Beneficiary Coverage: 12,300
Project Description: THF works at the community level to protect the rights of street children and reduce vulnerabilities in the community. The organisation believes that if the communities and families can be strengthened to access alternative care (Alternative Care refers to the spectrum of services available to children whose parents are no longer able to provide adequate care) for children’s education and protection, then children can grow up in their own families.
Child Watch with Night Round is a unique service in collaboration with HOPE Hospital which supports and conducts Night Round, with an endeavour to provide care in a holistic approach, primarily focusing on the programmatic area of care and protection to vulnerable children and adults in Kolkata and subsequently building a strong bond between communities and the education and healthcare systems. The project takes initiative to build the capacity of the families and communities to create a safety net for protection of street children. The project looks forward to reduce cases of abuse and crisis and provide opportunities to empower communities to claim their rights and social entitlements thereby reducing the vulnerability status of the most marginalized and neglected population of Kolkata. Counselling is the most integral, intangible component of the project. By providing the necessary emotional support, families who are “at risk” and in crisis are helped to mobilise their own strengths to cope with crisis situations so that they do not seek institutionalisation of children as a solution to the problem. The counselling services gives them support when their own coping mechanisms fail to function effectively, professional intervention helps them tide over the crisis.
The project focuses on the community as a whole for these vulnerable children as well as the other stakeholders with whom the children living on the streets are always in contact with. Efforts are taken so that no child in the age group of 6 to 14 years is denied admission to formal school following the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009. The Child Watch team works closely with shop keepers and other employers of child labour to prevent the recruitment of child labour and selling of addictive substances to children. Also, care is taken for rescue of children who are at risk and in need of care and protection, rehabilitation where it is required and needed. The project also addresses medical vulnerability within communities five nights a week by conducting Night Round visits in collaboration with HOPE Hospital.
Naba Asha: Education Project for Street Children aims to improve accessibility and retention in mainstream education of street children. The project follows a holistic approach from preparing young children to be ready to go to formal school, to their retention in higher classes. Children are provided nutrition, pre-school education, counselling and medical services for improvement in mental and physical health. The project also focuses on increased community participation and local stakeholders to create a safety net for the children living on the streets. This is one of the most effective strategies to provide supplementary support to families who are unable to meet educational and other needs of the children. Child is not taken away from the family and continues to enjoy the security of a family environment that is necessary for healthy growth.