Aangan Trust 2011-2012 Annual Report Released
To access our Annual Report please click the link above, or here.
Over the last few years Aangan team meetings have often centered around the lack of experts in the field. Where are qualified counselors to help a trafficked child deal with trauma? Why aren’t there more substance abuse experts to help adolescents deal with addiction? Why aren’t there more researchers to collect scientific data on vulnerable children.
As we started 2012, this continues to be the concern. But we believe the answer lies in not necessarily bringing in more specialists, but ensuring that vulnerable communities are strengthened to provide care and protection to children and this is what we highlight over the next three years: Can parent and peer groups be trained to provide emotional support? Can doctors in existing government hospitals be involved in dealing adolescent addiction issues? Can communities find a way themselves to participate in collecting data? Can children monitor the child friendliness of their institution or community for themselves– this is the emphasis for Aangan in the next three years.
Over the last few years, but especially through 2011 Aangan has laid the foundation for what we call this crucial “convergence and coordination” phase. The last year saw us working with staff and community partners in institutions and groups of children and families at home. We have worked with district level officials, caregivers in children’s institutions, Juvenile Justice Boards, police, schools and parents. We have also been working separately with children’s groups in neighborhoods across five different cities and states: Bhopal , Patna, Bombay, Bhaubaneshwar and Varanasi. Across our programs Shakti for girls and Chauraha for boys, children were able to access community support and services for the first time. Out of school girls dialogued with local education officers, out of work boys interacted with professional trainers, children doing rag picking work found a way to access and regularly attend school. Thanks to our work in institutions, children “spoke” to policy makers through Aangans regular reports and we were able to witness the following changes: nutrition in Children’s Homes improved, recreation and play time was introduced, and more children got to study and learn vocational skills. Most of this was possible because of highly motivated children’s groups who mobilized themselves through Aanganprograms.
During 2012-2015 we bring the two aspects of our work together: facilitating dialogue and setting up systems. Our goal is that children and caregivers begin to work together to keep them community child safe. What does this actually mean in terms of Aangan’s work? It means every program and every community we work in have accessible protective services: Children’s Homes/Observation Homes that are run as per the law, rehabilitative and child friendly. Police, health workers, Juvenile Justice Boards, local anti-trafficking officials, teachers and lawyers who understand what is expected of them (as per the law) and are sensitized and confident about working effectively on children’s issues while giving parents the space to do their own job – parenting. And most importantly children and families who feel empowered about making their own communities child safe.
We start this phase with a big thank you to the many individuals and organizations that support us in various ways. Our work with the most vulnerable children across India is sometimes slow to show results and may seem like too a small drop in the ocean. But together with your patience and determination, we believe that change is urgent and change is possible.