Capacity Building Of NGOs
In 2004-2005, the Foundation organised an eight-month program in Tamil Nadu for Capacity Building of NGOs, Self Help Groups, and Panchayat Members. This program was supported by the Delhi-based office of the World Bank. The program was based on a new approach called “Vulnerability Analysis, Participatory Approaches, and Gender Issues”. This program consisted of four residential workshops, each held for a period of five days and a follow-up workshop for two days. In each workshop, 20 NGOs and CBOs from Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry participated. Thus, about 100 NGOs and CBOs were covered totally. A follow-up workshop for two days, at the Avinashilingam Deemed University, Coimbatore, thoroughly reviewed the work done during the previous four workshops. The basic approach in these workshops was to develop the capacities of the NGOs and CBOs to be competent to identify the most vulnerable persons in the community and to develop methods to ensure their participation in the development initiatives of these organisations. For a copy of the report of the workshops, please visit the Reports section.
Improving the Quality of Education for Rural Children
It is commonly understood now in India that the quality of education in the rural areas is a matter of serious concern. In order to address this issue, the Foundation has organised a project in collaboration with the NGO, Aid India. The project uses specially developed pedagogy to improve the reading and writing skills of school-going children in a remarkably short span of time and enables them to perform well in their studies. Nearly one hundred children, both boys and girls, are benefiting from the three centres that have been set up by the Foundation.
Options for decent livelihoods
As the city of Chennai is rapidly expanding into the nearby rural areas, and the traditional occupations of agriculture and other rural livelihoods are declining, the rural youth need support to prepare themselves to enter the newly-emerging industrial occupations. In this context, the Foundation has been a partner in a project supported by the Confederation of Indian Industries, Southern Region office, Chennai. The primary purpose of the project is to provide pre-industrial training to the rural youth, both men and women, and to equip them with the necessary attitudes and perspectives to enter jobs in the organised industrial sector. The Foundation has trained about 250 youth so far. In this project, nearly half the beneficiaries are from the salt pan workers’ families, while the remainder are from other poor families in the nearby communities.