THE BEST STRATEGY TO FIGHT EXPLOITATION: EMPOWERING CHILDREN
Between 2008 and 2013 Back to Life ran the child rights and empowerment programme „Saksham“ together with a local partner organisation. The programme was implemented in 30 urban slums of Benares and 70 rural villages in the area. The goal was to foster awareness and enforcement of child rights amongst the local communities.
In addition, we set-up non-formal education centres in the slums of Benares to enable also the poorest and most discriminated children to receive a basic education. About 400 children between the age of six and 14 years, who were denied school access due to their caste and social status, were admitted to 13 informal schools based directly within the slum areas. The informal classes were tailored to the needs and abilities of the children. As most of these kids still had to collect rubbish to contribute to their family’s survival, classes were held in the afternoon, so they would be able to attend. Here, this group of children, which normally would have ended up illiterate, learned to read, write and do basic maths. Over time, some of them were even able to enrol into a public school.