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Empowering the Orphans and Abandoned Children through Education
Problems Noticed While interacting with the school staff from Rural Government High Schools, the following problems have been noticed:
- Frequent dropouts of both boys and girls in the age group of 11-15 yrs (6th – 10th class)
- Very early marriages for the girl children
- Very high unemployment rate since the children here are not prepared with enough skills to go and compete in the job market
Root Cause Identified Most of these children are orphaned and/or abandoned with single parent OR no parent. These children are usually under the care of grandfather/grandmother/uncle. The root cause of this situation is both parents were either uneducated or remained as dropouts during the high school education. Unfortunately, this section of the people is totally unnoticed and very easy to be missed out. These children have no mother/father to guide them, protect them or love them. All they have is a shelter to stay. Most of the time they are hungry, lonely, afraid, have holes in their cheppals or no cheppals at all, and face the greatest challenges of any children on the face of the earth. Unless adopted or absorbed by someone, these children are left to wander the streets, beg or steal food. This cycle results in a high rate of suicide, the need to turn to organized crime and prostitution for survival, ultimately producing more orphans. The cycle continues forever unless there is an intervention at the school age by providing basic education and thus empowering them to become self reliant.
Proposed Solution – Project VAARADHI The only solution to break the poverty cycle of these needy families is to bring these children under one program and provide basic needs as well as the required counseling. Once we help them understand the importance of education and provide the required tools to gain basic education and technical skills, they will be on their way to a sustainable livelihood leading to productive and positive contributions to society.
Empathy – Opportunity – Equality The goal of project VAARADHI is to translate our empathy into action by providing orphaned/abandoned children the opportunity to help themselves and be treated with the equality they deserve.
Expected Impact After providing the basic needs for school & health care, these children are encouraged not to miss the school. They can focus on their studies better now without having to worry about their family’s inability to support their educational and health care expenses. With basic education and proper counseling, they will be EMPOWERED to support themselves.
Project Approach Cluster Approach Start with a cluster of 5/6 Government High Schools @ Mandal Level (11-15 Yrs => 6th to 10th class) Norms to identify children – Single Parent or No Parent – Not enough resources in the family to support the child’s educational and health care expenses – Currently enrolled in the local GovernmentHigh School in 6th to 10th class/grade – Must go through the initial screening process by the class teacher about the child’s need to become part of this project Verification Process – Personal Interview for the child and care taker / guardian – Physical Visit Report (PVR)
Support Provided Basic needs at the school – Note Books, Guides, Stationary (Pens, Exam Pads) etc. Basic needs at home – Casual Wear, Footwear, and Bicycles Basic Health Care – Follow up on health issues like eye, dental, ENT, heart, malnutrition issues etc. Career Counseling – Continuous monitoring of the child’s progress, Offer frequent counseling, help them plan their career according to their interests Employability Skills – Basic Communication (Spoken English, Public Speaking etc.), Computer Literacy Program (CLP)
Project Evaluation For any project to be successful, timely evaluations are critical to help extend the reach further and also to make the required amendments to the process. Here is what we planned on doing to evaluate this project:
- Have the project coordinator from each school closely monitor the children with respect to:
- Attendance levels
- Academic Performanc
- Confidence & Participation level in the class
2. Track the career path of each student in this project The goal of this project is to improve all the above mentioned factors significantly. It is the only way to bring a positive change in the child and break his/her poverty cycle. Ideally, the student should be empowered enough to compete with rest of the world and be self-reliant.
See Below – Project Report of Cluster 01 – Yeleswaram Mandal, East Godavari District (2013-2014)
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————– Project Scaling up slowly……….
Aug 21, 2014 – Project Vaaradhi at Z.P High School, Chandrampalem, Kakinada Rural
Today (Aug 21, 2014), we conducted the distribution event of Project Vaaradhi at Zilla Parishad High School, Chandrampalem, Kakinada Rural.
We adopted 5 students from this school. Each student was presented with 2 pairs of cloths, note books, dictionaries and some stationary. All care will be taken for these students to stay healthy, excel in academics and acquire employability skills (spoken english, computer literacy, personality development) before they reach 10th class.
The single sponsor for all 5 students from this school is Shri Cheekala Surya Narayana, President of Rama Krishna Seva Samithi, Kakinada.
Here is the album of the event: https://vaaradhichandrampalem.shutterfly.com/
March 2015 – Project Vaaradhi at Z.P High School, Rajanagaram, Rajahmundry
SathyaKiranam Charitable Trust of Rajahmundry has kindly agreed to fund 15 children under Project Vaaradhi from the ZP High School in Rajanagaram. We have identified the children and had the induction meeting with children & parents on 17-04-2015.