Building a community of concern for our children...
Children First was set up by Dr Amit Sen, Dr Shelja Sen and Dr Kavita Arora. Over the years they were joined by some of the most committed, empathetic and skilled professionals to build a multidisciplinary team, which continues to grow.
The main objective initially was to move away from a hospital setting and establish a children’s centre in the community, which provided effective, ethical and culturally grown services. However, as the journey has progressed, we have learnt that our vision and intent is so much more than creating “a” centre.
Once upon a time, there was a wise, old man who lived near the sea. One day he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed ,and found the beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see.
Off in the distance, he saw a small girl approaching. He noticed that she paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that she was occasionally bending down to pick up something and throw it into the sea.
“Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young girl paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves.
When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The girl bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
– adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
We are all a little different,
We are all a little strange
We are all a little out of step
In our own fantastic ways
Alice : Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat : That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice : I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat : Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice : …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat : Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough…
–Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)
Many things we need can wait. The child cannot. Now is the time his bones are formed, his mind developed. To him we cannot say tomorrow, his name is today.
Director, Senior Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
Children First was waiting to happen. The gaping needs of children in today’s times was demanding it. We were catalysts in starting a movement which has, since then, been nurtured and sculpted by our ever growing team of the most talented, dedicated and sensitive people. They make Children First dynamic, creative and responsive to the complex and changing needs of young people and their families.
Child & Adolescent Psychologist & Family Therapist and Author.
At the heart of CF’s philosophy is a core belief that we need to build emotionally safe spaces as a prerequisite for a child to grow, thrive and flourish. Therefore, Children First is not just an organization, a center or a service, it is a catalyst for change in bringing together a tribe of people from mental health, disability, community, education, advocacy to start a movement for our children and youth.
Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
Nature and Life work in cycles of need and then creation, and creation leading to awareness of possibility.In my mind, Children First is a vehicle for just such a cycle .It has arisen from a felt need within a few of us, and drew us to each other. It aligned us despite all odds, to the shared conviction of building an ecosystem that sees the hidden foundations of our very being- The mental health and wellbeing of our children.
It has taken the shape and form of a force, which now draws others who have felt deeply this need too. It nourishes and enriches each one of us that becomes a part of this force”
Our vision is to create communities of concern for our children. We have strived to do this now for over a decade through attempting to provide clinical services, school programmes, trainings, developmental interventions, working with parents, within the community and with other organisations, as well as increasing awareness.
Children First firmly embodies the belief that a small group of passionately connected and determined individuals can create a movement for the voice of our children to be heard.We continue to innovate, grow and find ways to increase the reach of this voice.
Come join us in this exciting and wondrous journey to ‘somewhere “!