Project #1866

Help 10 000 kids escape poverty and child labour

by Karuna Trust

Reshma, 19, lives in the village of Velhale in Maharashtra, India. Reshma lives with her parents, grandparents, cousins, sisters and brother. The family took in Reshma’s cousins after their parents died in an accident. In all there are ten family members living in a two roomed tin hut.

The family live on a small plot of land that they grow crops on to sell at the market. However the area is drought prone and the crop often fails. The grandparents are dependent on the family to pay their medical bills. Reshma had always wanted to help the family financially but didn’t have the skills to find a job.  

The project team held a meeting for young people in the village on vocational skills training they were providing in the area and Reshma was immediately interested. The girls who went to the meeting wanted to learn garment making skills so the team agreed to make these available. Reshma completed the course in 2 months making the 10km journey by bicycle that the team had provided for her as transport.

When Reshma finished her training she got a loan from her Aunt to buy a sewing machine. Soon she was taking orders from the local area. With the money she had been able to enroll in university as well as help her family with some of their costs. Now Reshma is facing a much better future as a result of the help given to her by the project and its supporters.

Government School in Zole
Government School in Zole

Zole is a small village 12km form Sangamner, Maharashtra, India. The government school in Zole was built in 1949 but until recently it had become very poorly cared for. The school did not have proper toilet facilities for boys or girls. The walls of the school had never been painted. There was no kitchen or eating area and no library or computer facilities.
Despite the bad condition of the school nobody was motivated to improve the school facilities. Teachers were often absent and the school management committees were not interested in making the needed changes. The school was not a joyful place to be and as a result suffered a high dropout rate of students.

The project team took responsibility for improving the school in 2012. The first thing they did was to hold meetings with all the school stakeholders such as teachers, students and parents. The team convinced the stakeholders of the importance of a child completing their education and how this could be helped by bringing up the schools standards. They conducted training and workshops with all the stakeholders to show what role they could play in improving the schools quality.

The team conducted local fundraising through the stakeholders at the school and raised over £20,000. With this money a drinking fountain, sanitation facilities, kitchen, computer laboratory, library and study area were built. Teaching standards improved as teachers became better skilled and motivated and the school management committee became skilled and engaged in running the school professionally.

Enrolment in the school has now increased and the school is attracting wealthy students from the village who previously went to the private school. This year the school achieved A grade status and has won praise from the local teachers union and government education committees. None of this would have been possible without the project and its wonderful supporters.

Lata with her husband
Lata with her husband

Lata comes from the village of Khare in Mahrashtra, India. She lives in a two roomed tin roof house with her son and husband. Lata left school in 7th Standard and was married at the age of 16. Before connecting with the project she did seasonable agricultural with her husband. The family earned very little.

Lata came into contact with the project through the team’s self-help groups for women. The groups are designed to encourage women to earn so they can help put their sons and daughters through school.

Lata wanted to start her own business. The group was able to advise her on how she could establish something to help her earn. The group was also able to lend her the money she needed. Through the project team Lata and a few other women were able to get a small bank loan. This was the first time any of the women had been in a bank. She and a number of women started cooperative selling eggs to the local market.

Now Lata doesn’t need to do seasonal labour. She is earning and able to put her son through school. She is very grateful to the project team and its supporters for the chance they have given her.

Arohi With Her Parents At Project Training
Arohi With Her Parents At Project Training

Arohi is 7 months old. She lives with her parents and grandparents in the village of Velhale in Mahrashtra, India. Her family background is very poor. Both her parents are illiterate. The family relies on casual labour for income.

Like many rural poor people in India, Arohi’s family is very superstitious. They would use cooking oil to massage Arohi thinking this would care for her skin. Oil would also be put into Arohi’s ear as her grandparents believed this would help develop her brain.

The project team heard about Shalni when they were undertaking the projects baseline survey to judge the situation for people in the local area. The social worker who visited the home encouraged Arohi’s parents to join the project’s Care Giver Programme. This programme teaches parents proper child care practices and discourages practices based on superstition.

Arohi’s mother Suvarna joined the caregiver programme in December 2015 when she was preganant with her second child. She had not been to a doctor at any stage during her pregnancy. The programme taught Savarna about immunization during pregnancy, proper nutrition, hygiene for children and breastfeeding. She was also given access to innoculations and nutritional supplements to help with her pregnancy as well as being enrolled with the local hospital.

Now Suvarna, Arohi and her new born sister are doing well. Arohi has benefited from the skills Suvarna learned at the care giver programme. Arohi’s health has improved and Suvarna had a safe and healthy pregnancy with her second child. Without the project and you its supporters none of this would have happened.

In the creche
In the creche

When Prasad was in first grade, he was massively underweight, weighing only 6kg and often falling sick. His father is a driver and his mother a farm labourer. He also has two older stisters and a grandmother in his household. 

The grandmother looks after all three children, who are each just one year apart, while the parents have to work. However, she is elderly and incapable of giving all three children the attention they need.

The family enrolled in the project's care giver programme, and Prasad's grandmother especially gained a lot from the caregiver sessions. She learned many things about childcare methods of bathing, feeding etc.  Prasad's mother also attended the sessions when she could. She was shown a chart which illustrated that Prasad was not growing at the normal rate, and how underweight he was, while also guiding her on what to feed him.

He received supplementary nutrition through the project crèche worker as his parents learnt more about child health. His sisters who were both underweight, also benefited as a result.

These days his weight is up to something normal for his age, and he is engaging regularly in other creche activities, which will set him up well for school in the coming years.

Thank you for helping to change Prasad and his family's life in this way.


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Organization Information

Karuna Trust

Location: London, England - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Kevin Croke
London, UK United Kingdom
$84,348 raised of $90,000 goal
1,689 donations
$5,653 to go
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