All the projects supported by Vibha are exclusively targeted towards children. However, they span a wide range of focus areas. The broad areas of our current focus and the corresponding projects in each category are outlined here.
Vibha selects child development projects without any discrimination based on gender, caste, religion, political affiliation or language. We follow an exhaustive evaluation process which includes analysis of quantitative metrics like the number of children impacted, the cost per activity or cost per child and qualitative measures such as the impact on local community, organizational structure and long term sustainability of the organization. Vibha’s main focus areas are:
- Vocational training
- Care for physically and/or mentally challenged children
- Rescue and rehabilitation of children in vulnerable conditions
Even though projects funded by Vibha work on specific focus areas, most of them have considerable overlap in these focus areas and include health care, nutrition, recreation, awareness and community mobilization as vital components in their day to day functions.
We believe that education is the key to unlocking the potential of children and for breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. Hence, over 50% of our resources go towards education. A large number of our funded projects are imparting education in different ways, each responding to a specific need in their respective communities.
Pre-primary Education: With the motto of "catch them young", children are encouraged to develop school going habits. Otherwise the children of poor parents who did not go to school themselves are likely to drop out. Vibha supports Vidyarambam (Tamil Nadu), an organization that has developed a scalable model in starting pre-primary centers. These centers prepare thousands of children in over 10 districts of Tamil Nadu to go to school. Another project we support is Baikunthapur Tarun Sangha-BTS (West Bengal) which works in the remote Sunderbans area. The child care centers provided by the organization reduces the burden on daily wage earning parents.
Primary and Secondary Education: In places where the government school system has failed to impart quality education, several projects have started primary education centers to ensure basic literacy skills. Examples are Alamb (Delhi) and Sevalaya (Tamil Nadu).
Bridge Schools: In communities where there are already a number of out-of-school children, some projects have started Bridge Schools. These help the children to "catch-up-quick" and get them mainstreamed into the regular school system. Examples are Swami Vivekananda Vani Prachar Samity (West Bengal) and Door Step School (Maharashtra).
Support Structure to Children: Some projects help the children by providing after-school programs. They ensure that children do not drop out of mainstream schools due to lack of resources at home. Sharada Kalyan Bhandar (West Bengal) and Gohaldanga Ramakrishna Sarada Vivekananda Sevakendra-GRSV (West Bengal) are excellent examples in this category.
Support Structure to Schools: In several parts of India, the government schools have good infrastructure but lack motivation due to insufficient community involvement. Citizens in these communities have taken this up as a challenge. They are supporting the schools by funding additional teachers, facilities, computers and field trips. This approach is resulting in the reduction of drop out rates of children from these schools. In this category, Vibha is funding Gandhian Organization for Rural Development-GORD (Andhra Pradesh), and Sikshana(Karnataka).
Residential Education: A few of the more experienced projects like Bhagavatula Charitable Trust-BCT (Andhra Pradesh) have taken up residential education for underprivileged children. Vibha is proud to be supporting their efforts to completely transform the lives of those children.
Many of our projects – Alamb (Delhi), Rajasthan Mahila Kalyan Mandal -RMKM (Rajasthan), Amta Block (West Bengal)- have vocational training as a significant component of their overall approach to development for older children. Income generation skills such as tailoring, embroidery and mechanic work help them stand on their own feet and break the cycle of poverty. These children would otherwise have to turn to more desperate measures for a livelihood.
Physically and/or Mentally Challenged Children:
Children with special needs face significant hurdles because of a lack of community awareness of their needs and rights. Vibha has taken up the cause of these children and is supporting RMKM (Rajasthan), Janmadhyam (Delhi) and Prayas (Rajasthan). Apart from providing education and training through special teachers, they are doing a great job in awareness generation and sensitization of the general public about the needs of these special children.
Children in Vulnerable Conditions:
Certain groups children of sex workers, children in bonded labor – are particularly vulnerable. Vibha is supporting projects that are focused on this segment of the population. CORP India (Maharashtra) is protecting such children by providing shelters, education and vocational training for alternate income generation. Health Education Adoption Rehabilitation Development Society-HEARDS (Andhra Pradesh) is fighting the issue of child labor through community mobilization and education with bridge schools.