(July, 2012 – September, 2012)
Saath Charitable Trust
Saath Charitable Trust was established in the year 1989 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Saath has completed 22 years as an organization working on initiatives for equity in development. In the urban settlements, it has been working since 1989. In the wake of the earthquake in 2001, it ventured into rural areas of Kutch and also initiated work in the town of Rapar. Post communal riots in Gujarat in 2002, Saath started proactive work in the field of conflict resolution where the approach has been to address the development needs of the urban poor (Hindus and Muslims) and through interactions for development, create enabling environments that promote peace building and reduction in conflict.
SAATH designed Child-Friendly Spaces- a unique, 4-hour non-formal education course with an aim to later enrol them in formal education. With a steady influx of migrating families to urban settlements and poor quality of education, creating alternative education spaces for quality education has become important.
Objective of the Programme
The main and objective of this programme is to reach the Children of labourers and help them gain formal education eventually and there after making them skilled and self sufficient. Children from the slums, child labourers as well as children of labourers on construction sites all require a strong base in education and access to quality education. Dropouts from school need to be Continuously counselled and encouraged to go back to school. The education programs designed at Saath recognize this need and aim to bridge this gap.
Currently, there are 8 Child Friendly Space centres; 3 in the slums of Ahmedabad and 5 on construction sites. Through our CFS centres, we have steered more than 2000 child labourers and children of labourers back into formal schooling systems.
Quarterly Status of CFS (July-September)
1. Gupta Nagar
In Vasna Center, Guptanagar, teachers trained the kids in the Gujarati Language. The kids were asked to write Vowels. Kids were taught tables from 1 to 10 oral and written. The kids were also taught drawings, Colour Work and writing A,B,C,D till Z in English. The kids were also provided Snacks of different types which had vitamins, Nutrition and calcium. They were also provided Milk and Fruits. In August and September, kids were taught tables from 11 to 20 and revised the tables learnt previously. The kids did mud work and learnt team work.. Rakshabandhan festival was also celebrated.
In the Fatehwadi (Juhapura) Center during the month of July, Teachers played various songs in the CFS. Also the kids were taught Gujarati letters and informed about various parts of the vehicles, usefulness, type of vehicles Etc. Moreover, the kids were taught indoor games which lead to the mental exercise. In August, the students were taught to write 1 to 100 in words and figures. Kids also learnt the names of the fruit and vegetables. They were able to write A to Z in English. They sketched paintings of plants and animals. In September, kids were taught tables from 1 to 10, revised the activities done from July and new words in Gujarati were taught to them through stories and during these months they were provided with snacks, fruits, milk during the classes. The kids celebrated festivals like Rakshabandhan and Independence day.
3. Khodiyar Nagar
In the Behrampura (Khodiyarnagar) CFS, during July the kids were taught numbers and words, signs and symbols in English and Gujarati. Moreover, personal consultation to each kid was done. Apart, storytelling and songs on various themes were played. In August, Craft work was taught to kids and also they drew sketches and painted them. The new admissions were taught the letters in Gujarati and English. In September, 9 kids were enrolled in the STP Course and further in school. 10 new kids were enrolled in the CFS at the centre
4. SW Park – Naroda
In SW Park Naroda, kids were taught numbers and words from A to Z in English and Gujarati. 1 to 50 numbers were asked to write and speak. Kids were provided information on the cleanliness of the body parts and songs were played which included the number games song and songs which had names of vegetables and fruits. In August, these students were revised the numbers and words and story telling on various morals was done. Moreover, exhibition of vessels was conducted. Students were also given snacks, milk and nutritious fruits and juice. Various festivals in the month were also celebrated. In September, picnic to Kankaria was organized where kids can see the animals compare their characteristics with those taught to them. These kids were those involved in child labour.
5. SW Park - Vasna
The SW Park Vasna Center, Shahwadi, In July the kids in the centre were taught to write essay on various festivals in few lines. They were taught addition and subtraction and new words in English and Gujarati language. In August, Kids learnt to draw sketches on various themes and also did mud work. They played various outdoor games and a short picnic was organized.Moreover, Kids were given balanced diet that can lead to their physical and mental development. Various songs and stories based on moral were also told. Kids also learn to write and speak numbers in words and figures in both English and Gujarati. In September, Kids were taught the names of various fruits and vegetables along with the names and types of vehicles. Kids played indoor and outdoor games as well. Kids were taught the songs in the way they can remember and sing when they like it.
6. Madhav Homes – Vastral
In Vastral Madhav Homes, kids were taught numbers and words from A to Z in English and Gujarati. Kids were provided information on the cleanliness of the body parts and songs were played which included the number games song and songs which had names of vegetables and fruits. In August, these students were revised the numbers and words and story telling on various morals was done. Moreover, exhibition of vessels was conducted. Students were also given snacks, milk and nutritious fruits and juice. Various festivals in the month were also celebrated. In September, Craft work was taught to kids and also they drew sketches and painted them. 1 to 50 numbers were asked to write and speak. They were also taught paper cutting. The weight and height of kids were also noted.
7. Umang Lamba
In Umang Lamba, kids were told stories and songs on various themes. They were given a rich diet so to help them grow. Kids were taught letters in English and Gujarati. Various festivals in the month were also celebrated in August. In September, Craft work was taught to kids and also they drew sketches and painted them. They played outdoor games that helped them get physical exercise and also games that help them have mental growth. Moreover, the kids also were revised the numbers in English and Gujarati. They were distributed the writing pad so that they can practice well the given task in the classroom.
8. Nilkanth Heights – Vastral
In Vastral, Nilkanth Heights site was ready and thus we could do the activities only in July and we will shift the site when labours shift to the next site. Saath incorporated many things in July like teaching numbers in words and figures, English letters and Gujarati words. Moreover, the kids were taught various drawings on different subjects like Nature, Vegetables, Trees Etc.
Status of CFS
Child Friendly Spaces- Status in September 12
Sr. No. Name of the Centre No. of Children
Boy Girl Total
1 Vasna- Guptanagar 15 15 30
2 Juhapura- Sankalitnagar 7 18 25
3 Behrampura- Khodiyarnagar 9 19 28
4 Naroda- Swaminarayan park 28 27 55
5 Vastral- Madhav Homes 10 8 18
6 Naroda- Nilkanth Heights - - -
7 Lambha- Umang Lambha 20 24 44
8 Shahwadi- Swaminarayan park 22 20 42
Total 111 131 242
1. Dinesh lost his father and his mother is a domestic help. He has two elder brothers. Dinesh used to study and had passed till 5th grade. However, after the death of his father Dinesh had taken a drop and started working. One good day he got to know from his friends regarding the CFS and he decided to study again while continuing to work as that was the need of the hour. Dinesh, presently is in 7th grade and can read and write well. He is motivated by his family members to study well. He has a good grasping power and has multitasking abilities.
2. Varsha was a second standard student when she approached Saath CFS. She has a family of 5 members: Mother, Father, Two Brothers and one Sister. She used to study and then took a drop and started the labour work supporting mother. One fine day her friend who was enrolled with CFS brought her to class and advised her to join the same as she could work and study at the same time. She was helped to get admitted in the school and she is now able to read and write numbers, words Etc. It’s since 5 months that she is associated with CFS.
We are looking at raising Rs. 1.48 crores in next two years for education children from slums, child labourers and children of labourers on construction sites. The cost of running one education centre is Rs. 2 Lakh.
To reach out to at least 3,000 child labourers and children of labourers and providing quality education in at least two more slums in Ahmedabad.
General Child Friendly Spaces Center Update:
Center No. of Girls No. of Boys Name of the Teacher Class Time
Juhapura 12 18 Firdos Shaikh 04:00 to 06:00
Vasna 16 15 Jayshree Parmar 01:00 to 04:00
Behrampura 22 9 Urmila Parmar 12:00 to 03:00
The Little Artists
On 3 consecutive Wednesdays in March and April, we rounded up our children attending classes at our Child Friendly Spaces centers for an afternoon filled with colours. Art for Life in support of QX conducted art workshops for our children and give them a platform to express their creativity. The children were given all the tools required to paint a magic picture on their miniature canvases.
The workshop was an amazing success. The children were encouraged to let their imagination run based on their environment. Form the very second the paper, pencils and paints were given to them, their full concentration was on the drawings they were creating. As the event went on, most children opened up, and were seen greatly enjoying themselves and revealing a strong will to learn and experience.
Artistic activities have been proven to support and enhance the development of cognitive skills in children. Their practice have shown that it ‘stimulates memory, facilitates understanding, promotes relationships, and provides an avenue for building competence’ (Source: Young Children and the Arts).
But it also builds ‘life skills such as developing an informed perception; ... learning to solve problems and make decisions; building self-confidence and self-discipline; ... accepting responsibility to complete tasks from start to finish’ (Benefits of Arts Education, Source: Americans for the Arts, 2002).
Center No. of Girls No. of Boys Name of the Teacher
Vasna 17 14 Jayshree
Behrampura 20 10 Urmila
Juhapura 12 18 Firdos
The daily activities at the CFS centers consist of welcoming the children. To motivate and drive children towards academics, the teacher engages them in some playful activity like playing Snakes and Ladders, Cricket,Story telling etc. Once ensured that the students are attentive and actively participating in class, the teacher begins with the daily teaching module. While young children are given activities involving toys and puzzles, the other students are engaged in learning Mathematics, Language and Social Studies as per the day’s schedule. The learning happens through simpler techniques that are easy to comprehend and memorize by the children (like counting is taught by counting fingers, names of flowers are taught with the help of charts or drawing etc). One day of the week is also dedicated to art and craft.
The following events and celebrations took place at our CFS centers in the last three months:
A Note on Nutrition
Children are provided with a variety of nutritious foods and snacks like Sukhdi (Indian Sweet), Parle-G biscuits, peanuts and gram, Egg and other such supplements during the three hours at the CFS. This is another factor that encourages parents to send children to the centre.
Challenges: Convincing parents to send children to school and stopping drop outs have been major challenges throughout. Counseling on a regular basis is required. Breaking notions regarding the requirement of Birth Certificate for admission has been a challenge too.
Lesson Learnt: Children here, come from a background where they are expected to be stoic and unresponsive to adversities. In such a condition, when they are taught with humbly and treated with warmth they tend to gain a lot. Besides, English and Hindi are to be taught to students who wish to move to class 4 or 5.
Read how Sheetal's Life changed after joined the Child Friendly Spaces
Shital lived in her village with her grandparents until she completed 2nd standard. Then, she moved to Ahmedabad with her parents and two siblings. Both her father and 13-year-old brother work at a garage, and her mother is a housewife.
When Sheetal first joined Vasna CFS in December 2010, she was shy and would not answer when quizzed in class. She did not even feel close to the teacher Jayshreeben. In this last 5 months, Shital has made an impressive progress. Not only did she learn how to read and write, but also she started taking responsibilities in class. For example, she is in charge of monitoring the class when Jayshreeben is late or shortly went outside to run an errand. Her teacher says that Shital has become more responsible, and dedicated to her studies. This positive change is also noticed at home. Shital’s mother started giving her new tasks, such as doing the household shopping and other household chores.
At Vasna CFS, many girls make bracelets and sell them through Jayshreeben, who takes the finished bracelets to a nearby shopkeeper. Shital works 2-3 hours daily at home and at school. Through this bracelets activity, Shital has developed a strong sense of independence. Jayshreeben is impressed by how at her short age (10 years old), Shital has taken the lead and now directly deals with the shopkeeper. She picks up the material, makes the bracelets and then gives them back on time. Sometimes, Shital even makes extra bracelets and gives some to her teacher and some to the shopkeeper.
We want to extend a big Thank You for supporting our cause and helping these children go to school. Our Child Friendly Spaces Center aid child labourers to go back to formal schooling to have a fair chance to a better future. Working with these children has been a huge learning experience for us. If you have any suggestions to improve our work at the Child Friendly Spaces, do write to us and we will bring it up for discussion. Once again, thank you for contributing to a better future.
Quarterly Updates for Child Friendly Spaces
No. of Girls: 17
No. of Boys: 14
Name of the: Teacher Jayshree
Class Time: 1230-5pm
No. of Girls: 18
No. of Boys: 9
Name of the Teacher: Urmila
Class Time: 12-3pm
No. of Girls: 11
No. of Boys: 19
Name of the Teacher: Firdos
Class Time: 3-6pm
The daily activities at the CFS centers consist of welcoming the children. To drive them towards the academics, the teacher has to first involve them in some interesting activity. Once engaged and fully present in the class, the teacher starts with the class for the day. If there are very young children, then they will be given activities that have toys, learning puzzles, etc. With the older students the teacher focuses on Mathematics, Language or Social Studies, depending the day of the week. One day of the week is also dedicated to art and craft.
Challenge: It has been a continuous challenge for us to convince parents whose children are child labours to come and attend these classes. It is difficult to inculcate the importance of education in the mind of the parents. Continuous counseling is the only way out.
Learning: The children who come here have a very short attention span. To keep them engrossed through 3 hours of class, activities have to continuously change. The teachers have to adapt to the mood of the children and plan lessons accordingly.
The following events and celebrations took place at our CFS centers in the last three months:
The Children are given healthy and nutritious snacks like Sukhadi (India Sweet), Chavanu (A savoury mix), Glucose Biscuits, Peanuts and other such nutritious supplements during the three hours at the CFS. This is one of the motivational factors for the parents to send their child to the Child Friendly Spaces center.
Read how coming to CFS has changed Shahin's Life:
Shahin’s father abandoned her and her family. She lives with her mother and four siblings. Shahin’s oldest brother works cutting hair, and the rest of her family works at home making kites. Her two elder sisters and Shahin stitch thread on the kites from 7-10pm every day. Given her family’s situation, Shahin’s work is needed to help cover the household expenses.
Shahin joined Juhapura CFS in October 2009. CFS teacher, Firdosben, says that when she first came to class, Shahin did not know how to read and write, and had a serious stammering problem. Firdosben, who had previously received training on how to help children with speaking difficulties, helped Shahin overcome her problem. Shahin’s mother, Rihanaben, says that she is happy that her daughter is now able to read and write properly. She also noticed that after attending CFS, Shahin became more disciplined and responsible.
After 4-5 months attending CFS, Shahin was ready to transfer to a formal school. However, she did not a birth certificate and she was denied admission. Saath trained Firdosben on how to approach formal schools and explain them that by law they have to accept children lacking such identity document. The school’s principal was initially reluctant, but ended up accepting Shahin for the bridge course. She finished the course and took the final exam, which she successfully delivered. After these summer vacations are over, she will start classes at her formal school.
Shahin enjoys attending CFS center and playing with other classmates. She loves her teacher, especially when she makes them play in class. In an interview, she said that she would like to complete post-secondary school and become a teacher in the future.
Please see attachment to view Shahin picture with her teacher, Firdos.
Shahin’s father abandoned her and her family. She lives with her mother and four siblings. Shahin’s oldest brother works cutting hair, and the rest of her family works at home making kites. Given her family’s situation, Shahin’s work is needed to help cover the household expenses.
Shahin joined Juhapura CFS in October 2009. CFS teacher, Firdosben, says that when she first came to class, Shahin did not know how to read and write and had a serious stammering problem. Firdosben helped Shahin overcome her problem. Shahin’s mother Rihanaben says that she is happy that her daughter is now able to read and write properly. She also noticed that after attending CFS, Shahin became more disciplined and responsible. She is now ready to go to formal school.
The Child Friendly Spaces Program started with 3 centres in 2008 and now has expanded to include children of labourers from Construction Sites (which are being supported by the Developers). These Non Formal Classes are the only opportunity these migrant labourers get to carry on with an education when their parents move to the city in search for work during the non-agricultural seasons in the villages.
Today the Child Friendly Spaces is being supported by multiple stakeholders, which is making it possible to reach out to more child labourers in the city of Ahmedabad.
We thank all the donors who have generously given through Global Giving – you are making it possible to help a child fully live his/her childhood.
232 children are currently being supported through this project.
Activities at Juhapura Centre (Other centres including construction site classes mentioned in the attached PDF)
Blackboard teaching method is used at Juhapura CFS. A study kit inclusive of pens, notebooks and text books is provided. Alphabet books, picture books and chants are used for teaching them. Their class starts with a short a prayer. Attendance is taken each day and field visit is done each day to at least two students home. Children are taught math, days of the week, name of the months, counting, alphabets- in Gujarati and English, words, shapes and drawing. Singing and dancing also happens in class sometimes to freshen up the children. Homework is also given to them based on the class work.
The children have been taken on educational trips to Science City, Kakaria Lake and Zoo in the past few months.
They have had interactive session with students and interns from around the world where they come and tell them about their country and people by various photographs and teach them new things. The children also interacted with a foreign intern from Peru; Valeria Ines Rojas (Dutch university Universiteit Utrecht) who was working as a part of CFS for her research study. She told the children about her country and people through presentation and photographs & conducted various fun filled interactive sessions with them like photography.
Sugandha Deva and Trishla Jhaveri interns at SAATH from NIT, Bhopal and Symbiosis, Pune respectively; organized a Child against Labour Week 2011 (13-17 June 2011) at all the CFS centers themed Family Security under which workshops like Origami, Movie- Jatak Tales, poetry, and storytelling were conducted and importance and love of family was inculcated.
Nutrition is provided to all the children. Besides conducting regular health check-ups, children receive daily snacks. Starting from this month, children started receiving an actual meal prepared by the teacher and a snack. By improving their nutrition, their health and school performance is expected to consequently improve. This is generally after the class is over. Nutrition includes healthy food material like milk and bananas and snacks like sev and peanuts. A lunch box is provided to the students in which these snacks are packed and given to them.
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