“Most of the children in this locality come from households that are greatly affected by poverty. They lack basic needs from their homes, and fees payment is one of the greatest challenges. Along the way, some even drop out of school completely” (club patron)
Despite the legal provision of the Right to Education (RTE) in India, this is not being implemented, and many of the children of communities CWC work with, are denied admission to regular schools. CWC has been addressing this by focusing on educational support to 502 (238 girls and 264 boys) of the most marginalised and deprived street and working children from the rural and urban areas of Karnataka State. In addition, 160 young people (79 girls and 81 boys) enrolled in and successfully completed their vocational professional training and 98% have been successfully placed as apprentices. ChildHope was funded to support the project from 2013-2016 by an anonymous corporate donor.
The quality of CWC’s work and its implementation model has been noted by the Department of Education, National Institute of Open Schooling. CWC has been able to upgrade their vocational trade equipment such as tools and equipment, machinery, computers, books, classrooms and workshop facilities with the support of individual and institutional/corporate donors. This has helped to enable the children access quality education, and access state of the art technology.
To help the centre to continue after the funding has ended, CWC has
The project has supported 502 (238 girls and 264 boys) of the most marginalised and deprived street and working children from the rural and urban areas of Karnataka State. In addition, 160 young people (79 girls and 81 boys) enrolled in and successfully completed their vocational professional training and 98% have been successfully placed as apprentices.
CWC offers the children an integrated education model that recognises the importance of high quality academic output, vocational skills, health and nutrition and empowerment. The project teaches children about empowerment, collective participation, democracy, personal safety, gender, sexuality and information management and has helped children overcome anxieties they faced due to past experiences either in schooling or their personal lives. The sessions have been developed into modules that can be transferred for use in mainstream schools.
The vocational training programme (basic computer, electrical and plumbing, garment making and wood technology) has been recognised as an Accredited Vocational Institution by National Institute of Open Schooling - which is an autonomous institution of Govt. of India. This recognition has given CWC the privilege of granting centre-recognised degrees/diplomas which will enhance the standing of a graduate in the industry. The centre has also been recognised by the local authorities as one of the most appropriate schools to refer children who are in need of care and protection.
CWC’s school, residential centre and vocational training college have been developed as a green campus that lowers both environmental impacts and costs by using sustainable harvested or recycled materials durable enough to last a generation, and through built-in energy and water-use efficiencies. A range of environmental approaches are employed at the centre and the children act as agents of change, taking their learning back to their communities and beyond.
The project has also indirectly benefitted 310 children of various schools and colleges of the area and in the community through empowerment and capacity building activities such as workshops on personal safety, gender and sexuality, capacity building on mainstream structures for protection and such other awareness and sensitisation sessions.
One of the most important aspects of the centre is to encourage children to discover, hone and develop co–curricular skills and a cultural forum set up by the programme has facilitated the development of the artistic and cultural potential of children and provide them with opportunities to explore folk arts and culture.
The centre introduces to children the conceptual framework of democratic ideas, structure and institution through empowerment education, ensuring the participation not only of children but also parents and communities in management of the school. Successes include
CWC played crucial role in an initiative of Department of Education (Primary) to frame an exclusive policy for the implementation of the Right to Education for the migrant children and children of migrant labourers. Initially, CWC was invited to give suggestions and feedbacks on the draft policy but the qualitative inputs suggested by CWC created the background for inclusion of CWC as core member of draft committee and all inputs were included in proposed policy. CWC’s involvement also made the whole exercise of policy formulation more participatory. Once this policy is framed and implemented it will impact all out of school migrant children and children of migrant labours in Karnataka. Similarly, CWC played a pivotal role in drafting of State Child Protection Policy of Karnataka, India.
The children who participate in the CWC programme receive a high quality education which prepares them, through academic study and vocational training, for their future in their chosen area of work. Importantly, they also develop the confidence and life skills necessary to successfully navigate through an often harsh environment, where children from their backgrounds can be marginalised and denied their rights. CWC not only work with the children, but also their parents and communities, to forge a belief that positive change can be made through active involvement in decision-making, whatever their caste or background.
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