Empowering working children, the CWC way

Empowering working children, the CWC way

With its objective genuine, The Concerned for Working Children (CWC), a Bangalore based NGO, has made it evident that an organisation can bring about a positive change in the society through its dedicated service, irrespective of its lengths and breadths or corporate stature.

Namma Bhoomi, meaning Our Earth, a unit of CWC which started in 1992, is the Regional Resource Centre of CWC and has been operating near Hattiyangadi cross in Kundapur.

Namma Bhoomi campus, surrounded by a thick green lush, beckons children to be a part of social change. The enclosure of various establishments wearing a vintage look in the natural landscape, is an architectural marvel by Jeeth and Natasha Iype.

The hostels, workshops, administrative office and other constructions have been built on the concept of ‘use and reuse’ mantra. Used doors, windows and pillars have been made use of and no single tree has been felled for the construction of any building. Instead, the greenery has been nurtured by the people here.

Concerned for Working Children Assistant Director Venkatesh Moodkeri said that the organisation founded and led by Nandana Reddy, former Chairperson of the International Working Group on Child Labour (IWGCL), is committed to protect the rights of children, who voluntarily work at various places to support their families.

Imparting life skills

Working children, marginal children and specially abled children are being trained in Namma Bhoomi in various skills such as carpentry, plumbing, sewing, computer course, hand-loom, leather chappal making, electrical motor winding, beautician course, computer skills and basic electrical training, based upon children’s choice.
“There are a number of children from economically backward families who follow ‘earn and learn’ pattern. Also, a major part of working children comprises school dropouts.

CWC creates awareness among such on working children’s rights and helps them in attaining skills with which they could be self reliant,” Venkatesh said. “The    Concerned for Working Children observes that the children involved in the organisation are not indulged in works which exploit them mentally or physically. The centre provides  free coaching to the students who want to write exams privately and complete their basic education.”

Working Children’s Union

Bhima Sangha or the working children’s union, is one of the concepts of CWC.
The children in Bhima Sangha are trained by Namma Bhoomi and are made aware on child labour laws and various problems which they are likely to face such as child abuse, over work, low wages etc.
 
Though the Sangha functions outside Namma Bhoomi, they will be provided a free platform to avail training, churn out their issues and to arrive at solutions, under the guidance of resource persons.

Makkala Panchayat

Bhima Sangha members, after attaining the age of 18, will constitute Makkala Panchayat, yet another initiative by CWC.  The members of Makkala Panchayat discuss civic problems with the Gram Panchayat officials. Makkala Panchayat has also been recognised by the government and the members of Children’s Panchayat have participated in 3000 gram sabhas so far.

Namma Halli

Namma Halli (Our Village), a part of Namma Bhoomi campus, provides children with a living space. The rooms built in the traditional village house style, are intend to give children a feel of home.

All boys and girls learn dairy farming, agriculture and cookery in Namma Halli. There are vermi compost units, bio gas unit and also a kitchen garden. The children learn Yakshagana, craft, painting and Yoga here. Water harvesting is also practiced.
At present, 114 children stay in the campus.

Namma Angadi

Namma Angadi, meaning Our Shop, is a place where the products created by children are kept for sale, along with that of village artisans. There are no middle men involved in the process and the artisans can directly keep their clay and terracotta products, garments, bamboo, jute, lavancha and wooden products in Namma Angadi.

Namma Nalanda

Namma Nalanda Vidyapeetha, a unit of CWC, located near Namma Bhoomi, has been providing education to deprived and economically backward children. The classes conducted till eighth standard, follow the Montessori approach.

Nominated for Nobel peace prize

Even after being nominated for the Nobel peace prize in 2012, 2013 and 2014, The Concerned for Working Children stayed away from limelight. But, at the same time, it had led a silent revolution of providing a ‘voice’ to working children, since its inception in 1985.

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