250 children in school...and out of hazardous jobs
By Erika Keaveney - Executive Director
With your generous support, Lotus Outreach was able to provide educational scholarships to 250 children living and working in Mewat, Haryana’s brick kilns from July-December 2012. In addition to providing enrollment assistance and daily bus service to ensure the children safely reach school each day, the program provided the young students with school bags, stationery, and sweaters to keep them warm during the chill of winter.
Local teachers tell us that kids from the brick kilns are more dedicated learners and have better attendance and grades than other children from the community, a surprising outcome given the fact that they are all first generation learners. There is little question that without the scholarship support, these children would never have been given the opportunity to attend school and would have been destined for a life of subsistence labor like their parents.
Though many children attend schools in their home villages when the brick factories shut down from July-September for the monsoon season, approximately 8% of migrant families have elected to stay in Mewat for the sole reason of ensuring their children’s education is not interrupted during the school year. These parents always show their gratitude for the continued materials and bus service and tell us how are happy they are that their children are able to continue attending school while away from their home villages.
Lotus Outreach recently learned that the Haryana government has identified 152 brick kilns in Rohtak district housing an additional 3,329 out-of-school children. Through our LEARN project, we have been pressuring the government to adopt our scholarship and transportation model to encourage these children to enroll in school.
We thank you for donating to the Child Laborer Scholarships project and we look forward to keeping you updated on the program’s progress in the months and years ahead.
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