Children at the Community Childcare Centre
PROJECT NAME: Protect & Support 2,000 Children in Orissa, India
PROJECT LOCATION: Bolangir District, Orissa, India
PROJECT PARTNER: Adhar
International Childcare Trust has working in partnership with Adhar, a grassroots NGO based in Orissa, India, since 2011, supporting Protect & Support 2,000 Children in Orissa, India. This project aims to protect vulnerable children from risk of abuse and exploitation and reduce incidences of infant mortality, malnutrition and child hunger by mobilizing support from the government and the local community, through:
(1) Increased protection of vulnerable children from abuse, exploitation and harm through community-based safety nets including rights awareness and family reintegration leading to better safeguarding of children;
(2) Increased access of families and children to available government health entitlements through effective community monitoring and advocacy leading to reduced incidence of infant mortality, malnutrition and child hunger.
Adhar plans to establish five Community Childcare Centres for vulnerable children requiring care and protection, which will be safe and protected spaces run by the local communities. One Community Childcare Centre has so far been established. Manisha is one of 36 children enrolled in the centre.
Manisha is a three years old. Her father is a rickshaw driver who earns around 50 - 60 rupees (60-70p) each day, although much of it is spent on alcohol. Manisha’s mother is a daily wage labourer who supports her family of four children on her small salary. Both Manisha’s parents have very little time to look after her. Her eldest brother is training to be a driver – Manisha and her other siblings spend much of the day on the streets begging or rag-picking going without food for long periods of time. Here they are extremely vulnerable to violence, harassment, abuse and exploitation – sometimes engaging in illicit activities such as drug trafficking or theft.
As mentioned previously, Adhar has established one of the proposed five Community Childcare Centres. Manisha was recently identified during a survey of vulnerable children and, after counselling with both Manisha and her parents, she was enrolled in the centre. Her younger brother was also enrolled in the centre and her older brother was enrolled into the neighbourhood government school who had previously dropped out due to the costs involved.
Manisha mother leaves her at the Community Childcare Centre at 9.00am everyday while going to work. Manisha spends the whole day at the centre under the expert care of experienced and qualified staff where she is offered nutritious meals, early childhood education, and a wide range of stimulating activities. Manisha is now enjoying her childhood and the chance of a brighter future.