Posts which have been tagged with: school drop-outs.

Vocational Training

Sharana’s Carpentry Vocational Training program targets Aranganur, where the number of young people who are reaching adulthood without completing school or attending any formal education is increasing. Even as Sharana aims to return as many of these individuals to school, the vocational training project additionally aims to provide marketable training that will enhance their chances of finding gainful employment.

The Vocational Training Project aims to:
• Provide young people with incomplete formal educations with the training to obtain skilled employment and open future career opportunities for them;
• Provide advice and assistance with obtaining paid work placements.

A carpentry training facility complete with machinery and equipment was built in 2011-2012 in Aranganur. The first batch of 10 students (selected from an applicant pool of 22, all drawn from nearby villages) began their course in July 2012. Now, each year 10 students are selected by our Master Carpenter Mani, (the teacher in charge of the Program), and our community development social worker Anbu.
The training takes 12 months (full-time) and is conducted by Mani. A complete syllabus has been designed for this course, in accordance with national training guidelines. During the course each trainee is provided with; an Rs 2000 per month stipend, a bicycle loan (for transport to the workshop), a meal at lunch time, medical provision, accident insurance and help finding permanent employment on completion. In addition, trainees are provided with care and guidance from a dedicated Sharana social worker.

At the end of 12 months each trainee is required to take an exam. Upon passing this exam trainees are formally provided with a certificate of completion (recognized by the state) and commence a one month practical placement in one of the carpentry workshops in and around Pondicherry.

Since the first session 2012/2013, 18 young men have thus far successfully passed out of Sharana’s VTC program. All have been placed in jobs that provide them with salaries 2-3 times above what they would have earned as unskilled labor. This project is a real success.

To order furniture made by our students from the VTC program, (including custom-made furniture), please write to us at to get a tour of our present Carpentry pieces.

By purchasing a product you are directly participating in a social cause, and giving these young men an occasion to put their newly acquired skills to good use.

To find out how you can donate towards Sharana Programs, please click here.

Collective Sponsorship

The collective Sponsorship model pools funds from multiple donors in order to sponsor the educations of groups of children. Donors may give according to their means, and Sharana uses the funds to reach out to as many children as possible.

All children in Angalakuppam village and those enrolled in the Government Primary school at Aranganur are eligible to receive collective Sponsorship benefits.
Funds collected toward collective Sponsorship are also used to assist “Social Special cases”: children who have experienced an emergency or sudden alteration of their familial circumstances, such as the death or abandonment of parents, lack of physical security, a fire accident in which family members are hurt or the home is destroyed, or other exigent circumstances. In such instances, Sharana investigates the case, prioritizes the child’s needs and works out a plan of rehabilitation according to capacity.

As with individually sponsored children, those sponsored under the collective sponsorship program receive:
• Yearly tuition,
• School Supplies: textbooks, notebooks, pencils, school uniform yearly, school bag, and other supplies as mandated,
• One meal a day,
• Regular outings, tours, and a one week holiday in May (summer camps),
• Medical Screening Camps.

To find out how you can donate towards Sharana Programs, please click here.

Individual Sponsorship

The central method that Sharana uses to connect individual children with sources of funding for their education is individual Sponsorship. Sharana receives applications and identifies children who are either already school drop-outs or unlikely to continue their education due to alcoholism in the family or very difficult financial circumstances. The organization then matches such children with Sponsorships who provide material resources that are necessary for children to complete their education. Identified children typically come from communities with very low socio-economic status. Social workers undertake complete evaluations of each case, making visits to family homes to ascertain the nature and extent of the difficulties involved, and to motivate both parents/caregivers and children to do what it takes to resume formal education in such a way as to ensure their chances of success. Our social workers often spend hours on individual cases, talking parents and children through difficulties and fears.

On being sponsored, children receive, in addition to the payment of their school fees, notebooks, textbooks, uniforms, bus fares, medical care, and other school supplies or fees as applicable for the entire academic year. Each Sponsor becomes a child’s godparent, and Sharana’s social workers then ensure that the children write letters and communicate with their godparents at specified, regular intervals.
Among the activities organized for Sponsored children are the following: Homework help—Language classes—Summer Camps—Sponsorship Communication-letter writing and godparent meets—Medical and Dental Camps—Nutritional supplement Programs (horlicks and spirulina)- Counseling and Psychological Support.
Regular parents’ meeting are organized to keep them well-informed about the situation of their children and involved in their academic progress.

Summer camps are conducted at the Aranganur Resource Centre for the Sponsored children.
The main objectives of the summer camp are:
1) To keep children active and engaged so that they are not forced to work;
2) To provide educational activities to children during their holidays;
3) To provide medical and nutritional support to the children;
4) To conduct awareness sessions (on gender, health, environment, safety etc).
Each camp session lasts one week. During that time, Sponsored children receive health and medical attention, instructions in daily hygiene (Bath, teeth brushing etc.) and nutritionally balanced meals and snacks prepared in Sharana’s own kitchens. Social workers stay on site with the children to supervise and organize daily activities, projects, and outings, which could include: yoga camps, tree planting, awareness sessions, games and sports, kolam competitions, arts and crafts, swimming, camp bonfires and more.

In 2014, Sharana implemented in collaboration with an Italian foundation Aiutari I Bambini an individual Sponsorship Program specifically for the children from the streets and slums. In 2014, 65 children have been Sponsored thanks to this Program. Manuel is the social worker in charge of this Program. The Program is a real success and Sharana is hopeful for more Sponsorships for 2016.

Individual Sponsorships requires a commitment of €15 (approximately 1000 rupees) per month, for a minimum of 1 year.

To find out how you can donate towards Sharana Programs, please click here.