Child Development through Community Empowerment

Smile Foundation and Association for Social Health & Advancement (ASHA) has initiated an innovative project in West Bengal. Holistic development of needy children is projected to be achieved through empowerment of the community. 282 vulnerable children will be benefited through six centres in the state.

About the Partner

Association for Social Health & Advancement (ASHA), an NGO, was founded in the year 1997 (registered in 1998), by a group of professionals coming from different fields such as Public Health, Sociology and Economics etc. It has been working with the focus on socio-economic and health status as well as upliftment of the disadvantaged communities since its inception in various states such as West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa.

The organization is primarily working in the field of Health (RCH), Education (non-formal), Micro finance & enterprise (farm & non farm), Environment, Water & Sanitation and Human Resource Development (Technical, Social, & Vocational).

The organization has received support and working with a host of national and international agencies as well as corporate houses such as UNICEF- Kolkata , Government of West Bengal, GTZ, Action Aid India ,CINI-ARC, Oxfam India CCF, CASA, ONGC, CESC, NABARD, BDP - London to name a few.

The Project

The project titled ‘Holistic Development of Children through Empowering Communities’ will cover 250 vulnerable and needy children through six centres in West Bengal.

The objective of the project is to:

Establish 6 multi-activity centers to support existing schooling system;
Preparing 70 out –of school vulnerable children (girls and boys in the age group 6 -10 yrs) for induction into formal school;
Ensuring retention of 180 most vulnerable children (girls and boys in the age group 6 -11 yrs i.e. primary level) in formal schooling system.
Generate awareness among parents and community so that 75% of children (both boys ad girls aged 6-11yrs) are enrolled in primary schools.
Create consciousness among parents and community to help them adopt positive child care practices (timely and adequate immunization and proper nutritional care practices).
Strengthening educational programme in existing govt. schools by organizing health and hygiene education, responsible adulthood etc.

Target beneficiaries of the Project:

250 vulnerable children with approximately 40 children per Multi-activity centre.-emphasis on the girl child. 6 such centers will be organized - one such center will be located in villages- Narottampur, Pedora, Napitbundh and Dhanda village and 2 at selected locations of Punishole Purba –Dakhinpara. Each center will cover 40 children on average –in total 250 children will be accommodated in 6 such centers.

Total population in 5 of the villages is around 6150 with 882 households. The area/villages are inhabited by people who are mostly landless and depend on daily wage labour for livelihood. Men usually work as agriculture labourers between July and December and then migrate during the months of Jan to June to the states of Bihar, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh where they work as casual labour. Drop out boys between the age group of 10-12 years migrate with the older members in the families. Women and children stay back and are usually involved in collecting firewood, dried leaves and twigs, and dry cow dung to sell them locally.

Special Focus

Girl child will get special emphasis through the multi-activity programme 75 per cent of the children will be ensured to get enrolled in to mainstream education
Special programme for orienting parents and communities
Strengthening educational programme in existing govt. schools by organizing programmes on health and hygiene education, responsible adulthood etc.

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