Project #1866

Help 10 000 kids escape poverty and child labour

by Karuna Trust
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.

Anita, 26, lives in the village of Karule with her husband and two children. They live in a small two roomed house. Her husband goes from village to village selling vegetables.

In 2014 Anita heard about the projects tailoring course. Because the course was provided free of cost Anita was able to enroll. Having completed the three month course Anita decided she wanted to start taking orders to stitch Rezin Bags for the local market.

Anita had an old stitching machine sitting at home. It was not in use and Anita was out of practice. After the course Anita repaired the old machine and started to practice at home. With encouragement from her husband it was not long before Anita was stitching bags as a small business.    

Anita is now earning around £25 per month through her business. With the extra income she wants to ensure her two children complete their education as this is an opportunity she did not get. When Anita was in 5th standard she left school to care for her siblings and was married at age 18. Anita is also stitching bags for local poor children as a way of giving back to the community. She is very grateful towards the project for giving her the opportunity to earn an income of her own.

Aditya lives with his father, mother and eldest brother in Kharadi Village in Maharshtra, India. They live in one small room made of brick. The family is from the nomadic tribal community, traditionally a very poor and marginalized community in India. They earn about £15 per month.

Both children go to the local school. However as the family could not afford proper school materials, such as pens and copybooks, the boys were at risk of dropping out. Aditya was embarrassed to attend classes with all the rest of the children who could afford the basic school materials.   

In July 2015 the project team learnt of the two boys through the local teachers and went to visit the family. Through the generous help of project donors they were able to provide Aditya and his brother with school bags, drawing material, notebook and stationary.     

Now Aditya and his brother are regularly attending school and their grades have improved. The boys and their parents were happy the project team was able to help them out in this small way. It would not have been possible without the help of our funders.

The project team works closely with school management committees to help create better schools that keep children engaged and learning. Below is the story of Vilas and his work with the project team to improve his local school.     

Vilas is 42. He lives in Virbhadranagar village with his two sons and wife. Vilas’ sons attend the local school in Virbhadranagar. In 2010 Vilas was asked to join the school management committee to help develop the school’s ability to educate local children. He agreed and started to learn of the schools difficulties. The school had low student participation, poor teaching standards and infrastructural problems. In 2011 Vilas became the school management committee president.  

In 2012 Vilas contacted the project team seeking help in improving school standards. He attended training and worked closely with the team on how to improve school enrollment and teacher ability. Vilas went on exposure visits to local high performing schools and got advice on how to implement positive changes. The project team helped Vilas to create a plan of action to bring his own school’ standards up.    

With Vilas’ guidance the school started organizing cultural programmes, educational tours and mid-day meals for the students. The school management committee started local fundraising for the development of the school and raised £890. The project supported the cost of a digital classroom in the school which included computers and projectors.

Since 2012 the school increased its enrollment from 53 students to 78, early childhood dropouts have been eradicated and the school has moved from C Grade to B Grade under local government evaluation. Vilas is very happy with the results of his work. None of this could have happened without the support of the project and its supporters.


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Organization Information

Karuna Trust

Location: London, England - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Kevin Croke
London, UK United Kingdom
$78,787 raised of $85,000 goal
1,574 donations
$6,213 to go
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