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Mar 10, 2016

How one Anti Tobacco awareness session empowered a group of urban poor children in Mumbai!

Children watching documentary
Children watching documentary

Substance abuse is rampant in the community in M-east ward in Mumbai. A number of young boys consume tobacco in these urban slums. To address the issue – the children core group at our Child Resource Centre (CRC) organized screening of documentary depicting health hazards of consuming tobacco. This was followed by a series of discussions with children. The children shared with us that they picked up this habit from their peers and youth in the community. The documentary and the discussion raised awareness regarding the hazardous health consequences of tobacco.

Prakash a child from the community formed a group to support his friends and other peers in an attempt to give up tobacco and decided to monitor the children who were in the habit of consuming it. Prakash, a 14 yr old himself was under the substance abuse cycle since last two years. With health sessions and other specific activities to bring awareness about effects of tobacco, Prakash became aware; as a result of creating the peer pressure and support 8 children, including Prakash gave up tobacco consumption. This children’s group is now also educating elders in the community now about health consequences of tobacco consumption.

We at YUVA – CRC support them to deal with several issues like tobacco consumption, on their own and provide them enough resources to know how to seek help - this how we empower children. In the past few months we have been able to create awareness about several issues, all thanks to our donors for supporting us in our work to help children lead a dignified life! Thank you!

Children having discussions after watching film
Children having discussions after watching film
Prakash educating his peers about tobacco
Prakash educating his peers about tobacco
Dec 9, 2015

Child sexual awareness drive at CRC, Mumbai

Rohit* (name changed) a participant in a child sexual abuse – awareness drive by YUVA-Child Resource Centre (CRC) recently reported a case of child sexual abuse in his community in Mankhurd, he spoke to us about it and we together reported to Childline – YUVA. The case was later taken over by police and Rohit also gave police statement. He felt confident enough to even take initiative and convince other adults in his vicinity to speak about the incident. This case brought the issue of Child sexual abuse and helped the community break the silence about the same.
At the CRC children are provided with non-formal education including life skills trainings, these include awareness against drug abuse & sexual abuse.
In India, every second child is being exposed to one or the other form of sexual abuse and every fifth child faces critical forms of it. A total of 33,098 cases of sexual abuse in children were reported in the nation during the year 2011. It is estimated by the government that 40% of India's children are susceptible to threats like being homeless, trafficking, drug abuse, forced labor, and crime.
There is a silence due to the fear of indignity, denial from the community, social stigma, not being able to trust government bodies, and gap in communication between parents and children about this issue.
At such awareness drives in the CRC – we conduct focussed group discussions and special film screenings (Fild created by UNICEF for child sexual abuse) with children. We speak about good touch & bad touch and provide information about self protection and precautions a child must take. Also we share with them what should they do - if they see it happening and how should they report about it and to whom.
We conduct these campaigns as part of our protection, development and participation of children in the community framework. We empower children to tell them about their rights and demand for them. We support them to deal with several issues on their own and provide them enough resources to know how to seek help. In the past 6 months we have been able to create awareness about the issue of child sexual abuse, all thanks to our donors for supporting us in our work to help children lead a dignified life! Thank you!

Sep 8, 2015

Awareness programs: Street plays for slum children by slum children

Educational Games at Child Resource Centre
Educational Games at Child Resource Centre

Over the last few months, our Child Resource Centre (CRC) has seen many children standing up for themselves and transforming their own lives.

By "transformation" we mean a radical shift in thinking, perception, and behaviour in them. There is a significant change in the way they see their problems now and discuss and come up with solutions. 

Street Plays were an important strategy employed by YUVA for awareness building amongst the children and community. We helped children who came to the CRC to identify issues that affect them and their peers in daily life such as education, child labour and child marriage. A group of CRC children got together and with required guidance from YUVA, performed several street plays in their communities spreading awareness about their importance of education. Many other children came up after the play and shared the difficulty they faced in getting admission process in local schools. As a result, CRC children along with YUVA's support collectively worked closely with a few children and 3 of them successfully got admitted into schools in July.

Roshan was a 12 year boy living in a hutment in mankhurd. He watched the street play and came up to us told that due to lack of required documents he could not get admission in a local school. Due to the collective action of the children from the CRC group and YUVA staff's intervenetion he could finally get admission. Now he goes to school regularly!

These events also gave children a platform to talk about issue of the issue of child marriage publicly, they discussed why child marriage is wrong and how they should raise their voice when they see such a situation in family and in peer group.

The CRC is like second home to the children. They love to explore the educational toys and reading material. They come here to share their challenges and to receive support from us and their peers. They often tell us that they always want to be part of this group.

This has been possible only because of the support of individuals who provided the funds to carry on activities at the centre. The centre runs 6 days a week and we are planning many more such programmes to bring discerable changes in the lives of these children.

We are excited for the months ahead and to strengthening our activities towards tangible impact.

Awareness Program:Street play about Child Labour
Awareness Program:Street play about Child Labour
Awareness Program:Street play about Education
Awareness Program:Street play about Education
 
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