Sunday, 14 October 2012

The thrust of the entire sponsorship programme is on providing good education to children in need. At CFI, we believe in empowering children and their families through education. As this programme is need-based, every unit has different needs and different budgets relate. The units in the urban areas like Pune, Mumbai and Thane focus more on formal education whereas the units like Dabhol and Raigad emphasize more on community development. The children, their siblings and the children who are not eligible for the sponsorship but are very deserving, get help so that their formal or non-formal or vocational education will continue without any hindrances. 

  • Distribution of school material

To motivate children to attend school and take continued interest in their schooling, aid in the form of school uniform, notebooks, textbooks, stationary, school shoes, raincoat, and umbrella is offered. The distribution of this aid is done at the unit level considering the need of the children on the basis of meeting with the school teachers and the parents. Here, we try to avoid the duplication of services. This benefit is given to the sponsored children as well as their siblings and other children in the community on the basis of need assessment done by the social workers.  

  • Reimbursement of fees 

Though the Government has, in principle, made education free for girls, schools charges various kinds of fees resulting in financial burden on their families. And the inability to pay school fees regularly is the primary reason for school drop outs. To avoid this, CFI reimburses the school fees of the sponsored children. At times CFI approaches schools for such payments and see to it that the schooling of the sponsored children gets secured. This support is also available for the siblings of sponsored children and some non-sponsored children, based on the discretion of the social workers involved. 

  • Supportive coaching class 

Most of the children we work with are from illiterate families. In fact, they are the first literate generation. As there is no support system for them at home, our children need extra support for bettering their academic performance. Taking this into consideration, CFI supports study classes run under its supervision as well as reimburses the expenses incurred for the coaching classes.  

  • Career guidance 

Success in career to a large extent hinges on making the right decision during one’s student days itself, particularly in SSC or HSC. It is also necessary to guide students appearing for the SSC/HSC exam to help them overcome the fear of failure. CFI conducts various such sessions to guide the students of 10th an 12th on the said issues. For some of the meetings, the parents are also invited. 

  • Assistance for vocational / professional courses 

Keeping tune with the changing times, we encourage our students to take up vocational or professional courses, which would enable them to be self reliant at the earliest. Sponsored and other non-sponsored children too are benefiting from this initiative. They are opting for various courses, such as Nursing, Computer education - Hardware and Software, Beauty care, Fashion designing, Engineering, among others. While giving this aid, we encourage children to try to get education loans too, as they have to bear exorbitant fees. 

  • Day Care Center 

During the course of our work in the tribal areas of Raigad district, we felt the acute need for day care centers. In response to this, we set up two Day Care Centers viz at Rajdand and Rajmachi and are successfully running the same. 32 children are getting the advantage of pre- primary education imparted in these Day Care Centers. Out of these, 16 are sponsored and 16 are non-sponsored children.   

  •  Excursions 

The sponsored children under our projects are a socially and financially deprived lot. Many of them cannot go out of their city or village due to financial constraints. To add value to their learning, children need exposure as well as recreation. Considering this fact, CFI takes some children on excursion to historical and other places of interest 

  • Skills development workshops 

Having talent alone is not enough for a child’s growth and development. It needs to be identified and nurtured. With this objective, CFI organizes various workshops on issues like art and craft, personality development, drama, science and so on for the children covering different age group as per the need and try to identify the hidden talent in the children.   

  • Residential school  

It has been found that, the parents from the tribal communities of Raigad district migrate for almost six to seven months in search of jobs and they carry their children with them as no one can take care of them in their absence in the village. This ultimately leads to increase in the drop out rate in school. To put a check on this problem, CFI Raigad unit in coordination with Block Education office (State govt.), supports the residential schools at Gagode and Ghote. In all 40 students are benefiting from this service. The Government provides the students with food and accommodation while CFI takes care of the rest of the aspects needed to run the school