Looking Towards The Future

No Child Left Behind: A Retrospective Series on the Progress Made and What’s To Come

In this four-part series, we’ll take a look back at the No Child Left Behind program, the progress that’s been made, and also explore what’s on the horizon.

Part 4: Looking Towards the Future

Now that the No Child Left Behind programme has some established successes, it’s time to begin looking towards the future. In this case, that means expanding much of the work towards also helping the broader community, and in particular addressing the standards in the yards and mines.

The mines are a long way from civilisation. Achieving any change here will be an enormous challenge.
Continue Reading

The Situation Now

No Child Left Behind: A Retrospective Series on the Progress Made and what’s To Come

In this four-part series, we’ll take a look back at the No Child Left Behind program, the progress that’s been made, and also explore what’s on the horizon.

Part 3: The Work Pays Off

Since the beginning of No Child Left Behind, tremendous progress has been made in getting children out of work and back into schools. In fact, according to the report “Stop Child Labour – Out of Work Programme – End Term Evaluation” from the Stop Child Labour Coalition, 361 children were prevented from child labour and an additional 593 were withdrawn from child labour, out of a total 1,019 children who were initially identified as “out of school.” In addition, seven schools (including six primary and one secondary) are now fully functional compared with only one before. There are also eight pre-school centers (Anganwadis), which were non-existent before. Additional teachers are also expected to be appointed, as a result of the ongoing lobbying of the state government.

The project has delivered real and tangible results, getting children back into education
Continue Reading

On The Ground

No Child Left Behind: A Retrospective Series on the Progress Made and what’s To Come

In this four-part series, we’ll take a look back at the No Child Left Behind program, the progress that’s been made, and also explore what’s on the horizon.

Part 2: The Project Begins to Take Shape

In a project such as No Child Left Behind, ensuring its long-term success is a complicated proposition. While organisations outside the region may sometimes be tempted to take control of the various aspects of the project from abroad, the reality is that this type of remote management has serious limitations. In order for a project like this to be successful, it must be run by a competent team of professionals on the ground who have a deep knowledge of the community they’re serving as well as an understanding of the type of bureaucracy and general challenges they will be facing.

For the No Child Left Behind program, it was the local team from Manjari based in Budhpura who made the difference. Their team, which included a number of individuals from Budhpura, was more prepared to tackle the challenges of child labor due to their insight into the area and the unique issues facing the community. But it wasn’t always easy – a lot of training was needed initially to make sure all of the staff members were up to speed on the work.

The Manjari team after a multi stakeholder meeting
The Manjari team after a multi stakeholder meeting
Continue Reading

The Beginning

No Child Left Behind: A Retrospective Series on the Progress Made and What’s To Come

In this four-part series, we’ll take a look back at the No Child Left Behind program, the progress that’s been made, and also explore what’s on the horizon.

Part 1: A Beginning Filled with Hope and Uncertainty

To begin a project like No Child Left Behind was a daunting proposition. It meant walking into Budhpura, a village rife with challenges and steeped in tradition, with the goal of creating significant change. For the team involved in getting the project off the ground, there was no shortage of emotion – from hope to fear and everything in between.

Budhpura. A semi rural Indian village highly vulnerable to Child Labour.
Continue Reading

Two steps forward, one step backward

Last week Steven and I visited the No Child Left Behind project in Budhpura with the intention of boosting interaction between Manjari and the business community.

We had mapped more clearly the yards where our suppliers are sourcing the cobbles from and hope to improve the working conditions at these yards over time.

While I was there I had a shocking reality check: I saw three teenagers working on cobbles in a yard adjacent to the main road…out in the open. The yard had a sign in front of it declaring it as a Child Labour Free Zone. It was obviously not! I went closer and when they noticed me the boys ran away. So I talked to the adults asking why the children were there. They replied that schools were closed because of holidays and kids were “simply” surpassing time. They claimed that they were not working regularly…I explained that any form of labour at their age is unacceptable and that children should be playing, not working, when schools are closed.

Continue Reading