Place: Nelvoy village, Tamil Nadu
Rukmani, now in class 8, lost her parents at a very young age. Since then, her grandparents are taking care of her. Working on daily wages, the poor financial condition makes it difficult for Rukmani’s family to afford three meals a day. Many a times she joined the fresh session of her school without new books as she couldn’t afford them.
Nevertheless, the financial or emotional burdens have not extinguished Rukmani’s dreams of becoming a doctor. “I hope one day I can achieve my dreams. Once I become a doctor, I will help other children like me achieve their dreams too,” says Rukmani. She is a student of CASA Bridge School. CASA’s continuous mentoring in the marginalized villages encouraged parents to send their children to CASA Bridge Schools and other government schools so that they can complete their education along with getting at least three-basic nutritious meals a day.
CASA BRIDGE SCHOOL CENTRES
CASA took up Child Labour Free Zone Project (CLFZP) initiative to create an environment and opportunity for children to promote their rights and to restore childhood.
Bridge Course Centres were planned particularly for the school drop outs. The main objective of the bridge course centre is to encourage a child to continue education by creating a positive channel. These centres help children to continue their education in a regular school. Regular follow up is done by the appointed volunteers so that every child – upto 14 years – attends school.
The Bridge course center volunteers prepared 7 children in Andhra Pradesh and 5 in Tamil Nadu for appearing in 10th exam. Parents teacher meetings were conducted where they were motivated to send their children to the bridge course centers regularly.
Women and girls were enriched in their skills and developed confidence for better self employment opportunities. Children were provided information on availing loans from the banks and other financial institutions to start their own business centers. By attending the courses at the vocational training centers, the employable skills, social status and
confidence level has increased.
Child Labour Free Zone Project made people aware of the problems related to child labour and integrated livelihood issues. In order to achieve this, network and alliances were built with various organizations.