The child rights convention, and child protection laws are well attended and most of the governments and UN agencies have highlighted the importance of the “safe living of the children “ worldwide, but in reality it is noted that the situation at least of a segment of children is not falling under the convention. In this article RAHAMA tries to trace some important issues, what we have experienced in Poonery Division in Kilinochchi District where we have established cooperation with the Education Department and the related Government agencies to improve the living condition of the children who are members of the resettlement communities returned after the end of war. Action on child development initiated by RAHAMA in other 3 districts are on specific themes such as Child Cooperatives. The problems faced by children Problems of children persisting in the operational area of RAHAMA are diverse and based on different root causes. Most of the families complain about the inadequate income levels to look after the children, although the NGOs, UN system and government agencies take conspicuous effort to improve the conditions of the children in particular in the resettlement areas. From the surveys and investigations carried out revealed that one key factor for higher rate of school drop out is the eagerness of children to go for income earning avenues. Reasons are partly due to the demand for labour which is in the increasing trend and partly due to the income poverty. These kind of labour involvement is also bringing other dangers for the children, like they easily fall pray to be a victims by the drug or alcohol users in the area. Damaged Pre school buildings, Moderate academic levels of pre school teachers and marginal attention of parental societies are some of the problems affecting Pre school programmes in areas being covered by RAHAMA. Provincial councils and other state driven Departments have made available provisions to meet major part of operation with the budgets yet parents have to find solutions for renovations etc.Under the above circumstances, RAHAMA also with the consent of District authorities take steps to increase access to quality basic education for vulnerable children and to improve kindergarten facilities through improved mediation of parents and the community. Through these processes the project encouraged more community ownership and participation of different stakeholders including the government and non-governmental. Strategic partners. The program ensured the children to attend education centres/ schools without any interruptions.[read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”] Early childhood education centres maintained their operations with 1487 kids in 51 early childhood development centres in Poonakary division where we are actively involved in the early childhood development programs with trained teachers or facilitators. No ECD centres can produce sufficient results without the involvement of the parents and reformed Parents committees are in focus.RAHAMA also has initiated a programme to improve 20 Pre Schools in DS’s divisions of Vavuniya North and Vavuniya South under the execution of both DSs and the ECD authorities. While, assisting all 20 Pres Schools to accomplish some of the renovations or Electricity connection etc., further emphasis will be made to strengthen Parental societies to meet such needs through local resources while seeking Govt.
intervention for major requirements.
Impact of RAHAMA intervention on Child Dev. Actions are varied and diverse. Action initiated with Govt. officials enabled 175 School dropouts to recommence education ensuring regular attendance. Revitalization of parents, teachers and school development associations was one other outcome. 402 Parents could follow awareness sessions on parental care and child rights and these parents formed parents committees in some Pre Schools. 18 Children were assisted to get their birth certificates. Endeavoured community strength and formulated Child Resource Development Centres (CRDC) in 12 villages and actively functioning with the membership of 803 children.
Children /kids and parents are highly praiseworthy and admirable on the financial assistance made available for RAHAMA from several
The benchmark at the beginning of the project: schools were either destroyed or closed due to the war, thus most children were not attending school. This was creating a very negative situation for the children who were forced go for labour jobs for less pay when they grew up.
Current status: the schools in the settlement areas or in the vicinity have been reopened for the children to get admitted. The department of education and the parents are focussing on this issue to minimise the school dropouts with the support of RAHAMA. Pre-schools too are functioning with qualified teachers unlike earlier. Moreover, the local organisations are observant of the child abuse issues. The status of children has infinitely improved over the past five years. Child Rights action groups are formed in few Divisional Secretarial areas to enable children to spend their time after schools in a protective and useful manner. At least one mobile library could be started in one location to facilitate improved reading habits of children. [/read]