International Childcare Trust

International Childcare Trust (ICT) believes that all children, regardless of socio-economic background, have the right to enjoy their childhood and reach their potential. We partner with local grassroots NGOs in Africa and Asia - managed and staffed by local people - that protect children's rights. We combine the delivery of practical assistance with capacity building and advocacy initiatives because we take responsibility for building sustainability into the projects/partners we support.
May 8, 2012

Case study: Living on the streets

Arts activities at Kalki
Arts activities at Kalki

International Childcare Trust has been working in partnership with Kalki Welfare Society since 2008, supporting Protection & Education of Street Children, a project that aims to protect street and working children in Pondicherry, South India and reintegrate them into mainstream society.

Ten-year old Raj comes from a family that has been living on the streets of Pondicherry for generations.  His mother is a sex worker and he does not know his father.  For a long time he was in and out of school but since joining a gang about a year ago and taking up sniffing glue, he has dropped out of school altogether.  Raj spends his days roaming the streets, committing petty crimes to pay for his drugs and getting into fights with other gangs.

Raj knew of Kalki from seeing Kalki’s social workers around town and also from one of his friends who had been using the drop-in centre.  Although initially sceptical, (thinking the Kalki drop-in centre would be like school), Raj decided to have a quick look around and then leave.  When he arrived he saw his friend painting with one of Kalki’s volunteers.  An art lover himself, Raj decided to stay and try the class.  Raj now visits the drop-in centre almost daily.  He is still not ready to rejoin school because he struggles to sit in one place and concentrate for long periods of time.  He does, however, enjoy joining the drop-in centre art classes and has helped to paint colourful murals in the kindergarten room.

He has now developed a trusting relationship with Kalki’s social workers and has gained the confidence to speak with them about his past as well as his worries for the future.  He is keen to stop using drugs and through the support of the social workers is making good progress.  For the first time in his young life Raj feels respected by adults and valued by those around him.  He finally has the self-confidence to believe that he can achieve his dream of becoming an artist.

May 8, 2012

"It changed my life as well as my knowledge..."

Pabitra with other memebrs of the
Pabitra with other memebrs of the 'CLPG'

International Childcare Trust has been working in partnership with Rural Environment & Empowerment Centre (REEC) since 2009, supporting Brighter Futures for Child Labourers, a project that aims to provide vital support to child labourers in western Nepal and prevent other vulnerable, at-risk children entering exploitative and hazardous employment.

It is evident from REEC’s work with the communities that when families are not economically secure, children end up working to supplement the family income.  Family-based livelihood support is therefore crucial to preventing child labour and withdrawing children from exploitative and hazardous employment.  As part of the project REEC has established 10 Child Labour Parent Groups (CLPGs) throughout the district, with all women members.  Through these groups, REEC raises awareness among parents on child rights and hazards of child labour; the women also receive financial support for income generation activities as well as training on basic business skills and savings and credit concepts.

Pabitra, a member of Shantideep CLPG, is a woman belonging to the historically and traditionally discriminated and marginalised Dalit community.  Her only dream was to be free from debt and lead a socially respectable life.  As she could not afford to have goats of her own, Pabitra used to take care of other peoples’ goats for meagre wages.  Her husband worked as a stone breaker and both their wages put together could not feed their family of seven.  When her husband fell ill, her family either had to borrow from others or had to go hungry.  One day her youngest son asked her for a notebook and pencil for school, she was compelled to say "go to work instead of wasting your time reading."

She became a member of the parents groups after her son joined a Child Labour Club.  She obtained a grant from the group to buy a goat and begin earning money by selling milk.  She says that it now much easier to run the household.

"I feel ashamed that my son was nearly to leave school because of poverty but there was no alternative.  But nowadays it is easier to run our daily lives and it is not necessary to stop children from gaining from the bright light of education. REEC changed my life as well as knowledge.  My children will be one of the good citizens after his education.”

Mar 1, 2012

"I am so grateful for the support KICWA rendered towards my education"

Case Study: Josephine

Josephine is a 15-year old pupil at Ayuu Alali Primary School.  She is from Palabek Kal sub county in Lamwo District and is the fourth born in a family of eight children.  After she lost her father in 2003 and her mother started to struggle to support the family on her own, KICWA identified Josephine for support in 2009.

Through the project, Josephine was provided with books, pens, pencils, a maths set, school bag and school uniform, which significantly improved her attendance and performance at school.  During a follow up visit by a KICWA social worker, Josephine said:

“Before I was identified to become a beneficiary of KICWA project, I used to miss school because I had to go and dig in people’s garden in order to get money to buy scholastic materials.  But when KICWA came in, I started attending school regularly and my performance in class also improved.  The scholastic support I received eased my class work so much because before I used to combine all the subjects in one exercise book which made reading a problem.  But now I can read freely because each subject has its own exercise book and am not sent out of class because I haven’t got the basic school requirements including uniform.   I even have many friends now.  Before, many of my peers were dodging me for fear of borrowing from them items such as pens, rubber etc.  I am so grateful for the support KICWA rendered towards my education.”

It is extremely evident that lack of basic school materials excludes many children from school simply because their parents/guardians cannot afford to buy them.  Josephine completed ‘primary six’ in December 2011 and has now been promoted to ‘primary seven’ after performing so well, coming seventh best out of 38 in her class.  Josephine is extremely determined to continue with her education and hopes to go on to secondary education.  One day Josephine dreams of becoming a doctor.  She maintains that the suffering of many people within her community, especially the children and women, has nurtured this dream.

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