Education for tea pickers’ children
Sri Lanka: The region of Nuwara Eliya is known for its tea plantations. The ancestors of the tea pickers who work here were brought into the country from India as guest workers during the 19th century. Until today, the tea pickers are still discriminated against – even though they officially acquired Sri Lankan citizenship ten years ago. They live in primitive hovels on or near the tea plantations. Although they receive a certain amount of social services from their employers, their wages are low. Many families are in debt and own no land of their own. Even the adults tend to be illiterate. Education for children and young people is poor because working as a teacher on a tea plantation is not an attractive job. Please support this project with a donation!
Hardly any alternatives
For many women the only alternative to the hopelessness on the tea plantations is to work as domestic servants in rich countries, where the female staff are often beaten and sexually abused. Many children from the tea plantations hire themselves out as domestic workers to rich Sri Lankan families. These children are also often abused and receive absolutely no schooling. The position of girls and women in the project area is particularly vulnerable. They are often treated without respect and are the victims of violence. Alcohol plays a large role in everyday life and often fuels violence and aggression. Many view their situation as hopeless.
The project primarily targets girls and women, but of course boys and men also benefit from activities. A total of 60 children and 80 women are enrolled in the programme. Kindernothilfe is working with a new partner – the Eksath Lanka Welfare Foundation (ELWF), founded in 2005. This organisation has a strong track record in microcredit and self-help programmes along with reading programmes.
Education for children
- Education changes everything.
Kindernothilfe’s goal is to improve the children's educational situation. The organisation is establishing two children's clubs, where a total of 60 children playfully learn about children's rights and have the opportunity to further develop their personal skills. The project also focuses on school dropouts: their families receive financial support that allows children and young people to go back to school. Furthermore, girls and boys are offered remedial education in languages and mathematics six days a week.
Empowering women with self-help groups
During the pilot phase, four women's self-help groups have been established and expanded. Fifteen women in each group meet on a weekly basis to share ideas and discuss their problems. The group helps its members to emerge from their personal and social isolation. These women address the widespread alcohol problem during their group sessions. But they also deal with other issues. The project offers the women's groups courses in managing a household. They also learn about children's rights and domestic violence, and they learn how they can strengthen their own position and talk about this within the group.
Families become economically viable
To improve the nutritional situation of these families, the women acquire skills on creating a vegetable garden near their homes. They receive seeds and tools to plant vegetables, which allows them to improve the nutritional situation of their families.
Project No. 24701