Children leading the way

Updated Sep 06, 2018
Written by World Vision India; Edited by Kaija Hutteri and Katie Hackett

Children’s clubs break down social barriers between kids

For many families living in Alwar, strict social rules have always governed community life. Children and adults from different socioeconomic backgrounds did not associate with one another. Some segments of the population were routinely and deliberately excluded from public functions.

The support of Canadians who sponsor children in Alwar made it possible for us to start children’s clubs in the community. Over time, these clubs are gaining ground and bringing many positive changes in the lives of vulnerable families.

In one of Alwar’s villages, only ten children showed interest in the club at first. This began to change after facilitators attended training to learn how to make group activities more inclusive and interactive. A total of 35 girls and boys in this village have now joined the group, meeting weekly for two hours at a time to discuss initiatives to improve village life.

“The children used to gather based on socioeconomic status,” says Hema, a woman who helps facilitate the children’s clubs. “Now, they gather without worrying about their background. We formed children’s clubs not only in our village but in neighbouring villages as well.”

Breaking down social barriers between children was an important step in building a brighter future for families living in Alwar. Working together, these girls and boys have accomplished a great deal already.

Club members push for change in Alwar

After heavy rainfall damaged one of the village roads, members of the club advocated for it to be repaired. The 500 metre stretch of road was muddy and difficult for young children to navigate, particularly during the rainy season. Despite several setbacks, this determined group of boys and girls continued to bring attention to the issue. When they finally received the support they needed, they pitched in to spread sand on the road and create a safer walking surface.

Children’s clubs are also having a positive impact on school enrolment. In this particular village, only 35 to 40 per cent of school-age children used to attend their classes regularly. Most parents were farmers who were uneducated, illiterate and did not understand the value of education. However, 95 per cent of boys and girls in this community are now enrolled.

With the support of Canadian sponsors, we are raising up a new generation of leaders that are already transforming life in the community of Alwar.