Bangalore Rural Educational and Development Society (BREADS)

YOUNG AT RISK

Child Rights Education and Promotion

The Child Rights Education and Action Movement (CREAM) promotes child rights education and activism across 21 districts in Karnataka using child rights clubs in schools as platforms. Makkala Grama Sabhas (children’s parliaments) and CHILDLINE have been powerful instruments of children’s participation in their own lives, as well as a means of protecting other children’s rights. Advocacy and networking with community stakeholders and the government systems have strengthened awareness of child rights as well as the resolve to uphold them.

Children’s transformation as champions of child rights has made a tremendous impact on their own lives, schools and villages. Children stopped thousands of child marriages, prevented rights violations, advocated for more than 14,789 instances of infrastructure development in their schools and villages. The education to human rights and citizenship is one of the most enduring and empowering teachings we could ever impart to the 337,314 children trained by CREAM.

Rescue & Rehabilitation

Street presence is the lifeline of a Don Bosco Young at Risk (YaR) centre. It can be explained as a vigilant, proactive, dynamic, physical presence of a committed, caring adult at any location that a child may be at risk, to prevent harm to the child. It is very easy for vulnerable children to be picked up by pimps and traffickers, and therefore, the need for our 24/7 presence at strategic locations, backed up by a patrolling rescue vehicle. Vigilant street presence teams are often are the first responders to children at risk, and an effective deterrent to traffickers and violators of child rights.

This physical presence is expanded through the formation of ‘caring communities’ on the streets: sanitary workers, auto drivers, railway staff, police personnel, vendors etc. who are made aware and responsible for alerting the child protection system about a vulnerable child, becoming its eyes and ears. Backed up by shelters, counselling, family reunification, bridge courses, education and skilling, foster care, advocacy, partnerships, and networking with government and non-government entities, the Don Bosco presence has been spreading a safety net to rescue children from the dangers of the street, child labour, and other violations of their rights.

In the current year, our Don Bosco presence has impacted the lives of thousands of children across 26 centres in Kerala and Karnataka. Over the decades, the Don Bosco network has gained a reputation on the street, for dependable response to any child in distress, making it an important stakeholder and promoter of child safety and rights, in every place that it is present.

Foster Care

Foster care is an alternative form of care—for children without biological parents, or children who cannot live with their own families for no fault of theirs, who reside in childcare institutions and cannot be easily adopted. Foster care enables a child in difficult circumstances to experience the care of a family in an individual or group setting, for short or long periods of time, to develop emotional resilience and better overall development.

BREADS and its partners have been promoting foster care among different sections of society to create awareness and acceptance in Karnataka, since 2012, which has been much appreciated by respective District Child Protection services, reaching 101,669 people and 2265 government officials in the current year. Twenty four applications are under process with the DCPO for placement of children in foster families. Forty eight children have been placed in foster care over the years.

BOSCO Bangalore (BREADS’ partner) was a key stakeholder in developing Foster Care Guidelines at both the Karnataka and National levels, organising national consultations and conducting research on the same.

Residential Bridge Courses

BREADS and its Don Bosco partners work with children in situations of risk (orphans, rescued from the streets, child labour, or other problematic situations, economically poor children, especially girls). Often, these children are illiterate or very backward in academic learning because of their lack of schooling. Accompanied by counselling, these children are encouraged to start a learning journey, based on their age, interests, and literacy levels. 

They are facilitated on their journey to school through a bridge course. These are residential courses where academic learning is tailored according to the child’s ability, with plenty of creative activities, sports and games to nurture their talents into fruition; thus, making the journey to rejoin school, an enjoyable one. Children are then enrolled to formal schools at an appropriate grade for their abilities.
Currently, bridge courses impacting 200+ out-of-school children are functioning in five centres in Karnataka and one centre in Kerala

Drug Rehabilitation Education & Mentoring (DREAM)

DREAM is a rights-based initiative from BREADS that aims to empower lakhs of children and youth to dream beyond drugs. Started in November 2021, DREAM aims to prevent substance use and other addictions among school and college students through awareness creation, counselling and deaddiction services across 10 districts in Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Alappuzha, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Kasaragod.  Life skills training is an important component to enable young people to say NO! to self-destructive behaviours.  The programme collaborates closely with the Government departments and the local communities for more effective intervention.

Since its inception, DREAM has reached out to 257,753 students through awareness and thousands through counselling and rehabilitation.

donate

Your little help can heal their pains