SAATH’s home managers programme; Urmila, on 18TH May felicitated their women work force with a kit which would help them in their future endeavours comprising of all the essentials.
Urmila, started in 2004, trains women who are unemployed and belong to the weaker section of the society, the well-being to be maintained in the house and then places them accordingly after thorough On-the-Job training. Such a set up guarantees their share of earning and social comfort. Hence granting them financial independence as well as restoring dignity in their lives.
The felicitation program started at around 11:00 in the morning where first the women were tested upon their skills that they were trained in such as ironing the clothes, bed arranging etc. Once tested, the Essential’s Kit was distributed among the women which consisted of water bottle, Lunch Box, grooming kit, Telephone Diary and a handy pen. The women were also equipped with Aprons and gloves to maintain hygiene while working and a watch was given to each member to keep a track of time and help them reach on-time to their specified houses. Along with all these necessities they were also given a utility bag which would come in handy daily to them.
A health check for these ladies set in collaboration with Civil Hospital next week where necessary tests like Blood test and cardio check has been duly arranged.
To see the pictures of the ceremony you can visit our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/saathahmedabad.
With a motive of ‘freedom from a conditioned existence’ known as Kaivalya in Indian spiritual thought, arrived 8 highly motivated their young leaders of the Gandhi fellowship programme in SAATH to understand our core value system and operational well being on field. A three day’s visit to our programme centres as well as an interactive session with our project co-ordinators and the group members was organised duly.
On the first day, after a brief orientation on our organisation and the programmes they had the chance to interact with our Executive Director, Keren Nazareth who then unfolded the story behind Saath and how we have evolved as an organisation. The underlining fact which was the highlight of the interactive session was why there is an immediate need to cater to the needs of the ‘urban’ poor and underprivileged. With the interactive session coming to a conclusion we then lead the group to the URC i.e. Urban Resource Centre at Vasna for a field interface. Here they had the opportunity to meet and know the stories of the women involved with Saath and how URC as an aid has helped them empower their social as well economic well being. Later in the evening we headed to the URC centre at Juhapura, where they had a lively and healthy communication with Zuber Bhai, our programme co-ordinator who narrated stories on how he got involved with Saath and motivated his community to think rationally and talk and discuss about progress and women development in particular.
Day Two was one of the most interesting field visits. The whole day was scheduled to be spent at the UMEED centre at Behrampura where young talented youth who due to social and economic constraints were not able to pursue their education ahead and are not eligible for employment, are trained in Computers, Elementary English and are given professional training in various courses. The youth leaders from Gandhi fellowship shared their experience of motivation and inspiration with the students of the Umeed programme and in response; the students too shared their life stories and cleared their doubts regarding finding inner inspiration and motivation. An interactive session was then set up with the faculty and management at the centre and questions regarding the functions, operations and discrepancies faces were all well answered. In the evening then a vigorous session took place where the Youth Force a newly introduced programme posed their queries against the Gandhi fellows regarding group formation, involvement and structure was all discussed in great detail with rising levels of zeal and drive.
The last day was a day dedicated to introspection and feedback. A meeting again with the executive director was arranged where in healthy feedbacks were exchanged and our guests shared their experiences with Saath.
To see the pictures of this journey you can visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/saathahmedabad
Over the past 24 years Saath has been working with youth from vulnerable and poor slum households through different programs through sports, employability, and livelihoods. In order to help youth grow and achieve what they aspire towards, to help understand their dreams better, we are beginning a process of setting up youth groups in slum communities across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Through the Give India Challenge we are hoping to raise a part of the funds that will help initiate this life changing process for hopefully thousands of youth from at least 3 States in India and then scale up across the country. To build a youth movement that will help young people from vulnerable, oppressed, economically weaker communities achieve their dreams.
If you want to support this movement, visit http://www.giveindia.org/iGive-youthgroup
It gives us immense pleasure to share that Saath is participating in Give India’s “India Giving Challenge 2012″ which is an online fundraising event. We would like to take this opportunity to request you all to support our cause by donating to our cause.
The minimum donation is Rs.100. Please visit our IGive page for more information. The event is open till 18th Oct. If you would like to make a donation via Cheque, please make it out to Saath Charitable Trust.
All donations made by Indian citizens are eligible for 50% (80G) and 100% (35AC) tax exemption.
Last February a group of six students from Sweden visited our organization. They all shared their experiences with us. Read below the story of two students: Alice and Simon.
We are a group of six students from Global College in Sweden. In February we made a field study in Ahmedabad for two weeks. Our aim was to find out what youth’s dreams and aspirations were and what possibilities they had to achieve them. During our field study we interviewed a couple of girls from SAATH’s education program UMEED. The youths were very friendly and we made easy contact with the interpreters as well.
The interviews gave us an understanding of youths’ situation in the slums. We learnt how the society, the family and the norms affluence the youths’ dreams and their opportunities to achieve their dreams. We also got an insight of our own culture and could see similarities to the youths in Sweden.
SAATH were an exceptional organization to work with, they were very accommodating and flexible. They not only arranged youths we could interview and interpreters, but also could adjust the schedule to our specifications and made it possible for us to make home visits to the youths. Our contact person, Chetasi, was also very helpful. She could give us more information about Ahmedabad, the situation in the slums and about youth’s situation in society. She could also guide us in our work by suggesting questions we should ask and other perspectives we should look at.
Alice Harlin and Simon Rudholm
Ashraf Chauhan is 31 years old and works as a Project Officer for Saath’s Child Rights for Change rural initiative. Ashraf was born Bhavnagar, a coastal town in Gujarat. At a young age he felt compelled to do something for his community. He witnessed that his community had to deal with various social issues and that there was a lack of proper education. He obtained a masters degree in Social Work (MSw) with a specialization in Rural Development at the university of Bhavnagar in 2002.
After his studies he started working for ‘Kutch Naw Mirman Abhiyan’, an organization that worked in the areas of Kutch that were affected by the devastating earthquake of 2001. It was during this time that he got introduced to Saath. Saath’s first rural project was relief work in the villages of Rapar and Khadir in Kutch. The programme ran from 2001 to 2004.
In 2009 Saath started up the Child Rights for Change programme funded by Save the Children and Ashraf was hired as the project officer for this programme. The Swedish Company Ikea realized that most of the cotton they purchase from India comes from cotton-farms that employ small children. They tied up with Save the Children and started a programme to eradicate child-labour. Saath runs this programme in 120 villages in Viramgam and Dholka, two districts in rural Ahmedabad.
Ashraf says that it’s really fun to work with kids. He thinks it’s very important to create awareness about child-rights, because children are the thriving force for future development of the country. They (the child-rights for change team) have achieved one significant milestone so far and one milestone in-the-making. A certificate of appreciation has been signed by 1,500 farmers in the area. The certificate states that the farmers won’t hire children to work at their farms. The second achievement is in process. It is a resolution that will be signed by the panchayat of all the participating 120 villages. It states that no child in their village will work.
Ashraf sees the change happening. You can see the effect of the programme in the numbers of children going to school. Before the programme started, all children were working at farms. Nowadays, from the 10,000 children, 6,000 are out of child-labour. The remaining 4,000 children combine working with attending school. Ashraf hopes that those kids will also find their way out of child labour.
The thing he likes most about his job is giving awareness trainers to farmers and parents. It’s very awarding to see the change happen in the parents. Convincing parents is almost the most difficult part of his job. It’s very tough to persuade them to bring their children to school. Many villagers don’t see the benefits of education. Their children will have to learn how to work anyway and they don’t learn that through school. Besides, they need the extra income. Firstly he tries to persuade them by pointing out short-term benefits. He explains to them that their children will be provided with a nutritious lunch at school every day and that they are in a save, protected environment while the parents are at work. Ashraf also tries to change their mind-set to a long-term perspective. At school children will learn important things that they won’t learn on the cotton-fields. Children that receive proper education on a regular basis will be able to find better jobs at the right age. The cycle of poverty can be broken by education. The farms will also benefit from educated employees. Better educated staff will be able to manage the farms better and bring new solutions and fresh ideas to their businesses.
Next to trainings he also likes to participate in developing new strategies with the eight partners that are involved with the Child Rights for Change Programme. Through working for Saath Ashraf has been able to profile himself as a good trainer. He has built a valuable network with the local government and NGOs. In the future he would like to continue the work he is doing now: helping more children out of child labour.