More than 200 small indigenous tribes with rich cultural traditions dwell in the foothills of the Himalayas. The friendly people are hospitable and peaceful.
However, survival is arduous. Most of the people still plant whatever they eat on a small piece of cleared jungle far away from the village and till the acres manually.
While the parents and older siblings work in the fields, the small children are mainly left behind alone in the villages.
These children do not have a good childhood, nor do they have a chance of a dignified future, only because they were born in the wrong place.
They suffer from avoidable diseases. They cannot go to school. Frequently, they are later exploited as slave labor.
This new born girl only has a chance of 40% of surviving up to five years, as medical resources, knowledge on hygiene and in many cases food are lacking.
The village elders beg us to do something for their children. We agreed to jointly establish day care centers for the pre-school groups where three-to-six-year olds receive caring supervision.
The village communities build the huts with bamboo material themselves and contribute the food for a healthy meal every day for their children.
We train two to three teachers selected from the village people and pay their salaries. They use Montessori methods to stimulate the children and feed and develop them with love.
This way the children can develop their senses and talents. They are properly fed every day. This improves their overall health condition and prepares them well for primary school.
The tribal young – neglected in the mountains
Only 17 people per square kilometre live in the rainforests of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Two thirds of the inhabitants belong to local tribes that cultivate almost extinct languages, rare customs and religious believes. The isolated life in the foothills of the Himalayas is difficult. As everybody who can work is needed to till the soil, the youngest are often left behind alone in the villages.
Stimulation of talents of small children
It is a known fact that children before school age can learn fast and benefit measurably from care and attention. This is very important for their future development. However, in the mountains of Northeast India their potential talents waste away and the lack of food leads to malnutrition with detrimental impact on their development. Illnesses are overlooked or cannot be treated. 2 out of 5 children die before they turn five.
Crèches using Montessori pedagogy
The leaders of the Wancho-tribe in Arunachal Pradesh have recognized this problem and asked us to help provide day care for their children. Together with the village communities we have set up crèches in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. Since 2011 we have used the Montessori educational concepts. During daytime we take care of more than 1,000 children between the ages three to six years. While playing they develop their senses and get a feeling for shapes, numbers and the alphabet – an ideal preparation for school. A warm lunch, regular washing and health checks are included in the educational activities. The young ones therefore enjoy a childhood free of hunger, loneliness and fear.
Project locations of the Village Community Crèches (Northeast India)
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FACTS AND FIGURES
2017 Childaid Network supported:
Started for over
Since 2011 over
have been supported and are now going to school.
Ownership of the village community
Comprehensive educational concept
Intensive stimulation of the children
Supervision and training of the teachers