With the financial support of the charity campaign F.A.Z.-Readers (Germany's largest newspaper) we plan to put 1,500 street children in Guwahati into regular schools by the end of 2015.
In addition, we support the vocational training of another 1,500 older street boys and girls as part of this campaign and help them with placement into jobs.
With 2 Mio inhabitants Guwahati is the largest city of Northeast India. Along with the population of the city the number of children in the slums and on the streets grows steadily.
Today, almost 20,000 children live on the streets of the city, alone or with their families. Tens of thousands do not attend school.
Since 2007 we have helped the street children in Guwahati in a number of different ways. With the new campaign ‘Child-Friendly City’ we now attempt to transform the entire city.
Our work starts where the young people live and are forced to work – in the stone mills, the coke factories, at the station and in the slums.
As a first step, our partners mobilize the parents, who are mostly illiterate themselves, and motivate them to send their children into our bridge courses.
We have started bridge courses in the 30 poorest wards of the city. There we prepare the children for mainstreaming into regular government schools.
Social workers pick up the children every morning from their poor neighborhoods. Others envy the pupils and start to understand the impact and value of education.
The campaign is successful as we have been able to integrate local networks and political leaders. 80 local organizations like Rotary or church groups are contributing.
Local partners organize class rooms free of charge. Doctors and hospitals treat the children without pay.
The results are impressive: In the first year 600 children were mainstreamed. More important for the lasting impact is the network that was forged to continue to work on the challenges.
Guwahati on the way to a child-friendly city
Child friendliness is not what one associates with the dirty, congested and dangerous city of Guwahati. In particular the children from the slums of the city constantly face the risk of infections, hunger and unhygienic conditions. The campaign “Child-Friendly Guwahati” implemented by our partner Snehalaya is designed to fight poverty, child labor and drug addiction among the children of the city. It is a signal that something has to change – and that change is possible. With our partner Centre for Development Initiatives (CDI) we are also working for the neglected children of domestic workers in Guwahati and Shillong since 2017.
Bridge schools prepare slum children to be mainstreamed
A lot has been achieved. Since the end of 2013, 30 neighborhood centres have been started in the poorest wards of Guwahati. Teachers and social workers coach children from the slums, who have not started school. Until the end of 2018, our partners have successfully integrated 4,400 of them into regular schools and therefore achieved our targets.
Networking generates sustainable results
For us it was of utmost importance to include local politicians, businesses and Indian institutions into these efforts. 80 organizations have committed to contribute. Local partners provide classrooms free of charge and delegate volunteers. Doctors and hospitals diagnose and treat the children without pay. At the same time, social workers visit the slums to help the families understand the value of education and persuade them to send their children to regular schools after they successfully participated and completed the bridge courses.
With 2 million inhabitants Guwahati is the biggest city in Northeast India. Along with the steady growth of its population the number of street children also increases. Estimates say that many thousand do not attend school. Almost 20,000 of them live on the streets, in the railway station and along the railway tracks – many alone.
Project locations of the bridge schools in Guwahati/Assam (Northeast India)
With 100 Euros we can move a child out of the slums and into the regular school system.
FACTS AND FIGURES
2018 Childaid Network supported:
45 bridge schools
with more than
Children are taught and motivated by
90 Social workers and teachers
who are financed by us.
Until the end of 2018, already more than
4,400 children of the slums
have been integrated into regular schools.
Motivation of parents and children
Contribution of local institutions
Improvement of regular schools
Inclusion of marginalized groups
(Documentation of Snehalaya and Child Friendly Guwahati, October 2017)
(Documentation of the project for Model United Nations India)