I hope this update finds you all well.
We recently completed the first year of the new, expanded version of this project. I am really happy to have the opportunity to share some of the key achievements with you.
Progress towards overall aim of project.
The project aims to help 10,000 Dalit children to escape the prospect of child labour by getting an education. Our project partner NISD’s great strength has always been successfully and creatively engaging all stakeholder groups, so that entire communities are involved in these new educational initiatives. This was the first year of an expanded project, and NISD have been able to replicate their previous success in these new villages.
Village Education Committees and Parent-Teacher Associations came into being and worked with local leaders to rally around a school enrolment drive and support the project generally. As a result, over 800 children have entered education, and thousands have been supported in remaining in school (see figures below) in a number of different ways.
The new sanitation element of the project suffered a setback, with only 321 toilets constructed due to the effects of drought. The toilets have had a significant impact on the practice of open defecation however, and many more will be constructed next year.
Women’s self-help groups meant that women could access loans, with almost 100 already generating their own income as a result. Vocational training meant that young people who had either finished school, or dropped out too early, had better prospects than following their parents into employment.
All of these activities serve to create communities which no longer depend on the noxious work of the tobacco industry, and are aware of the importance of education. This means there is more hope for the children of these villages than there ever has been to escape the grinding poverty they are in. Thank you for funding this life changing work.
- 1,157 of the poorest children received free educational materials, encouraging them to attend school more regularly.
- 2,257 children received supplementary nutrition.
- 408 pre-school teachers received training on child care, nutrition, and ‘joyful education’, providing them with the skills to better care for and support young children.
- 230 government school teachers received training, which improved learning and helped increase school attendance.
- 1,372 people from the villages, organised into Village Education Committees, and Parent-Teacher Associations, as well as local leaders, came together and contributed to the school enrolment drive.
- 896 children entered mainstream education.
- 657 children benefited from study support classes which raised their confidence and interest in attending school.
- 842 care givers were trained in ‘positive child care practices’, positively affecting the psychological and physical health of the children they care for.
- 1,235 women organised themselves into 78 Self-Help Groups, with 254 of them accessing and using loans, and 98 of them generating income through their small business start-ups.
- 204 young people have received vocational training with 133 of them accessing employment.
- 21 schools have benefitted from infrastructural improvements thus creating a better learning environment and improving attendance.
- An awareness raising campaign resulted in 312 toilets being constructed. 3,843 families have now stopped defecating openly and are using the toilets.
- Overall, of the 5,715 schoolchildren currently where the project operates, 3,428 children’s attendance has increased to over 80%, while only 288 have an attendance of less than 40%.
We are now into the second year of activities, and I will soon be updating you as before, with stories from the ground.
The difference that is being made to these children's lives, and the communities they are in, could scarcely be more profound.
Thank you, as always for continuing to give your hard earned money to this life changing work.
Women's Self-Help Group Meeting
Vocational Skills - Tailoring
Vocational Skills - Electrician Training