Celebrating our 18th birthday and becoming a legal adult is something all of us have looked forward to. However for children living in orphanages, it is a date, which most of them dread, because after this date whatever shelter they have at an orphanage is withdrawn. Children have to leave orphanages once they turn 18 years; in many cases this happens even earlier. The childrenthen step out into the complex web of the outside world, having no clue whatsoever as to how to navigate through. Some of the girls are married off, while the boys get pushed into daily wages type of livelihoods. It is not surprising that many children stumble in this transition and fall back into cycle of exploitation, poverty and broken families. What a tragedy and waste of human potential.
This situation exists across nearly all orphanages across the country. By our rough estimate, about 50,000 children have to move out of orphanages every year. While the Juvenile Justice Act does prescribe the setting up of Aftercare support, in reality there is very little help available to these children/young adults. This is a big and universal gap in the way orphanage eco-system.
the boys get pushed into daily wages type of livelihoods as the only job recourse. They are at a phase where they still need handholding for a year or two to become productive citizens of society instead of losing their way, this is where they need to be mentored the most. The outcomes for them and society at large, would be much better in terms of productivity, if they are mentored for one or two more years.
o address this need, CSA has created a Bridge to Livelihood Program. This program starts while the child is 14-15 years old and still in the orphanage. The need at this stage is life skills training to build confidence, communication and aspiration in the child. We have found that most children have very little exposure to career options and therefore have unrealistic expectations. We provide awareness about different career options and the requirements to enter into these careers. The teenage years from 14-18 are very important years to prepare the child with soft skills and life skills as well as the right mental attitude for independent living and livelihood.
As the time to leave the orphanage approaches, we work with the child, and a career counsellor to create an exit plan for the child. After the age of 18, we facilitate either higher education or livelihood training linked to job opportunities. With this objective, CSA has partnered with many training/skilling centres and educational institutes so that the children have a good variety of options available to them. Apart from training course, the children require some financial support and mentoring till they are in a job and a stable situation. This 2-3 year period is a very critical phase in their lives and some support and handholding goes a very long way into transforming the children into happy and contributing members of society.
After the age of 18, when they can no longer remain at the orphanage, we facilitate livelihood training linked to job opportunities so that children, are able to earn and start building an independent life for themselves. During this transition period from Orphanage to independent living, CSA also provides mentoring support to each child. This is a very critical phase in their lives and some handholding goes a very long way into transforming the children into happy and contributing members of society.
Child data collection done for 500+ children, who are above 15 years of age, for creating a
child development plan.
50 hours of Life skilling work done with 500 children.
Vocational trainings conducted (via institutes)550+children trained
70 children in our 18 year+ Aftercare programme
It is heart-warming to see the future of these children’s lives being shaped through this program. We would like to share a few stories here of some children that are being impacted by the Aftercare & Livelihood program
ejus Kadam is a smart and active boy. When he was 13 years old, his father passed away. His mother was not in a position to take care of him & she eventually admitted him to the Government Children’s Home in Ulhasnagar, Mumbai in 2008. Tejus completed his ITI course in Telecommunication after 10th grade and started working. He wanted to study further but due to family responsibilities, he continued his job.
CSA organized a session in collaboration with Yashaswi group on ‘Earn and Learn’ program at Government Children’s Home. Tejus attended this session. After meeting Tejus, Yashaswi group sent him for a round of interview with Forbes & Tejus was able to clear the interview round & has been selected for the role of a Machine Operator. Tejus is now working with Forbes and is simultaneously pursuing a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the same company. He is earning Rs. 7500 per month with free transportation and food facility.
Govinda, now 18 years old, was found abandoned at the age of 8 at
Khandwa Railway station by the nun in charge of Navjeevan Children’s Home.
Govinda did his schooling in Khandwa. He had completed a basic course in Computers. CSA provided him with Tuition Teacher support for his 10th grade exams which he passed and scored 56%. He is preparing for his 12th grade exams & he has been employed for a Childline project in Indore where he is earning a remuneration of Rs.6000/month.
Govinda was provided with hands-on training to help prepare him for his new job. He was trained in the role of an office assistant while he was at the orphanage.
Govinda plans to complete his higher secondary education from Indore and CSA will look to fund his education expenses. Our program officers are in touch with him & he is enjoying his workplace.
Divya, now 18 years, had lost her mother in her childhood & was admitted
to an orphanage in Indore – Jeevan Jyoti Rao by her father, a driver by
Divya is a bright girl & has participated in all activities conducted at the orphanage. She was also appointed as the President of the Children’s Committee at the orphanage.
Divya scored 78% in her 12th grade exams and is now pursuing her Bachelor’s in Science course at the Holkar Science College, Indore. CSA is supporting her with college, accommodation & transport expenses.