Empowerment through Education:
The interventions are towards bringing the working children, child labors and other school dropout children to the manifold of education, through active involvement of State Education Department, Teachers unions, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, Community members, Teachers and children.
These interventions were floated through establishment of Community Learning cum Motivational Centers, within the access in their neighborhood. In this effort MAHITA has remarkably succeeded in brining back many school dropouts and working children to the formal schools. These centers are instrumental in carrying our other community level interventions.
Educational Research & Development :
MAHITA had developed a unique phonetic methodology in Urdu “Maula-Eme- Aza-Teza”. This innovative methodology of teaching, had been developed through extensive consultations and brainstorming session by a team of academicians, and pedagogy experts. The method of teaching through the methodology not only provokes critical thinking among the children but also make them to analyze the surroundings for developing a level of understanding.
The very important feature of the methodology is to enable the children to recognize the alphabets through respective vocal pronunciations. An another innovative feature in this package is the lessons were divided into codes according to the levels of understanding in which certain codes are developed to enable the girls to broaden their frame of thinking and develop a positive outlook towards their lives and themselves.
MAHITA has also developed workbooks for the children of the government school in collaboration with Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. The workbook is an effort to make the children to learn through activities like drawing and painting. These workbooks have been disseminated across 25 Government Schools in Hyderabad city.
Child Resource Center
Building levels of learning among the school going and mainstreamed children of the government and small private schools. The CHILD RESOURCE CENTERS are established within the access of the two or three government schools. These centers are adequately equipped with scientific equipments, chemicals, demonstration charts and other Teaching Learning Material and experienced teachers for conducting remedial coaching classes, practical oriented teaching of syllabus for enhancing learning levels of the children.
Children clubs have been formed in Government Schools involving children for developing their ‘participatory’ rights. The children clubs functions as the sensitization force towards the realization of child rights through holding discussion with teachers, parents and community members, apart formulating themselves into theatre groups for creating awareness through role plays and skits, making representations to the government authorities towards the restoration of their rights and voices against abuse and exploitation.
Suggestion boxes to encourage child participation in school level activities for ensuring protective, safe environment, quality teaching, non-discrimination, of children, has been facilitated in various government school of Urban slums of Hyderabad. These suggestion boxes are very effectively been under utilization by the children to present their issues, problems and solutions. Effective mechanisms to the address the issues of the students have been taken through involvement of school managements and Child Club representatives.
Livelihood & Empowerment
Vocational Training :
Skills development among the adolescent and young girls based on need and demand based trades have been promoted through the establishment of Community Based Livelihood Training Centers. These training center are very effectively creating opportunities for economic sustainability, apart from this the trainees were also been provided with minimum levels of learning and career guidance for higher education to enhance their living standard.
Computer Training :
Hyderabad is globally known for its IT and technological advancements. For many in the Hyderabad slums, being computer literate is a distant dream. We have bridged this divide by providing computer education to the adolescent girls. This has broken conservative thinking and practices, emboldened them to venture out to seek bright prospects, vast opportunities available in the city of Hyderabad. The girls who have opted computer skills are employed as DTP and Data Entry Operators through placement linkages.
Adolescent Girls Groups :
Girls between the age group of 14 to 18 years were formed in to Adolescent Groups with the objective of providing awareness on Reproductive Health, Girl Child Status, Education, etc. As the whole area has been restricted for girls mobility, the Mobilized and articulated girls are sensitized their parents and develop a "Girls Initiative Network", which not only develop their articulation and participation level both at home and community and also develop their decision making process.
Opportunity to access advanced trainings through establishing linkages with Jana Shikshana Sansthan, (A Institution, Under Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India). The process of skill development not just ended with trainings, but also been their entire training period was followed up and at the successful completion, they were linked for placements and will be guided to start to set up their own entrepreneurship units. Towards this MAHITA had played a very effective role in building linkages with Government departments such as Andhra Pradesh Minority Finance Corporation, MCH etc.
Mobilization & Motivation :
Community Motivation towards protection of the child rights is one major strategy of Mahita. Active involvement of community is necessary for a responsive and accountable for taking ownership in all the interventions. Community and Religious Leaders, Women and youth have been trained on leadership and governance.
Child Protection Committees:
Initiation of Child Protection Committees, to protect the children from vulnerable situations at the slums has been formed with the active involvement of the community, religious leaders, women groups, youth and other likeminded individuals from the slums. The primary agenda of these committees to regularly monitor the status of children in terms of their health, schooling, abuse and other harmful practices for addressing them through adopting appropriate and needed strategies.
These committees are instrumental in providing information on various issues such as child trafficking, early child marriages, reproductive health rights, government schemes, help lines etc. Apart this they are also been involved in the process of advocacy and lobby activities with government department for improvement of basic facilities at the slums.
Community Education Management Information System (CEMIS):
In the process of brining community members to address the issues of quality education and schooling, MAHITA has facilitated CEMIS process through involving the community to track and monitor the educational progress of the children in government schools and these groups become as ‘peer educators’ for other community members for sending their children to the school rather than work.
Digital Video Documentation
Mahita has launched Digital Video Documentation training for the young girls of the slums. The primary purpose of the intervention is to bring changes among the communities through Videos as a medium of raising awareness and addressing the issues.
The Girls, who are dropouts from primary and upper primary education, have been selected for this training and provided the well equipped them on editing, script writing, Mixing, film shooting skills etc., The girls are producing inspiring stories for negotiation of parents, community for their rights to education, social opportunities, protection and participation, through monthly news bulletins, short documentary films, public service messages and screening them at the community level.
MAHITA was involved in many campaigns and activities towards facilitating civil society participation in promotion and protection of child rights. Local communities along with the political parties were sensitized on the issues of children generally, especially child labor issues.
MAHITA has facilitated many rights based activities and movement with the active involvement of Children, Women and Youth members. This include, padayatras, rallies, consultations with government departments and political elected members, towards sensitization of them on local issues and sensitizing them to take the CHILDREN issue as first priority in to their programs or manifestos, towards “Inclusion of all children – as Equal Rights Holders”
Advocacy & Networking
MAHITA actively organized many advocacy campaigns in the State of Andhra Pradesh for promotion of the Child Rights. It has been the centre in coordinating with various NGOs in different development interventions such as child labor, status of girl child for sharing of experiences and knowledge.
MAHITA is one of the active members to participate in many campaigns like Global Movement for Children, Right to Education Campaign, Say Yes for Children, in the State of Andhra Pradesh along with other INGOs and NGO Networks.
In order to strengthen its various advocacy campaigns on child rights, Mahita took an initiative of forming a State level Alliance of networks and NGOs involved in the promotion of Child Rights under an informal banner – Andhra Pradesh Alliance for Child Rights, APACR. Mahita is facilitating for this Alliance, as Convener.
The Alliance has been in the forefront in right to education campaign, for making Universal, Free and Compulsory Primary Education a Fundamental Right. Mahita is also facilitating discussions between NGOs, Networks, INGOs on common strategies for advocating the child rights in related to Child Trafficking, Child Labour and Education in the State of Andhra Pradesh.
Mahita Resource Center
MAHITA is committed to building excellence in civil society mobilization and rights based approaches. The Resource Centre has facilitated many discussions and debates among the civil society organizations and also disseminated information to the organization working at Grassroots Level. We build the capacities of these organizations on developmental and governance issues. Our primary aim is to create a movement for just egalitarian society.
Natural Disasters & Conflicts
Mahita responses to man made and natural calamities are swift. Mahita believe in reaching out to victims of calamities with respect and dignity We build coping capacities of the victims through cash for food program by reclamation of damaged agricultural lands, distributing seeds, repairing and building pubic infrastructures, schools, health care centers, and building shelters to most poorest. Mahita also deploy the staff as volunteers in other states during major calamities.
Mahita have responded to 2000 Hyderabad floods, 2004 Tsunami in Andhra Pradesh, and 2006 Floods of Andhra Pradesh. During recent relief and rehabilitation work, we have reached 7,800 families and 3,200 children in Adilabad and Karimnagar Districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Community Collective Actions
The interventions specifically focus on the systems and processes that have a larger relevance, particular in the context of livelihood advancements of the community in 25 villages of Bela mandal and Narnoor Mandals of Adilabad district. The actions include to build the capacities of the identified youth and women of marginalized ethnic communities, especially the schedule tribe and castes through creating opportunities for advanced livelihood skills and facilitation them in to small groups to undertake ownership for their development initiatives.