Education  India Project #22882

Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India

by Karuna Trust
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Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Building a Future for Brick Kiln Children in India
Children who have benefitted from your support
Children who have benefitted from your support
Dear supporters,
I am writing today with the final update from our project, and to let you know we will be bringing the project to an end over the next year.
As you will know, the last year has been incredibly difficult for our communities. With the lockdown imposed, the labourers in the brick kilns could no longer return to their home villages. They continued to labour in difficult conditions, but without access to food or reliable information about what was happening. 
Since then we have worked hard to provide food, masks, basic sanitation and updates and information on the virus and lockdown. In this time, notably, we have:
- distributed 150 ration kits to needy families
- distributed 220 boxes of milk powder for the most needy families with babies
- provided lunch and dinner every day for over 400 needy children for the hardest 2 weeks of the lockdown
However, with Covid cases increasing, there is another lockdown in place in Maharasthra. Our staff have not got permission from the local government to go out, and in any case it feels inappropriate to send our teachers, some of whom are vulnerable, into the community to work with the children. Furthermore, a number of families have already returned home to their villages, fearing another lockdown. 
In this context, unable to work, with schools closed and without local funding sources (which have dried up in the last year), we have decided to close the project early. 
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to this project. With your help we have been able to continue helping our 500+ children, with daily classes, play and in the last year food, sanitation and safety. We are sad to have to wind up the project, but we see no other options before us. 
We will use the last funding to make sure that the families have been connected with any government entitlements that they are eligible for, so we leave them in the best condition to continue their lives. 
Thanks again for all the support you've given. It's made a big difference over many years.
In solidarity,
Keval - Programme Manager.
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Children and parents at the brick kiln
Children and parents at the brick kiln
It has been a difficult few months for our project, with incredibly high virus rates in Maharashtra, schools not open, and strict lockdowns in the area. 
Many families had left the sites to return to their home villages, while some felt they couldn't afford to accumulate any more interest on their debts, and remained working - in spite of the risks to their health and there being little food available.
During this time the main project activities of supplementary education for the children were suspended. Instead we focussed on the distribution of food, masks, soap and education and awareness raising around the virus and various government schemes available to the families. We also used the opportunity to conduct extra training with our teachers, some of whom had been in our project for a short time only. 
Since November many families have returned to the site and we have resumed activities with the children, who had missed their opportunities to play and learn very much. 288 children are currently enrolled in project classes, and we are in regular supportive contact with 237 parents.
The future remains uncertain for these families and the project, but for now, we are happy that the children are studying and playing again, and their parents are still keen to support their education. 
Thank you as always for your support.
Keval Shah
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When lockdown started, our beneficiary families, almost all bonded labourers, were stuck on the brick kilns with no way of getting home. 
Because most of them are working off debts, and because they have no work in their home villages, they decided to stay on site and continue working - as encouraged to do so by the brick kiln owner. 
The ordinary educational activities of the project had to come to an end, with most of our teachers in their homes for lockdown. We provided core cost payments to Sukhavati, so that they could continue to function (pay their staff etc), first for 3 months, and then again for the following 3 months. 
With the staff costs paid, they set about providing what they could for the beneficiaries, who were soon facing food shortages. They did this by fundraising locally - explaining the situation of the families and children to people in nearby towns, business owners etc. 
To date, the team has raised and distributed: food grain; milk powder; clothes; and sanitizer to 450 families (1,050 individuals). They have also been able to provide families with meals twice a day. 
The staff are now researching which government schemes may be available for our beneficiary families, and will try and connect them up with relevant schemes in the coming months. 
Thank you for continuing to support our communities in this time of dire need.
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Thank you for your continued support, particularly at a time that is so challenging for our global community. I'm writing with an update from our partner's at this project, with some details of the effects of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown in India. 

Since lockdown began, our partners have been providing lunch and dinner daily to students and their families in the Brick Kilns. The community there are of course migrant labourers, who are now stuck - unable to return to their home villages. With nothing else to do, and stuck on the site, most of them are still working, but have no access to food. It is therefore essential that these families continue to be provided with the resources to survive.

While we remain committed to our three focuses of education, gender equality and dignified livelihoods it is the immediate relief of the effects of the coronavirus that is needed in the most marginalised communities at present. 

We will continue to send you updates and if you would like to support the our appeal to respond to the effects of the coronavirus in India and Nepal please visit www.globalgiving.org/projects/karuna-coronavirus-appeal/

With warm wishes and gratitude,

Erika Narkiewicz

karuna.org

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Lining up to taste fresh water for the 1st time
Lining up to taste fresh water for the 1st time

Kiran, aged 5, is one of the youngest in a large family who are part of bonded labour. Migrant workers, they are bonded to a brick kiln to pay off debt accured to pay for food and basic necessities over the coming months. Most children in Kiran's situation start carrying bricks as a way to help their parents work faster and earn the money quicker. Denying children an education, this situation can also create health problems; accidents are common due to the harzardous work environment.

However, Kiran is taking full advantage of a project that provides good education on site. Teachers who are keen to equip children with more options in life by increasing literacy, daily living skills and just as importantly, giving them the space and safety to play as children.

Kiran is becoming literate and at 5 years old can read from 1 to 20, chart the parts of the body, identify flowers and fruits. He attends school regularly and takes an interest in his learning. He has learnt about jobs and roles outside of what had seemed destined to him. Kiran tells staff he wants to become a Doctor. 

Your support goes a long way. Thank you for your donation and for providing children like Kiran the conditions to learn and grow that otherwise would be unavailable to them.

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Organization Information

Karuna Trust

Location: London, England - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @karuna_trust_uk
Project Leader:
Lizzie Guinness
London, England United Kingdom

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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