Empowering children and communities for sustainable change through GAYE Payroll Giving
CRY – Child Rights and You was born out of the belief that every individual can be the catalyst for social change. It is the power of “YOU” that drives us to do what we do for India’s children. The Give As You Earn (GAYE) program of CAF India is a testament to this belief. When employees of various corporate discover in themselves the power to bring about change by supporting the cause they truly believe in, it motivates us to go above and beyond to retain that trust. It inspires us to share the stories of hope that emanate from our project interventions because of the collective support for the agency of the child.
Last year, the support our projects received from the GAYE collaboration with Microsoft, aided by CAF India, led to significant and sustainable change for thousands of children and communities at large. We reached the last child in remote locations, helped empower children with innovative approaches such as sports inclusion, mobilized entire communities to come together for children’s rights and aided behavior change at family and community level.
The stories of change from across the country ought to be shared.
In the CRY supported project Rashtriya Jharkhand Seva Sansthan (RJSS) in the remotest block in Koderma district in Jharkhand where even government schemes like PDS and NREGA remain out of reach, support via GAYE has impacted over 7000 children under the age of 18 years. An area struggling with extreme poverty, illiteracy and caste discrimination; with instances of child malnutrition and child marriage rampant, the impact stories are inspiring. Community mobilization has led to community based growth monitoring and identification of malnutrition cases, immediate referrals of acute cases to malnutrition treatment centres and establishment of unique initiatives like kitchen gardens to ensure sustained proper nutrition to children. Behavior and Attitude change has been witnessed in the community with hygiene given importance and more children being enrolled at the Aanganwadi centres for pre-school education and provided with adequate nutrition. Child participation has been a focus area for us at all our projects and formation of adolescent groups has led to prevention of 27 child marriages.
Enhancing community and teacher participation, involving people’s representatives in child related issues and advocacy with local governance is an approach that has led us to witness tremendous change in communities in 36 villages in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. Mainstreaming of children engaged in labour, retention of children in school, filling up teacher vacancies, even setting up village level child tracking systems for child protection have been achieved in our intervention areas by SNEHA, our supported NGO in the area.
Innovative approaches to empower children and communities have been strengthened with the program association. Supported project SCSTEDS (Slum Children Sports Talent Educational Development Society) which works in Vyasarpadi, one of the oldest and largest slums in Chennai has used Sports as a medium to completely change the face of education in the area. As children are developing skills in football, they are also inspired to do better at school and work harder for a bright future. 90% of children were retained in school last year and about 50 children entered degree courses, many via sports quota.
The program has helped us reach out to employees of Microsoft who believe in the rights of the child as much as we do. To reach a different level of engagement with them, the program can further be strengthened so more employees can contribute as volunteers, while being positioned miles away from intervention areas. Options of virtual volunteering and aiding digital learning at grassroots are great next steps to further sustain the program.
CRY – Child Rights and You