Rally on Child Rights
I am delighted to be able to share with you an update on this year's cycle of activities, working with marginalised girls in the Vishrantwadi slums.
Summary of activties and some achievements
The project has seen another successful year of new girls from the slum communities benefitting from the project activities. Many new girls have been attracted to the vocational training, through which many have found jobs, and are now financially independent.
Key achievements include: 1,100 girls attending life skills sessions to learn about nutrition; 104 girls being diagnosed as anaemic through health camps, 1,080 girls attending self-confidence and communication skills; and 376 girls engaging in vocational training. Overall, the difference between the girls who are attending project classes and the others in the community are quite stark in terms of life skills, aspiration, confidence, and communication skills.
The project has continued to build rapport and good relationships with local NGOs and government institutions, engaging in joint activities, maximising resources and sharing learning and best practice.
There has also been success in persuading parents whose daughters have dropped out of school to allow them to re-enrol. Enlisting parental support for the education of girls in these areas, as well as the study-support classes provided by the project, have played a major role in girls staying in school.
Changes to planned activities
- Spoken English classes and additional study support classes were added to reduce the number of girls dropping out of school. Recognising that the girls have nowhere to study in their crowded slum homes, and receive no support or encouragement, the project is providing a space where girls can do their work and ask questions. Girls are now interested in their studies.
- This year, the project areas and beneficiaries were mapped. Every year there are some changes for the girls: some get married, some drop out of school, and very rarely, some move. This year each beneficiary’s house was numbered, and maps were made of the communities where the project operates. This allowed for much better monitoring of the beneficiaries and trends in the various communities where the girls live.
- Child rights awareness sessions have been included in the curriculum, so that girls may know of their rights as children (to education etc.)
Future plans of the project
- The project began operating this year in 3 new slum communities this year. This has proved very successful, and the project will continue to operate in these areas, slowly building trust with the girls and families of those communities.
- Another aspiration is to develop a self-help group and micro-financing component to the project, for women (or married girls) of the slums. This would help disseminate important knowledge about health, nutrition and domestic violence, and also provide another means of economic empowerment and financial independence.
- The project hope for some of the girls from these communities to go to nearby Karuna funded hostels. Some of the girls in the slums are very intelligent, but don’t have good environments to study in their homes. In the hostels they will receive guidance in a supportive atmosphere, and be eligible for government scholarships for their studies.
I will be updating you all soon with more stories from the ground. Without this work, most of these girls would have no chance of escpaing the slums, and the situation would not be much different for their children. Thank you, as always, for continuing to fund this life changing work.
haemoglobin check up.