Education | Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) | Child Protection and Participation
ECCD is a multi-sector approach with a rights-based perspective that focuses on the early years in a child’s life and lays the foundation for learning and achieving in school. The goal of our ECCD program is to ensure that children from birth to 6 years reach school age healthy and well-nourished, intellectually curious, socially confident and equipped with a solid foundation for lifelong learning.
PRIDE India’s approach to the ECCD programme is child friendly, family-focused and community-based. It consists of a two-dimensional approach that focuses on improving the physical and mental well-being of the child.
The overall goal of the programme is enhancing the family and community or neighbourhood environment in which young children develop; this is necessary to reduce the vulnerability of young children, especially those living in deprivation, and improving the care and developmental support that they receive. This can be best accomplished by preventing problems and enhancing children’s resilience as well as the acquisition of skills through responsive care-giving, setting developmentally appropriate expectations, and providing stimulation to help them achieve their potential in all areas of development.
PRIDE has also been providing long-term support to the Government-run Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). It assists in building the capacity of the teachers and enhancing the learning environment of the children by promoting creative educational materials, and organizing medical camps thus providing an enabling environment for the children to grow. With the objective of providing practical experience, PRIDE has set up its own balwadis, as a model centre which implements the best practices of ECCD.
With over 38 years of experience in early childhood care, the organization with its demonstrated pedagogy reached out to more than 35000 children by training the NGO partners trainers and strengthening the anganwadi’s across 6 blocks of Raigad district by training the anganwadi workers and village level volunteers. As a resource agency, We plan to share the pedagogy with many more people and thus reach out to larger geography. In the last 3 years, we have also initiated interventions in an urban location- Navi Mumbai slums.
Today with the rapid urbanization, worldwide, 570 million children live in extreme poverty leading to issues that leave them vulnerable to multiple factors that threaten their well-being. The Indian urban population is set to increase from 27.8 percent in 2011 to 38 percent by 2025 (Mckinsey report).
In the last decade, many corporate offices and industries moving in Navi Mumbai have led to an exponential rise in population in slums. As per the 2011 Census, the population of Navi Mumbai was 1,120,547 with a total of 111 slums inhabiting around 18.53% of the total population of Navi Mumbai city. With the city having no structured plan to accommodate the growing population along with the migrant labor force, social issues like urban unemployment, slum expansion and widening income inequality is on a rise leaving the children and their families in a worse living condition with lack of basic survival resources. PRIDE India believes that many of these problems can be alleviated or even resolved with concentrated, collaborative efforts enabling children to access their potential as they grow, creating stability in all stages of their lives.
We are working with 1500 children directly in the age group of 0-14 years and 6000 people including their families and communities in the Navi Mumbai slums with a long-term vision of taking these children through the growth trajectory so that they become confident and skilled youth of tomorrow. As a child-focused development organization, the focus of PRIDE India is to change the underlying factors that prevent the children from fully experiencing their rights and enabling them to access his or her true potential.
3323 children benefited from the 53 libraries initiated by our team in primary schools in the village.
Education and the importance of pursuing post-secondary education are vital to the development of our children. In this regard, PRIDE. proactively supplements the activities of the government through ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ for the universalisation of Primary and Elementary Education.
Children living in rural areas often drop out of the schools because of various social factors, one of them being unfavourable environment to study at home. For the same, a School based Quality Improvement Programme (SQUIP) and Reading Improvement Programme (RIP) were introduced, for children from 6-14 years, to ensure that there is a conducive after-school environment for students to do their homework and practice what they have learnt at school.
The Study Centres, which cater to 6-14 years help us further our goal to promote an interactive and all rounded learning atmosphere. At present we have 12 study centers located in 12 villages across Raigad.
The RIP or Reading Improvement Programme is one of our key programmes across our study centres aimed to inculcate the habit of reading among the children. In 2015-16, 53 libraries were set up in zilla parishad schools. The RIP programme motivates the teachers to set aside separate time for reading activities and encourages children to read books apart from their curriculum.
We believe, for a child to grow into a healthy adult s/he needs a well-rounded programmeme encompassing emotional, physical, relational, intellectual and creative components. Bearing this in mind, the Child Resource Centre provides our children the opportunity to engage themselves in arts, sports and music giving back the right to enjoy their childhood. The CRC act as a knowledge hub for the local children and provide them with information and knowledge on a range of topics of their interest and relevance including children’s issues and rights and update them in those subjects regularly. The CRC is also used as a platform for the children clubs to congregate and conduct their plans/programmes/events at larger level. Equipped with musical instruments, sports equipment, library and computers, this centre is open to all children every weekend.
Facts About Child Protection and Participation
Though children and youth form the majority of the population in the communities in which they live, they have traditionally been excluded from decision-making. At PRIDE, the role of children and youth is focused more intensively and they are being looked upon as change agents, who are active contributors to the well being and development of the family as well as the community. It implements programme in a way that increases the role of children, youth and parents by ensuring that they are the primary protagonists in programme implementation.
Child protection and well-being consists of reducing risks of violation of child rights, making children’s rights a reality, and creating an enabling environment that supports children’s positive development. In this regard, PRIDE. has initiated a children’s club in all its villages, to strengthen the activities of child protection and increase child participation. PRIDE conducts regular trainings of stakeholders on child protection guidelines and the violation of child rights. Those children who are at risk or who have been victims of child abuse/exploitation are referred for counseling.
PRIDE has also succeeded in creating children and youth federations at various levels and ensuring their representation in the decision making process in all its community development programmes.
Migration presents both opportunities and challenges for communities and children in particular. Muktashala initiated in 1995 in Kothurde village is an attempt to support children whose parents migrate to urban areas in search of work. It ensures that the child has a safe place to stay so that they are able to continue their formal schooling while the parents are at work. The well-equipped residential facility provides all the essential services such as nutrition, healthcare, recreation and after school support. The goal is to minimize the dropout rate of these children in school by providing a safe place which ensures their overall development and growth. Children from Muktashala are also encouraged to participate in village level programmes such as cleanliness drives, tree plantation and hygiene promotion programmes.