have someone to counsel and mentor them as they continue their educational journey.
HUGGS also provides students with uniforms, textbooks and other school supplies.
Because the importance of family is a key value, HUGGS sponsors students who live with their families in Visakhapatnam (Vizag). While they attend college they can continue to live at home where there is ongoing support from parents, siblings, extended family and neighbours.
Parental Support: Right from the start, parents are involved – they are part of the selection interview process, and have to affirm that they will support their child in their studies.
Home Visits: The HUGGS Coordinator visits each student’s home every month and provides advice and guidance. She is made aware of health problems and other personal/family issues, particularly as they affect academic performance.
Mothers’ Meetings: Recognizing the crucial role of mothers in adolescent lives, HUGGS periodically brings students’ mothers together at the HSC, to share their pride in their children as well as the challenges they face.
How can young people be expected to study when they do not have access to basic nutrition? All the education in the world won’t help if a student is undernourished. HUGGS ensures that its students have adequate nourishment by delivering essential groceries and providing nutritional snacks.
Essential Groceries: HUGGS provides students with monthly “rations”, such as, rice, lentils, cooking oil and other essentials.
Nutritional Snacks: Filtered drinking water, fruits, nuts and other nutritious food are available every evening at the HSC to tide them over until they go home to dinner.
Doctor on Call: HUGGS has appointed a medical doctor for students and staff to consult when they have a medical issue. The doctor does an annual medical check-up of all students and staff. The students are also given an annual eye-examination.
Hygiene Packages: HUGGS regularly provides hygiene packages to each student that includes toiletries and other essentials.
One of the main tasks of the HUGGS Coordinator is mentoring students in all aspects of their lives. Students go to her with any concerns.
During this critical time of their lives, teenagers need direction in many areas, especially when faced with decisions for their future: What subjects should I study? What are my career options? How can I achieve my goals?
The Coordinator advises students in their choices for future studies (Intermediate to Bachelor’s degree, Bachelor’s degree to professional training). To this end, the Coordinator researches career options for students as they graduate.
The mission of HUGGS Canada is to provide underprivileged students in India with the opportunity to further their education, enabling them to contribute more effectively to their families and communities.