Children’s clubs
IN THE SLUMS OF MADURAI (records)

A children’s club is…

A place where a child receives school support, with an innovative pedagogy differing from the very traditional Indian public education

A place where a child is safe : where he/she can play and study without being disturbed, reconnect with his/her childhood, far from bad treatments or harmful influences

A place for raising awareness : the child learns about hygiene (health), education and dangers in the street (violence, drug temptation, prostitution…) as well as how to fight them

A free access to play activities : the child can gain self-confidence, self-esteem, learn how to respect rules, find his/her place within a group, express his/her difficulties and overcome them.

The goal

The objective of the project is the educational and psycho-social support for children through children’s clubs.

Beneficiaries

• 200 children registered in the 6 children’s clubs benefit from the activities
• 8 women coming from the slums were trained and are to-day leaders for the children’s clubs
• 2 coordinators have become trainers for children’s clubs animation

Background

India signed the International Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992. Since then, and despite various government policies, many children are still not part of the school system. Over the past 20 years, and with an economic development of the country difficult to master, families have been broken up, poverty remains widespread, and the deficiencies of the education system are still present, the number of children who have been abandoned or run away has increased. In Madurai, second city of the state of Tamil Nadu, about 35,000 children live in the streets and have no access to education or to primary health care.

The state government of Tamil Nadu committed to build and furnish schools in the early 2000s but the National Education budget in India does not cover the needs. Therefore, government schools are overcrowded and under-equipped. Study conditions are poor and children do not feel encouraged to stay in school.

Once they are no longer in the school system, children are left with nothing to do and spend time on the streets. As most of these children come from poor families they also have to work to contribute to the family’s expenses.

ROLE OF CDE

Actions

To ensure the sustainability of its work for children, their families and communities, CDE supports NANBAN to:
• Develop and organize children’s clubs
• Set up mobile play spaces in the children’s clubs

The partner

NANBAN works with vulnerable children, aged 0 to 18, displaced by rural depopulation, orphans, street children, child-workers, children from very poor families, or in conflict with the law.

The activities of the organization also concern women from poor communities of Madurai.

NANBAN began its activities in 1990, and is today organized as follows:
• The transit center hosts children for a few hours or days while seeking a solution : reintegration in the family or acceptance in a Nanban center. The main objective of Nanban is to reunite the child with his or her family. Counseling and follow-up are important activities of Nanban which visits the child and the family regularly.
• The home for girls has about 30 girls, aged 3 to 18, who are cared for and educated. Games and artistic, sporting and educational activities develop their resilience. Older children can attend vocational training courses offered by Nanban or other NGO partners at the end of their studies.
• Vocational training centers, where children aged 16 or more can learn a profession, whatever their educational level. Nanban offers them both theoretical and practical training.
• Prevention efforts via the communities
• Women’s groups bring together women in the same neighborhood to organize meetings and awareness sessions, discuss common problems, improve their economic situation and learn how to save.

Location:
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Targeted Population:
750 children, 136 groups of women

Team:
24 local collaborators

Backer :
Aviva Foundation, clubs sponsors