To really effect change in children’s lives, we recognize that we also have to address the environment in which they live. Children’s Hope India takes a holistic approach and where possible, aims to improve conditions in entire communities.
One central focus of our community-based activities is supporting women and girls and challenging gender stereotypes and norms that lead to discrimination and violence. After the recent spate of horrific acts of violence against women and girls, Children’s Hope India has begun to incorporate gender sensitivity training in its programs. We want to ensure that boys are taught—at a young age—to respect girls and that girls know that they and their bodies should be respected as well. We offer self-defense classes so girls are empowered to protect themselves. We also provide information on where girls and women can receive assistance and counseling and strive to make all community members aware of the new laws enacted to stop this violence.
Our other community-based activities include:
- Enabling women’s self-help groups
- Providing microfinance loans for women who want to start small businesses to support their families
- Raising awareness of hygiene and sanitation through workshops
- Proving health camps in slums and villages
- Organizing fun, holiday fairs in local communities
- Helping widows and the handicapped access government assistance
- Supporting new solar lighting technology in villages in Maharashtra
- Providing shelter and protection to girls who would otherwise be living on the streets in Delhi
Our community initiatives are varied and reach all ages. In our project in a New Delhi slum, for example, adults participate in our HIV and tuberculosis awareness workshops and children come to enjoy our holiday fairs at Christmas time and for Diwali, Indian New Year.