UN Sustainability Goal No. 4: Good Education.
Education – a way to give children hope into a better future
Education is a main focus of all programs for Mother Foundation-US. Nearly 50% of the sponsorship budget is used for education and activities related to education. It is our conviction that education is a very effective way of combating poverty, which again makes the way out of poverty possible.
Children who complete the education acquire knowledge that makes them easier to get work and thus income when they grow up. Through our approach, we contribute to reaching the UN’s sustainability goals for good education.
An important aspect is that almost 80% of the children in our programs are girls. In India – especially in villages and in remote areas – there are especially boys who prioritize education. Girls are often regarded as a burden for the families. We come into contact with married couples who are desperate to give birth to a boy instead of a girl as they have already given birth to several girls. It is common for families to save money for education for their sons, but not for their daughters. Young widows must also prepare to take care of their in- laws.
India has long traditions of learning and education. The country likes to present a picture of itself as a country with great scientific and technical progress. The reality is, however, massive illiteracy and a weak education system. According to UNESCO estimates, more than 30% of the population over 15 years are illiterate. Only three out of ten Indian girls complete 10 years of schooling. It is this situation that has caused SevaChildren to prioritize girls education and thus contributes to the fact that more than 80% of children in our programs are girls.
Short facts about Education in India:
1. It is still very likely that fewer girls than boys start at school
2. In 2005, and in elementary school (age group 6-8) 8.8% fewer girls than boys started.
3. For children from different indigenous people, gender differences were 12.6% and for the untouchables, gender differences were 16%. 1)
4. Likewise, children from different indigenous groups and untouchables are less likely to complete 8 years of schooling.
5. In addition, the rate for children dropping out of the school, is 62,9% for the indigenous groups and 55,2% for the untouchables compared to a national average of 48,4%
6. Today, about 1 in 5 primary school teachers do not have the necessary academic minimum competence to ensure children’s rights to good learning
What do we do:
• Provide support for school uniforms, school supplies, school transport and tuition fees
• Provide support for the improvement of existing- and new schools
• Provide extra education for children and adolescents who have left school
• Vocational education
• Birthdays and other celebrations as needed
• Annual excursions for children in our areas of work
• Postgraduate and training course for school teachers
• Study classes, exam preparation classes as well as parental meetings
• Creative seminars, courses for individual development and various hobby courses
• Small library of books, newspapers, CDs, etc.
B. HEALT AND HIV/AIDS
UN Sustainability Goal No. 3: Good Health
Health and poverty are often interlinked. Although good health is a human right, it is far from a reality in India. It’s still a long time before all people in India can live a dignified life, with good health. For example, India had the world’s third largest HIV epidemic in 2015. Poverty must be combated, health- promoting measures must be initiated and sustainable development must be established
We reserve approx. 5% of our sponsorship budget to ensure that necessary healthcare is provided to children and adults in our working areas
Lack of vitamin A can cause blindness, weakening of the immune system and inhibition of growth. Hence, we have focused on Vitamin A as an integral part of the sponsorship program
Vitamin A capsules are distributed throughout India to children under the age of 5 years. In addition, various vitamins are distributed to lactating mothers
Important life-saving nutrients:
“Lack of Vitamin A can cause mortality among children under the age of five”
– The World Health Organization (WHO)
The micro nutrition programs focus on eradicating diseases related to vitamin A deficiency among children in marginalized families living in villages and urban slums in India. We provides vitamin A in appropriate doses to protect children from diseases related to vitamin A deficiency. These important micronutrients are free for the recipients Through our own projects and network of affiliates, we come into contact with children in areas that the Indian Government program does not reach.
What do we do:
• Regular health check-ups for children and families in our working areas
• Support for acute illnesses
• Follow-up of serious diseases for further treatment
• Health education programs
• Consulting Services
UN Sustainable Goal No. 2 – Eradicate hunger Nutrition – a necessity for good education Short facts about nutrition in India:
In India, 20% of children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition. 43% of children in India under the age of 5 are underweight and 48% (i.e. 61 million children) are physically deformed due to poor or inadequate diet
Malnutrition is significantly higher in rural areas than in urban areas. Frequent births usually causes a higher degree of malnutrition for children being born (due to poor nutrition for the mother). The percentage of children affected by severe underweight is almost five times higher among children with non- educated mothers than among mothers who have 12 or more years of schooling
The number of children who suffer from malnutrition is completely unacceptable. Have you ever tried to study on an empty stomach? If you have done that, you might want to remember that most of the time went on to figure out “how do I get food?”. Nutrition is an important part of our sponsorship program. Good and proper nutrition helps students to focus on the studies while they are at school. Nutrition is the cornerstone of human development!
What do we do:
• Daily delivery of additional food for children and families in need
• With the help of nutritionists we have developed separate food packages containing all necessary nutrients in order for children to have a healthy development
• Information campaigns focusing on healthy food habits for both adults and children
• Nutrition for malnourished children and adults (pregnant and elderly people)
• In special cases, such as deaths and accidents in the family, drought or other accidents, we provide food packages and matresses to the affected families
With 10% of our sponsorship budget, we are able to provide this support to children and families in our working areas
In addition to our lunch packages, all schoolchildren in India also receives a meal at school paid by the Authorities
D. FAMILY DEVELOPMENT
Family work is an integral part of the sponsorship program
Our philosophy is that we can not work effectively with the children unless we also are involving the whole family. Through the children we reach the whole family and through the family we reach the whole community. Children do not live isolated but are an integral part of the family, which in turn is part of the
community. Hence, development work involving children can not be done without also including the family to which the child belongs and the community in which the family lives
What do we do:
• Minor repair of homes
• Support in special cases to families in crisis:
• Home visits to families
• Family Counseling
• Parental meetings
• Skills training and securing of jobs for parents and siblings
• In most cases, we also help families to:
o Create sustainable jobs
o Breeding of goats
o Breeding of cows
o Establishment of small trading companies
o Support to the purchase of agricultural materials About 10% of the sponsorship budget is used for family work
E. CAPACITY BUILDING OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Capacity building of communities is necessary to achieve success in any program
The goal is to develop sustainable communities based on social equality and mutual respect. The central part of the program is to strengthen the individual’s and groups’ abilities and skills to influence the development of their own communities. This often involves establishing of groups or social networks which work together towards a common goal. Through this work, their democratic power is built, which in turn helps them to safeguard their interests more effectively. It is important that we facilitates planning processes where all citizens participates in the design of local development strategies
We specifically wishes to include:
• Minority groups
• Other marginalized groups
If you choose to become a sponsor through Mother Foundation-US you will not only support the child but its entire family, its local community and the next generation as well. As a sponsor you will be allowded to follow your sponsored child through its education
What do we do:
• Infrastructure improvements (schools, public buildings, etc.)
• Public awareness
• Planting trees
• Clean water
• Improvement of public toilets
• Arrangement of self-help groups, youth groups, etc.
We use approx. 15% of our sponsorship budget to facilitate social conditions where children can have healthy growth and development in general. As a sponsor you can follow up the child throughout its education.