Empowering rural Kerala Children through Education and Skills

Smile Foundation has joined hands with Mitraniketan for skill Development of Adolescent, engaging them in gainful vocations to lead better standards of life in their own surrounding in Kerala state.

The target beneficiaries of the project are rural and tribal children from remote villages. Majority of them belong to tribal communities from Wayanad district of Kerala. Their parents are mostly landless agricultural labourers. Seasonal agriculture work has made their life uncertain and miserable.

Through this project they will be formally trained in Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical (House wiring and Motor winding), Tailoring and Garment Making, Dairy and Animal Husbandry related income generation activities. In addition, basic agricultural activities including Mushroom Culture and Plant Nursery Development, Fruit and Vegetable Processing, and Bakery are also included. The training programme will also aim to develop other skills specifically in marketing and entrepreneurship development etc

About the Project

Smile Foundation and Mitraniketan have become partners to develop skills among school going children so as to develop aptitude and interest in them for traditional vocations which they can pursue in the future. The target group belongs to weaker sections of the society and has less access to higher education and it is necessary to develop interest as well as skills in potential and traditional vocations which have opportunities in their respective villages.

In order to help these groups Smile Foundation is working through Mitraniketan in Skill Development of adolescent, by engaging them in gainful vocations which would lead to better standards of life and empowerment. The project aims to cover more than 100 children between the age group of 11-14 years from the Mitraniketan Residential School. The initial project duration is of one year which consists of 9 months training as well as follow-up and backup support.

About the partner

Mitraniketan is a non-profit organization engaged in educational activities since year 1956. The organization was founded by Mr. K. Viswanathan at his native village Velland near Thiruvanthampuram (Trivendrum) in Kerala, after his education from Shantineketan as well as United States of America. The organization strives to integrate formal and non-formal education in its activities. It started its activities with supplementary education programmes for the school going children of the neighbouring villages.

Today Mitraniketan resembles a rural university which still caters to the education and training needs of rural and tribal children, but has expanded to the rural youth, housewives, small and marginal farmers, rural artisans, and NGO functionaries belonging to different parts of Kerala.

Mitraniketan has its Head Office at Velland, Thiruvanthampuram, Kerala. The organization is primarily working in the field of imparting need based basic education, vocational skills which would empower them economically and socially. The organization has received support from a host of national and international agencies like GTZ New Delhi, Govt of Kerala, Govt of India, ICAR, American Centre New Delhi, Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA) to name a few.

Desired impact of the project

Imparting livelihood skills amongst the children so as to help them enhance it in the after school years is one of the prime focus. Ultimately this will lead to enhancement in their quality of life. The other specific objectives are:-

1. To develop interest and aptitude in livelihood skills to school going children belong to 11-14 years of age.
2. To train 100 children studying from 6 to 9 standards (11-14 yrs) in livelihood skills.
3. To provide orientation n entrepreneurship development.

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