Prerna

Objective

Spreading awareness amongst community residents for educating their children and themselves through counselling sessions and awareness programs.

Our Work

The foundation of any transformation is to understand and acknowledge the need for transformation itself. A typical family in Sector-16 slum community consists of 6-8 siblings with parents working as daily wage workers and children doing rag-picking earning around Rs. 25/day. This is a community where rag picking by children is rampant,  marrying a 13 years old girl with 28 years old is considered normal, hygienic conditions are so pathetic that life of a new born is never secure and educating their children has never been recognized as a basic need. We are convinced that Education is the only medium that can bring much-required changes in this community thereby allowing them to live an informed and healthy life.

 Community Meeting

For the last six years, we have been working extensively with the community to raise their awareness levels. Following initiatives have been taken during this period:

1. Community Events. We organize regular events on occasions such as Republic Day, Independence Day and Children’s Day. These events are organized in the middle of community and are celebrated with the community. We put up local tents in the community and showcase their children’s talent in front of the entire community. These events are also the platform for sending our messages to the community and taking their feedbacks. They have been highly successful and effective way of communicating with the community.

2. Conducting surveys. We conduct regular surveys in the community where we go to individual houses and do one-to-one interactions. These surveys help us do indepth communication with families thereby helping us understand their issues better. We also take these opportunities to counsel them.

3. Creating role models. In pursuit of achieving a bigger objective, we always have to take smaller steps. We started creating role models out of children from the community who were transformed from rag-pickers to children studying English, Hindi, Science, Social-studies, computers etc. in good schools. The transformation in these children is clearly visible to the community motivating more and more parents to educate their children.

4. Monthly meetings with community. We organize formal meetings with community residents on monthly basis. These meetings act as a platform for us to discuss the challenges and plans along with taking their feedbacks. This ensures that our efforts and community requirements are in-line with each other.

5. Induction in decision making. Our management body consists of many community residents. This gives them the voice to make decisions for themselves. With time, percentage of community members will be increased and they will themselves decide the future of Prayas.

This is an ongoing program that has built the platform of working with the community. Some of the benefits we see include reversing the trend of child marriage amongst female kids, preventing rag picking by the kids, improving the situation of women in community and most importantly making them understand "Value of Quality education". Education has impacted in the improvement of hygienic condition of the children and their families as well but still a lot needs to be done.