There is really no way to put a value on the education of a child that would have never spent a day in school unless we had helped them to do so. Lotus Outreach would like to share that sense of achievement with the hundreds of donors who contributed to our GlobalGiving challenge last year, putting 715 children of migrant laborers in school.
Hundreds of families have migrated to rural Mewat, Haryana to work up to 18 hour days in the 31 brick kilns that dot the countryside. Although the population is almost entirely illiterate, LO staff found attitudes were overwhelmingly positive towards education, both on the parts of parents and children.
One beneficiary of the GlobalGiving campaign, nine-year old Zarina, has four siblings. None of these children had ever set foot inside a school before LO staff intervened to enroll all five at Malokhra Primary school. “I have always wanted to go, and it hurt me every time I saw children in uniform on their way to school,” said Zarina. “It’s just hard to believe that now I’m the same, and go to school every day in my new uniform with a school bag and books.”
While the biggest impediment to attending school was financial, various factors deterred families from participating. Zarina’s father, Junaid, explained other difficulties. “We would have liked our children to go to school in our home village, but our whole family is here working. There’s no one left at home to look after them, so we felt we had no choice,” he said. “Of course the money was an issue for us. We work long hours to earn enough to survive, but I think we would have felt afraid the local people would oppose any idea of our children mixing with the local children. We just wouldn’t have had the guts to bring any demands before the local people and authorities without the intervention of the LEARN program people.”
LO extends its heartfelt thanks to all who provided us with the resources to forge a new path ahead for these disadvantaged children.
We just added a new project to the GlobalGiving community: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/nfecambodia/
We invite you to show your support and spread the word about this exciting initiative. With your support, 130 women and girls will receive the education and training they need to escape Cambodia’s commercial sex trade for good.