Empowering Rural Children in Tamil Nadu

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The Covid pandemic has wreaked havoc in the districts of Tiruchirappalli and Karur. A majority of the members of these rural communities are daily wage earners such as street vendors and hawkers and the pandemic brought heavy losses and a large decline in their livelihood, impacting their children and other family members.

During the pandemic, the number of school dropouts among the children of the daily wage earners increased dramatically. In some areas, there were a number of  minor girl children being married off.

While the schools are now open, another issue affecting the children has reared its head: many of these children have had to become child labourers to support their family earnings, and many have been drawn in to crime, especially in the semi-urban areas neighbouring these villages.

The  long time closure of schools due to the  pandemic coupled by the serious erosion in the parents’ livelihood has resulted in significant psychological challenges among children. Almost all children have been affected by the long lull with their schools remaining shut for almost two years. The disadvantaged rural children are now also face the challenge of succeeding in a grade-level to which they have been automatically promoted, without being academically prepared.

The absence of smart-phones and TVs in most of their homes has been a major obstacle in accessing even the online classes during the long pandemic school closure.  In Tamil Nadu, grade-10 state exams in 2021-22 had an unprecedented number of absentees and failures and as many as 48,000 students were not able to pass the subject of Tamil language.

Prior to the pandemic, area children had access to Evening Study Centres in some 25 villages in the districts of Tiruchirappalli and Karur. The Centres helped to improve life outcomes for the children, focusing on holistic personality development. In addition to offering tutorial and homework assistance, the programs focused on life skill development through extra-curricular activities. Nutritional needs were also addressed with nutritional supplements.

Due to the pandemic, all 25 Evening Studies Centres that had been playing such an important role in addressing the needs of the children had to be closed. As if that were not grave enough, the funding that had previously kept the Centres open and running had been reallocated to emergency Covid issues.

This project will work towards re-opening the 25 supplementary Education Centres.

 

Goals 

  • Encourage and induce the children of the target villages whose education and overall personality development that has been badly hit by the pandemic to be back at school.
  • Ensure the provision of the required after school tutorial assistance to the children who have gone behind in academic abilities due to the long pandemic conditions.
  • Strive to bring about positive attitudinal change among the children to ‘beat the blues’ and sluggishness caused by the pandemic situation.
  • Ensure the physical and psychological health of the rural children in general post pandemic .

Activities

25 Supplementary Education Centres / Evening Study Centres for children will be established. The centres are geared for children ages 5-13 years from villages and hamlets in the district of Tiruchirappalli.

Each centre will have 30 children studying in grades 1-8.

The centres will be monitored by a coordinator and tutors will help the children. The coordinator and tutors are undergraduate students.

Key Performance Indicators to be reached (KPIs)

  • Up to 750 children will access the services of the Evening Study Centers;
  • The number of student readmissions to the area schools will increase significantly;
  • Academic performance will improve;
  • Participating children’s body weight will increase.

KBF CANADA is working with the Society for Poor People Development (SPPD) on this project, a nonprofit organization that envisions a secured & sustainable community and works on developing sections of society that are at risk and most deserving under five thematic areas.

 

How to support this project?


By credit card: At the top right of this page, indicate the amount you wish to donate, and make the donation online by credit card. You will receive a receipt for tax purposes by e-mail just a few minutes after making the donation. Simple and fast!

By cheque: Make your cheque out to KBF CANADA “Project B512 – Empowering Rural Children in Tamil Nadu” in the ‘For/Memo’ section.

Mail it to: KBF CANADA, 1 Place Ville Marie, Suite 1670, MONTREAL, QC, H3B 2B6  – CANADA.

By Direct Deposit: Please email Mélina Zitiello at KBF CANADA for transfer instructions [email protected] or call +1 514.438.300.8122

All donations are eligible for a tax receipt in Canada.

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