Computer Training Center at Children's Observation Home
This is a project that reaches out to destitute / orphan children and children in conflict with the law. As per the laws in India, children involved in juvenile delinquency are put in observation homes till the cases against them are cleared or till they attain the age of 18 years. In the observation homes they are completely shut off from the outside world. So once they are out of the homes, they find it extremely difficult to come back to the mainstream. Being inside the homes away from parents and the family, the stress of legal / court procedures, the company of other children in conflict with law along with several other factors cause their mental strength to break apart. Their confidence level goes down. Also, having been in conflict with the law, they find it difficult to continue education or get decent jobs. Besides being confined to inside the homes, they do not get a chance to develop any skills of their own.
This project helps train these children in computer skills both basic and advanced. It not only helps them develop skills that they can use to earn a livelihood but also retain their confidence and trust in themselves. This project has been able to help several children gain feet once they are back into the mainstream life. The project supported through United Way of Mumbai has now successfully entered the third year of implementation.
Banking for Children in Municipal Schools
This project was started with a view of inculcating the habit of saving in low-income groups. They educate the children in municipal schools and their parents about managing finances by saving and prioritizing their needs and desires, inculcating healthy spending habits and planning for the future of the child. They encourage children to save small sums in piggy banks that would instill a sense of pride and responsibility towards their own life.
The children follow a model called 'Aflatoon Bank' where each class functions as a savings group which they refer to as 'bank'. They elect representatives who manage the money and they even have passbooks that are maintained by each individual member. Each class also forms an 'Aflatoon Club' which serves as a platform for children to discuss various issues relevant to their lives. They also undertake projects to learn and exercise more about their understanding of the social-financial education imparted to them. Mathematical skills of the children have been found to be improved through the program.