Development

1.0      Project Title:  Capacity Building For Migrant Labour Children and the Menace of Tourism Related Child Sexual Abuse

1.1.   Period:  October 2000 – March 2001.

1.2.   Implementing Agency:  Peaceful Society.

2.0     Project Implementation:

Project Goals:

a)      To enable children to attain and safeguard their rights to childhood and promote their all-round development through social, educational, cultural, recreational facilities.

b)     To create awareness and organise women for an integrated development process, enabling them a better livelihood, leading to empowerment.

Objectives (General):

a.      To organise educational, cultural, creative and recreational activities for children.

b)     To create awareness about rights of children, especially those forced to work, and work for their implementation.

c)      To investigate the prevalence of tourism related child sexual abuse and initiate an intervention program of awareness and advocacy for its arrest.

d)     To create health awareness and initiate a health promotion program for the people, particularly children and women.

e)      To create awareness and organise women by disseminating relevant information, providing skills, and building a network of self-help groups.

3.0    Programs and Activities:

3.1    Capacity Building and Promotion of Children’s Rights:

3.1.1  Objectives:

a.      To enable the participants to acquire a greater knowledge base and awareness.

b.      To enable school children to cope with their studies and reduce drop out rate.

c.      To develop self-confidence, self-expression and facilitate all round development.

d.      To address the problems of street/working children and work for the promotion of children’s rights.

3.1.2          Activities in Progress:

3.1.3          Creative Self-Expression – Wall Paper

a.       The Wall Paper is an exercise in creative self-expression wherein the children present pieces of articles, drawings, paintings, poems, jokes, riddles, etc.  In the second semester, we brought out two such issues, one in Dec. 2000 (Human Rights issue), the other in March 2001 (general issue).

b.      Features:

:  Human Rights Rally of Children – Highlights.

: 2 Songs on Child labour – “Chota Baccha Samajke….” and “Ham Bacche Hai To Kya  Hua….”  written by 2 of our students – Sonia Borkar & Sheela Ganachari.

:  2 Poems on exams and 5 other general poems.

:  Drawings on Child labour, other general art.

:  Autobiography of a Flower.

:  Jokes, Riddles, Puzzles, Shairi.

3.1.4          Self Discovery & Affirmation Workshops:

a)      These 1-day Workshops have been organised for adolescents of the age group 13-16.  They were held at Jan Ugahi Kendra.

b)     No. Of Workshops:  1 (Photograph enclosed)

c)      No. Of participants:  25 (list submitted with previous report)

d)     Subject Covered: Social Awareness – Basic understanding of Power structures in Society and the   plight of the lower classes.

e)      Pedagogy: Use of Posters, ‘Kaun Banega Karodpati’ style quiz.

f)       Resource Person:  Mr. Gregory D’Costa, Jan Ugahi, Margao.

3.1.5          Remedial Education Classes:

a.)    Expected No.:  80

b.)    Actual No. of participants :  70, from Stds. 3-10.

c.)    Activity involved:

–       Remedial Classes & Individual Coaching.

–       Periodic tests to monitor progress and prepare for exams.

–       Personal Guidance/Counselling to deal with personal and social problems and enhance performances.

–       Regular interaction with parents (usually mother) or guardians for feedback and community support.

–       This program is combined with cultural, recreational and creative activities to promote self-confidence, creativity, all-round growth and development.

–       Regular review meetings with teachers for monitoring program & progress and training of teachers.

d.)     The reduction in number of participants is mainly because of dropping out from school, de-motivation, influence of friends, discouragement due to poor results, etc

3.1.6          National Open School: To continue education and reduce drop out rate, neo-literates and school dropouts are encouraged to join the NOS stream.

a)      No. Of participants:  27 (18 girls, 3 women, 6 boys) – (list submitted with previous report)

b)     Levels of participants: A, B, C grades corresponding to 3rd, 5th, 8th stds. of formal school, respectively.

c)      Activity Involved:

–       Eklavya, Bhopal, provides the participants textbooks either from the NOS scheme or those designed.

–       The students study on their own, alone or in groups, and on Thursdays, classes, individual and group guidance as well as periodic tests, are arranged with a teacher in attendance.

d)     Remarks:

(i)           While 27 have been enrolled, the attendance in the 2nd term has been poor.

(ii)          It has been very difficult to sustain the motivation of the participants to continue their education.

(iii)        Many questions arise in our minds: is this a normal problem of mainstreaming of these migrant, marginated groups?  Is it the absence of an educational culture and support system among theses groups?  Is it lack of proper support on our part ?  Is it due to the general trend among these groups of demotivation, disillusionment with the system, no hope in education?  These questions remain unanswered.

3.1.7          Addressing Street/Working Children’s Problems: As part of the organisation’s plan to focus more sharply on the street/working children’s problems, the following steps have been undertaken.

a) Preparing a database on the street/working children.

i.        5 community representatives – Ms. Rekha Addekar, Ms. Noorbi Sayeed, Ms. Ramiza Sheikh, Ms. Gosby Sheikh, Ms. Gulzar Banu were trained to administer the survey instrument.

ii.       Ms. Melita Noronha along with community workers Ms. Noorbi Sayeed and Ms.Gulzar Banu have also helped to run Poti School, a non-formal and remedial class program for street, working and slums children, coordinated by Prof. (Mrs) Joan Rebello, Head of Dept. of English, Damodar College, Margao.

iii.     The Project Coordinator, Ms. Bernardette D’Souza has been actively involved in Child line service, an emergency help line (phone) service for children in distress & crisis situations.  19 number of children’s cases (list-2 appended) have been attended to as part of this.

iv.     To sensitise the public about the violations of children’s rights, particularly the violations of child labour & abuse, a Children’s rally was organised at Margao on 9th Dec. 2000 on the occasion of Human Rights Day, in collaboration with Child line, Goa, Jan Ugahi, Margao, and the High Schools of Salcete taluka.  About 25 schools with nearly 500 children, teachers, and organisers participated.  The rally, which started at the memorial Lohia Maidan, took out a silent protest march along the main roads of Margao and concluded at the Municipal garden with a cultural program and speeches on child abuse and labour by Ms. Fiona Dias Saxena (Sangath) and Mr. Christopher Fonseca (AITUC) respectively.

v.       Attempts are also being made to explore the possibility of a Shelter for street children; the need has been felt with the organisational team encountering more and more such kids during its operations, including a group of street boys under the custody of a train cleaning contractor at Madgaum Railway Station.  Presently, boys like these are sent to Child line Goa Shelter at Don Bosco’s Panaji, or encouraged to use day facilities available at Jan Ugahi, Margo.

vi.     Street/Working Children’s Workshop: A workshop for street/working children was organised together with Butterflies, Delhi at Fatima Convent, Margo on 25th March 2001.  Together with the Colva street/working children’s group set up by Peaceful Society, a group of 50 children (upper limit set by Butterflies; list-3 appended) participated in the workshop.  Other sub groups included Arz (Vasco), Child line Goa (Panaji), Poti School and Jan Ugahi (both Margo).  The features included – Expressions of Rights by children, prioritising of Rights, Need for support structure, Children’s Right Clubs, Inter organisational interaction & support.  The pedagogy at the workshop was participatory, with expressive drawings, street play presentation, group discussions, and slogans.  The children certainly enjoyed every moment of it and Butterflies did an excellent job of the animation.

3.1.8          Tourism Related Child Sexual Abuse:

i.        After establishing initial contacts at Colva, this program took off in December 2000 with Ms. Melita Noronha (Social Worker) and Ms. Rekha Addekar (Field Worker) assuming responsibility.

ii.       The Project Coordinator, Ms. Bernardette D’Souza, was closely involved in the planning, mobilising, monitoring of the progress.

iii.     A three-fold action plan was made – organising beach street/working (migrant) children through non-formal education classes, involvement with their communities, and visiting of shacks, hotels/lodges for awareness generation and creating support structures.

iv.     The street/working/slum children’s group has been set up with 42 children attending literacy classes and 40 children attending remedial education classes (list-4 & 5 appended).

v.      The involvement in the community of these children has been complementary to   the children’s classes and already some eye-opening facts have been brought to the notice of our team.  One such fact has been the disappearance of a minor girl with 2 contradictory stories being related.  One from some neighbours that the mother traded her with a ‘foreign tourist’ for 5 days for a sum of money.  However, even after 25 days the girl has not returned.  The other, from the mother, that the girl ran away with a boy.  Our team is investigating the matter under legal guidance from Adv. Albertina Almeida and trying to persuade the mother to lodge a police complaint.  The mother has been blowing hot and cold with regard to the mystery.

vi.     Besides this girl’s case, one hears of other such stories of young women from the settlements involved in prostitution.  However, the team has thought it proper to make investigations before jumping to conclusions.

vii.   The case of pedophiles Middleton Colin John: The Project coordinator Ms. Bernardette D’Souza together with support from Jan Ugahi, Vikalp and Child line Goa helped the police to book Middleton Colin John (MCJ), a British National, for suspected pedophilia.  MCJ was found with 3 minor Nepali boys and has been coming to Goa for the last 4 years with minor boys.  Persistent efforts on our part managed to obtain information from our contacts of MCJ’s two previous convictions for sodomy in New Zealand.  However, the same persistent efforts with the police yielded no results, as to date, even after a month and half has elapsed from the time of booking, they have not managed to obtain any such information through the Interpol.  We also were aware of the political pressure on the police from the local MLA and Congress heavyweight Churchill Alemao, as MCJ was lodging in his area and has projected himself as a Santa Claus doling out gifts to young boys.

viii.  The case of MCJ and the case of the missing girl (quoted in no. (v) above, are only tips of the iceberg in a very hideous crime that is indulged in surreptitiously (though sometimes openly!)  With the connivance of locals, politicians and police, all for the sake of boosting unbridled tourism at the cost of vulnerable children and women.

ix.      Movement Against (offshore) Casinos: Our team members have been part of an active group of women, representing various women’s organisations, protesting against the Governments decision to allow Casinos, including offshore casinos, to operate in Goa.

3.2.   Awareness and Income Generation For Women:

3.2.1        Objectives:

To empower women in a predominantly patriarchal society through education, awareness, skill development, income generation, organisation.

3.2.2        Activities in Progress:

3.2.2.1.   Education:

a)      Adult education classes have been organised in 3 bastis – Deccan Tyres, Calcondem, Malbhat, at times convenient to the women.

b)      Around 106 women (list submitted with previous report) have enrolled for the classes.  However, the community workers report a good deal of irregularity and lack of perseverance of the group.

c)      A few of the regular ones have been making steady progress.

3.2.2.2   Awareness Generation:

a)      Awareness generation regarding basic issues of discrimination, denial of rights of women, early marriages of girls, discontinuity of education of girls especially when they ‘grow big’, i.e. reach puberty, need for building skills and assets for a rainy day (in times of abandonment by husbands, early widowhood and so on) are some of the areas taken up regularly in small and big group discussions, individual Counselling and so on.

b)      A 1-day workshop on Women’s Rights was initially scheduled for 18th March but at the last minute had to be rescheduled on the 1st April 2001.  37 women participated (list-6 appended).  The issues discussed were – early marriages of girls, sexual exploitation of girls, women’s rights vis-à-vis marriage at the family of her in-laws.  The pedagogy used was one of group discussion, sharing of experience, skits.  Saad Alashiro from Panaji was the resource organisation.

c)      Reproductive Health/Fertility Awareness: While this is a health matter, it is utilised as a forum for generating awareness on issues related to sexuality, women’s right to body, self, family, property in marriage context, children and so on.  Also, the young girls utilise the awareness sessions as a preparation for marriage.

3.2.2.3   Skill Training/Income Generation:

a)      Presently the women undergo training in tailoring, paper bags, and other utility items.

b)      Those interested and who have learned the skills are provided opportunities for production and income generation.

c)      ‘Paper bags has come in the context of the Govt. ban on plastic bags below 20 microns and includes collection of paper and cardboard from well-wishers, production, marketing.  The women may take the material and make the bags at home as well.

d)      Presently, 2 self-help groups are operational – one in Savings & Credit, and the other in tailoring, utility items and paper bags.

e)      Training programs:  2 Training programs – one in making jewellery and utility items of scrap paper, by Ms. Cibell Noronha and the other in batik printing and tie dyeing by Mr. Vikrant Fernandes were organised at Jan Ugahi Kendra on October 30, 2000 and from Nov. 2 – 9, 2000 respectively.  13 women (list-7 appended) including the Project Coordinator participated and felt much enriched in their skills and self-confidence.

3.2.2.4   Remarks:

a)      It is indeed heartening to see that a few women have grown in awareness and assertion of their rights.

b)      Despite continuous work and struggles, some of the women find the space and time for their own development activities like literacy, skill development, and awareness generation.

c)      Our observation is that many of the women provide good role models for their daughters as compared to their husbands for their sons.  This is evident in the better performances and character displayed by their daughters.

3.3   Recreational/Cultural:

The weekly recreational activities for children were held at Jan Ugahi Hall, Margao.  Special programs to celebrate social events included the following:

(a)    Children’s Day: A Sports Festival was held on Sunday 12th Nov. 2000, to celebrate Children’s Day.  Over 300 children (list-8 appended) with another 50 adults (mostly women) participated in the festival.  The sports items concluded with prize distribution, lunch and a gift for each child.  Mr. C. P. Da Costa, a renowned freedom fighter, presided over the function.

(b)    Cultural program on 3rd Feb. at Jan Ugahi Hall for children.  About 45 children   participated (list-9 appended).  It comprised mainly songs, dances, and skits.  This programs scheduled for Republic Day had to be postponed due to the mid-term test.

(c)    International Women’s Day – 8th March: A group of 20 women (list-10 appended) participated in the International Women’s Day Function, held at Azad Maidan, Panaji.  Women from all over Goa, representing various organisations participated in this program organised anually by Bailancho Saad, Panaji.  Our group presented a street play on early marriages of girls among the target group.

(d)    Cultural/Educational Tour: A 1- day tour for 70 children (list-11 appended) was organised on Feb. 11th, 2001 at Cotigaon Wildlife Sanctuary and Palolem Beach.

3.3.1   Counselling and Health:

a)      Counselling goes on, on a regular basis, with women and children in distress and crisis situations being the main beneficiaries.

b)     The participants attending classes, personality development program, fertility awareness sessions, awareness workshops are among the more common clients.  These fora provide an opportunity for the participants as well as the organisers to supplement these activities with Counselling for those who really need it.

c)      The Counselling program with follow-up action, at times involving legal action, particularly w.r.t. Women, has been a collaborative venture with Bailancho Saad and Jan Ugahi.

d)     The health program has included a fortnightly free clinic for the poor, with particular focus on children and women’s health.  While earlier, the clinic was monthly, in the last 2 months, the clinic has been made fortnightly with another Doctor (Ms.) Judith Da Costa Das providing free service.  Being a gynaecologist, the clinic mainly caters to women.

a)      e) The fortnightly clinic maintains proper files, family-wise, to ensure proper records   and follow-up.  Our Staff maintains these files.

e)      A weekly session on reproductive health and fertility awareness is also conducted for young girls.  Ms. Bernardette D’Souza, the Project Coordinator, who conducts these sessions, uses the book ‘Beti Kare Savall’ published by Eklavya, Bhopal as a working text.  The girls discuss pertinent issues related to their sexual growth and reproductive life.

3.3.2   Staff Development:

(a)    2 of the staff members Ms. Melita Noronha and Ms. Rekha Addekar, along with a community representative Ms. Noorbi Sayeed participated in a 3 day National Convention on Children’s Rights at New Delhi from Oct. 12-14, 2000, organised by TDH to commemorate 25 years of TDH commitment in India.

(b)   Counselling Training: A 4 days Counselling Training Course for the staff was held at Loyola School, Margao, from Nov. 5-8, 2000, with Fr. C. Drago, Pune, as resource person.  This was followed up by 1-day follow-up session on Dec. 6, 2000 at Goa State Commission for Women Multipurpose Hall, Panaji.  The Course benefit was also extended to two other organisations, Bailancho Saad, Panaji and Rishta, Candolim.

(c)    Batik & Tie-dyeing Training Workshop: (Report included in 3.2.2.3. e)

(d)   Police Sensitisation Workshop: Ms. Melita Noronha & Ms. Rekha Addekar attended a 2-day training workshop on police sensitisation with regard to children’s rights and issues.  This workshop, conducted by Sangath, Porvorim, was held at Goa State Commission for Women Multipurpose Hall, Panaji, on 2 different days 20th December 2000 and 11th January 2001 respectively.

(e)    On-going on-the-job training for the staff includes training in teaching, community work, administration, accounting, reporting, etc.