PROJECT NAME: Protect & Support 2,000 Children in Orissa, IndiaPROJECT LOCATION: Bolangir District, Orissa, IndiaPROJECT PARTNER: AdharInternational Childcare Trust has been working in partnership with Adhar, a grassroots NGO based in Orissa, India, since 2011, supporting Protect & Support 2,000 Children in Orissa, India. This project aims to protect vulnerable children from risk of abuse and exploitation and reduce incidences of infant mortality, malnutrition and child hunger by mobilizing support from the government and the local community, through:(1) Increased protection of vulnerable children from abuse, exploitation and harm through community-based safety nets including rights awareness and family reintegration leading to better safeguarding of children;(2) Increased access of families and children to available government health entitlements through effective community monitoring and advocacy leading to reduced incidence of infant mortality, malnutrition and child hunger.Adhar plans to establish five Community Childcare Centres for vulnerable children requiring care and protection, which will be safe and protected spaces run by the local communities. Adhar has so far established one Community Childcare Centre in Bolangir district, which opened in August 2012. The Community Childcare Centre aims to offer vulnerable children access to education, improved health and education on child protection.
Since the centre has opened, Adhar has identified 35 children, who have since been enrolled into the centre and are receiving early child education, with bridging courses being given to children who have been out of school for long periods or who have never attended school. The centre has been supporting children with disabilities by providing accessible facilities and by enrolling them into disability accessible schools. Adhar has also created a female led committee to monitor and oversee the centre, led by women in the community, which will help empower the community to have a voice and to raise issues.
Alongside educational support, the Community Children’s Centre also provides education on nutrition to children, families and communities in order to help them lead a healthy life and to protect children from disease.
The centre provides psychological support to children and families, offering counseling on stigma, discrimination, sexual abuse, domestic problems and displacement. Since the establishment of the centre, 10 street children suffering from the above issues are receiving counseling and their families are also receiving counseling to promote child re-enrolment in schools. The centre is also aiming to provide health check-ups for children and livelihood training to vulnerable youths in skills such as carpentry, wiring and tailoring to help them gain sustainable employment.
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