People First Educational Charitable Trust

People First aims to work closely with oppressed and disadvantaged communities and vulnerable individuals in breaking the centuries - old cycle of ignorance and oppression by providing opportunities for education. The trust believes the best way to achieve long - term positive social change is through education and we work in the areas of greatest need where no other education is available to the poor and oppressed. Our mission is the bringing of educational opportunity and to promote health and social rights to those to whom such opportunities have previously been denied due to poverty family circumstances or oppression. The Trust aims to work with the most marginalized me...
Mar 7, 2013

We are just as important as boys!

Volunteer at Rescue Junction
Volunteer at Rescue Junction

Hi Everyone!

This is Sunita the project director with another report. The cold winter days have gone and the heat of summer awaits.

As you know this projects aims to train girls at risk in craft training to such a high level that they will be able to sell the stuffed toys and other items that they make.

We assist the older girls in getting safe accommodation together and our staff support them through this process. If you do not mind we would like to add tailoring skills to the courses we can offer these girls and we have a micro project called “Help girls at risk learn sewing skills” on Global Giving . Please take a look !!

But of course the girls also need a basic education and the photograph shows a volunteer from the UK helping out at the centre. You can visit our website (the link is below) for details of the volunteer programme but this year’s programme is already full.

There is also the problem of child marriage.The below is from a press report, 

Bihar is one of the hotspots of child marriage in India as 51 percent girls there are married even before they are 18 years of age, officials said here Wednesday.

"Fifty-one percent of girls are married before they are 18 in Bihar," said N. Vijaya Lakshmi, managing director of the Women Development Corporation of the state government.

In her welcome address at a day-long workshop on the prevention of child marriage in Bihar, she said the mean age at marriage for girls is 17.4 in the state as against 19.5 for the country.

"Child marriage is rampant but reporting is poor. Lack of data is a key issue to make a difference," she said.

According to her, the vicious circle of poverty works in predictable patterns in Bihar. Poverty coupled with other social factors lead to early marriage. The child marriage then leads to deprivation of education and vulnerability to health risks and increases the risk of domestic violence and abuse.

I will leave you with  quotes from some of our girls here at the centre,

Without you I have no other place to go, it is the first time in my life I have found love and care” 

It is the first time I have found respect” 

“We are just as important as boys”

Thanks for all your help, please remember March 13th is matching donation day on Global Giving so that’s the day to help!

Sunita

Links:

Feb 20, 2013

What a Cold WInter that was!!

The Joy of a Good Meal
The Joy of a Good Meal

Greetings Everybody!

Our winter season here lasts from mid December to mid February and my goodness me what a cold winter it was with temperatures close to freezing, record lows in fact.

We were able due to provide emergency blankets and clothes and even wood for a communal bonfire to help keep the villagers warm.  And because of your generosity we supplemented the meal programme with hot drinks and added extra breakfast meals of steaming hot porridge.

If you were to visit the village here in Bihar you would see quite lush fields of crops although water is in short supply which is why the deep water pump provided by another fully funded Global Giving appeal is so important but you may wonder why can’t they grow their own food. They can to a certain extent, but the problem is they do not own the land they farm, in fact the landlord is often far away. It gets worse , often in return for loans taken from the landlord for sickness or a marriage the interest rates are so high they can never pay it back and become “bonded labour” . It’s a form of slavery and it’s not legal. These problems are not going to be solved overnight and in some cases the government have granted land to landless families.

Cases are in the courts but they can drag on for years and in the meantime children go hungry. But not in this village, thanks to you.

On behalf of all of villagers, our heartfelt appreciation goes out to you.

Neelam

Food Glorious Food
Food Glorious Food

Links:

Feb 19, 2013

These are the faces of child trafficking

Faces of Child Trafficking in Bihar in 2013
Faces of Child Trafficking in Bihar in 2013

Hi Everyone,

I hope this report finds you all well!

One of the problems here in India especially here in Bihar is child trafficking.

I will let one of the boys pictured above speak for himself,

“A man came to our village, he promised us work in a factory very far away, he said we would only have to work for two hours a day and we would get 1500 rupees a month ( about $28.00 - less than a dollar a day) and we would be looked after well and get some education. He made our parents sign a document they could not read but he said was just permission for taking us away from home. They gave our parents 2,000 rupees (about $38) , a lot of money for them”

“We left home early the morning and made our way to the train station. We rode the train and it stopped at Gaya. A boy selling water bottles talked to us briefly through the bars of the train window and asked us where we were going. He went away. But within minutes the carriage was full of police shouting and moving quickly towards us, for a moment we were very scared but they spoke to us quietly and said do not worry, but they asked some questions about where we were going and why. The man with us tried to leave, but then one policeman said come with us and outside there were some people who spoke to us very softly and kindly and said come with us. They were from Rescue Junction . As we walked down the platform the last we saw of the man was him being led away in handcuffs. We never saw him again”

Rakesh Age 7

These are the facts . These children were on their way to Jaipur in Rajasthan to work in a bangle factory. In the past we have rescued children from a different factory. They were made to work up to 16 hours a day, were kept in confinement, poorly fed and denied medical care and they were forbidden from leaving the factory compound. If they tried, they were beaten. The document the agent made the parents sign was a deed of sale. It is time, if India is truly going to move into the modern age, for this to stop. With your support you are helping us move towards this goal, albeit at a local level. For the rescued children of course you have changed their whole world. They will be reunited with their families with help towards their education and under legal bonds to ensure they are not sold into labour again, follow up work will be done. Each Child will appear before the District Child Welfare committee, which is actually held in Rescue Junction and his or her best interests will be paramount. On this occasion 16 children were rescued.

We really do need your support, 

Every little helps! 

Thank you,

Sunita  

Links:

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