Sep 15, 2017

Closure Report

Established in 2012 the Lynti Khasi School has progressed in a positive direction, despite the lack of proper infrastructure, lack of teaching & learning aids and irregularity in teacher’s salary. Prior to the establishment of the Lynt Khasi School, the children of the shepherd community of Umsawwar were attending the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) schools. However the timing of these schools which did not suit the children, led to their dropping out of school. The primary reason here being is that parents of these children wanted them to gaze the cattle’s as it was their only means of livelihood.  

While realising the depth of the issue Prince Thangkhiew formulate an alternative way for addressing the issue which is titled as “Lynti Khasi School”. FST played the role of enabler during the implementation of the idea for access to education for the children of Umsawwar village. The alternative and innovative model of the Lynti Khasi School operated from 6 AM to 10 AM. This alternative way of timing, helped the drop out children to return back to a school filled with joy and experiential learning. Lynti Khasi School covered the beginners, non-going children and school dropout children of the village. The school aims to provide alternative creative learning opportunities for the children of this remote village and facilitate their growth as responsible and creative young citizens. Apart from this, the school has introduced the traditional concept of local governance of Khasi community which is Dorbar (Council). The children Dorbar of Lynti Khasi School provides the platform to understand decision making process, gender equality in decision making and to make the children empower to create their own space of learning.

Being the enabler, Foundation for Social Transformation along with Prince  is making efforts towards sustaining the school by providing the basic amenities of quality based education with appropriate infrastructure, sanitation facilities, teaching and learning aids, sports equipments, books and most importantly teachers,  with a mission to uplift the future youths of the community, in order to foster development in the long run.  

This project “Lynti Khasi School” has been successful in its own way and has achieved expected outcome. Umsawwar village had huge school dropout rate. After setting up of Lynti Khasi School the school has witnessed enrollment of 60 students and the school has appointed 2 full-time teachers. This school has a children Dorbar ( council) and this Dorbar is encouraging the students in active participation in the decision making process, especially girls, with the aim that few years down the line Umsawwar a remote village of Meghalaya will have a women representative in the Village Dorbar ( council), where till date Khasi women have no representation.

Oct 26, 2016

Closure Report

Our fellow Ms Lalthanzami has been continuing to work for the women who faced abuse, forced out of home and no home to live. She has been running a home for these women. The capacity of the home is 6 and usually women stay for three months. Women from different parts of the state. some even from neighbouring Myanmar also come to Safe Home. Sometimes police also send women to the home for short stay.

At presnet there are 3 women staying in the home. Ms Zami also lives in the home. She is mannaging the home alone. She has formed an alliance of the women to spread awareness on abuse, gender based violence and support the women. She has been able to generate support from the Mizoram Women Association, the apex body of the Mizo women in the state. The association support her work. Local village council also supports the work. 

She plans to conduct livelihood skill for the women. Livelihood is critical issue for the women. In most cases, women are forced out of home and they economically poor. Without the any source of income, live become hasrsh for them. Many are with children and situation become difficult. So our emphasis is to develop skill of the women so that women can help themselves in such situation.

The Mizoram Succession Act also does not help women in this situation. If  the husband dies and the children are of 18 years or above, the mother needs the permission of the children to be head of the family. Gender justice requires a different approach considering that the cases of broken marriage, violence against women is rising.

FST will analyse the situation and will adopt a different approach.

We are closing this project. This project is no longer running on GlobalGiving

Sep 9, 2016

FST is discontinuing this project. The project is no longer running on GlobalGiving

In 2010, there was a blockade called by Naga organisations in both the highways (National Highways 37 and 39) leading to Manipur against the State government’s decision to bar the entry of NSCN (IM) leader Th. Muivah into his home district Ukhrul, Manipur. In one of the rallies supporting Muivah’s entry into Manipur held at Mao gate, two Naga boys were shot dead by State police forces. And the highway blockade continued for three months. The blockade led to shortages of fuel, food and medical supplies in the State. This condition also fuelled communal tension between the Nagas and Meiteis of Manipur.

 During the three months, Burning Voices, a Delhi based organisation of poets and musicians which Akhu was also part of, raised funds from people all around the world and bought medicines for common ailments for the people of Manipur. He came down to Imphal and become part of medicine distribution team. On one occasion, they distributed the medicines at a children home in Kanglatombi, Senapati District. There at the children home, they found out that the children are from various ethnic backgrounds and tribes and these children hardly bothered about their own ethnicity or social status. They were simply happy living under one roof and sharing what they had at the home. This was one moment that made me realised that if we recreate such innocence, the people of Manipur can coexist respecting each other. Since then, he had thought of launching a music project with children to promote peace and harmony between the ethnic tribes/communities of Manipur. So he started an initiative called “A Native Tongue Called Peace.”

It  started from May 2015 with the children of Carmel Jyoti Children Home. He introduced various ethnic music instruments and folk songs with help from Chaoba Thiyam, a Pena player and Guru Rewben Mashangva, a Naga folk singer.. At the same time,  origami classes were organsied which the children thoroughly enjoyed were . As the project went on, he found out that  many of these children are also living with HIV. Moreover, they also have lost their parents due to familial and other crisis in Manipur. Many of them are on ART medication which impacts on their moods often. Sometimes they were cranky and grumpy; sometimes they don’t want to play the guitar. Akhu and his teams had to encourage them with stories of musicians and artists, how music have healed and played important role in a society like ours.

They started using music as a therapy to heal the children emotionally and expose them to a different world of joy which they have not found in their daily activities. In one such therapeutic session, they played a song by Nepali instrumental folk band Kutumba.

 In the month of July, they finished the first song called “All We Need Is Love”. The song also featured legendary Indian guitarist Rudy Wallang on bass and Keith Wallang on percussions. The children sang the chorus part and recorded inside the compound of the children home. Later in early August, Churachandpur was in turmoil protesting against ILP Bills passed by the State Assembly which consequently led to the killing of nine persons by security forces. And there was some sort of communal tensions brewing between Kukis and Meiteis. In such moments of ethnic differences, music is of immense importance.  With children  he and the children penned  sone called  “About these dolls”. 

“Hey little shinning doll,
you look so bold,
don’t know where you belong,
but I will give you a home”

 By this time, some of the children had already learnt how to play guitars from my band mate and classical guitar player Karnajit Laishram. Karnajit is an excellent guitar teacher with a three years’ experience of guitar teaching in Bangalore School of Music. He also has a diploma degree in classical guitar from ABRSM. 

Soon after he released the song “Little Shining Doll” and a preview organised for Child Welfare Committee, Imphal East, the children performed the song at Royal Academy, Imphal on teachers' day celebration. Few days after, the song was released on YouTube and YouTube India shared my band Imphal Talkies' YouTube Channel as channel of the day with a screenshot of the children performing the song 'Little Shining Doll' from the YouTube video we released.

 Akhu has done good work with the children. He implemented the project in state which is plagued by ethic conflicts and insurgency.

FST is discontinuing this project. The project is no longer running on GlobalGiving.

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