One in every five migrants in India is a child! Forced to migrate with their parents, in search of work – called seasonal distress migration, they are often uprooted for up to eight months of the year.
This renders to them dropping out of school or having no access to schools. It not only affects their education but pushes them further down the vulnerability matrix, affecting their access to healthcare, and safety as well.
Unable to access uninterrupted quality education, more often than not, these children end up working in factories or other hazardous work sites to help their families, rarely staying in school and falling behind their peers, extending the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
With a special focus on reaching out to children in some of the most underserved communities in the country, AIF’s Learning and Migration Program (LAMP) in partnership with Guru Krupa Foundation is creating an enhanced learning ecosystem for children, especially girls, in the Soraba block of Shivamogga district in Karnataka.
According to the Dr. D.M. Nanjundappa study conducted by the Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Development Research (CMDR), the Soraba block in the state of Karnataka is identified as one of the most backward blocks in the county. The block is marred by a lack of infrastructure, a population dependent on agriculture for revenue, and, most significantly, migration – as residents move to neighboring regions in search of employment.
Since 2020, LAMP with support from the Guru Krupa Foundation has empowered 1,400 underserved children with access to quality education; developed skills of 45 teachers on STEM and technology-focused pedagogy; equipped 10 schools with STEM tool kits, laboratories, and libraries; and built the capacities of 750 community members on the Right to Education Act (2009) in Soraba block.
A farmer’s daughter, 12-year-old Nandini, a student in grade 6, is one of the 1,400 underserved students in Soraba’s ten schools who are benefiting from access to STEM toolkits, labs, and libraries. Students have shown a greater interest in science, and improved test scores, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills. Most importantly, they have been attending school regularly. The fact that Nandini no longer skips school impresses her father.
Apart from fostering an enabling environment for children, LAMP, in partnership with the Guru Krupa Foundation, has rolled out the ‘Pink Corner for Adolescent Girls’ – an initiative to address the issue of adolescent girls missing school during their periods.
In India, 23% of girls drop out of school because of a lack of access to clean toilets and sanitary pads. Social exclusion, a lack of education on menstrual hygiene, lack of access to menstrual products like sanitary pads, and proper toilet facilities, and the absence of a female role model in the school to support them, often lead to girls missing school or dropping out of school early.
Through the ‘Pink Corner,’ AIF is creating ‘menstrual equity,’ enabling adolescent girls to access sanitary pads free of charge, find support from teachers, ASHAs (accredited frontline workers), and Anganwadi workers, while also creating awareness about menstrual hygiene and busting myths around menstruation.
13-year-old Ishwarya and Hema K are among 275 adolescent girls who are no longer skipping school anymore during their menstruation because they now have access to the ‘Pink Corner for Adolescent Girls’ in their school.
Building a long-term partnership and working along with AIF with a shared vision, Guru Krupa Foundation has continued to support the Learning and Migration Program in Karnataka.
Over the last 18 years, LAMP has empowered 940,566 children at risk of migration with quality education across 17 states. Learn more about LAMP.