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#HumansCare | The Voice of Young Carers

This month saw Young Carers Action Day, a day organised each year by Carers Trust with the aim of “raising public awareness of young carers and young adult carers, the pressures and challenges they face, and the incredible contribution they make by caring for their family members and friends.”

 

This year’s Young Carers Action Day was all about ‘Taking Action on Isolation’ and we wanted to share some thoughts on this from some of the young carers that we work with.

 

“These are truly inspiring stories of young carers – they have developed incredible skills through being young carers, such as resilience, time management and empathy. It is high time to amplify their voices and recognise the contributions and sacrifices they make for their loved ones. In my view, they are the real changemakers!” – Anil Patil, Carers Worldwide Founder.

 

Young girl feeding another young girl

This is Hadia. Hadia is from Bangladesh. She is 15 years old and carers for her 4 year old sister who has physical and visual disabilities. Their father is a rickshaw puller and mother a garment worker. There was no one else in the family to care for her sister, so Hadia has not been able to go back to school. She was always in the house with her sister, but now she has been connected to other carers in her community through our Carers Group, run by our partner organisation Centre for Disability in Development, she has a support network she can rely on and a reason to leave her home.

“Now I can smile, I am so happy to be part of the Carers Group in our community. Carers used to be isolated from the community and now we’re not alone. The Carers Project empowered us and highlighted that carers are a resource for our country.” 

 

Young woman sitting on the floor outside with her father.

Laxmi is from India. She is 17 years old and cares for her father who suffers from mental illness. With support from our partner NGO, Society for Promoting Rural Education and Development (SPREAD), Laxmi now has hopes for the future and no longer feels alone.

“At the time my family was broken. I did not know what to do. I joined the Carers Group and shared the problem of my father. Carers Group members and SPREAD staff gave me a lot of courage in how to take care of my father.”

 

Two girls looking at a book together.

Our next young carer is Archita from India, who cares for her younger sister. Archita’s family is working with one of our new partner NGOs, Shristi Special Academy in Bangalore, who have distributed tablets to families to help them stay connected as part of an online project involving the whole family. The tablets are helping the children with disabilities who work directly with the academy, as well as their siblings, some of whom are young carers like Archita, to stay connected with their education. The tablets are also being used by the parent carers to allow them to attend virtual carers groups for support.

“I have been a part of every small achievement in my sister’s life, which makes it more fun for her to learn new things. But I cannot relate to my friends who are siblings when they share their experience as a sibling.”

 

Young woman brushing her mother's hair.

Susila is 23 and cares for her mother. She has worked with SPREAD and joined a Carers Group and is now able to share her problems with other unpaid carers.

“I could not express my problems to anyone. Since joining the Carers Group I have been able to share my problems and challenges with other carers. By joining the Carers Group my life has been enhanced.”

 

Young woman standing behind a young man sitting

Sindhusuta cares for her brother and sister who both have learning difficulties. Sindhusuta has worked with our partner NGO in India, Women’s Organisation for Rural Development (WORD) to join a Carers Group and help reduce her isolation.

“The Carers Group makes my smile shine within me by reducing the burden of stress. My carers family have taught me how to overcome my problems and to smile by taking care of our loved ones. Now I am much happier.”

 

Young girl helping a woman to weave a mat.

Kanaka is 18 years old and cares for her mother. The team at SPREAD have helped her to feel less isolated as she has dealt with becoming a young carer.

“I am very happy taking care of my mother. When she became ill all the family members and society retreated, but Carers Group members, the district mental health team and the team at SPREAD helped me a lot to take care of my mother and make sure we accessed all the Government entitlements.”

Young woman standing behind an older lady in a chair.

Baitarani is a young carer from Odisha, India. She cares for her mother who is paralysed. WORD have supported her to reduce her feelings of isolation, by helping her to join a Carers Group.

“Having the opportunity to participate in a Carers Group reduced my stress both mentally and physically. It provided me a nice platform where I can easily share my pain and issues. Now I with my family are very happy and smiling every day like others.”

 

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