In the Jawadhi Hills, women and children continue to be especially vulnerable, with inadequate nutrition, poor access to education, and limited access to health care. In efforts to improve these conditions, CMC and the Don Bosco Tribal Development Society have established 50 evening study centers benefitting 1,500 children. The objective of these night schools have been to improve access to education, to encourage children to remain in school and prevent dropouts, early marriage, substance abuse, and child labor. Due to restrictions and lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students had not been in school for nearly two years and loss of parent wages has worsened the community’s access to food.
On July 1st, 2021, CMC re-opened the night schools and launched a new comprehensive developmental program for children and adolescents in the Jawadhi Hills through the support of a generous alumna. Over the two-year grant period, the program aims to improve health and academic outcomes for young children, as well as assist in the development of work and life skills. Additionally, the program will serve to empower local tribal people in the Jawadhi Hills through monthly training sessions for the night school teachers and supervisors.
Although regular school has not yet started, the CMC-Don Bosco night school has been running nightly lessons every week since July 1st. At the end of the first month, a review meeting was held to address any issues and plan accordingly for the remainder of the year. Some of the activities planned include parent’s meetings to encourage them to send their children to the night school, teacher training to improve teaching methods and professionalism, and establishing a vegetable garden that will aid the team’s efforts of improving the children’s health and nutrition.
Moving forward, CMC and Don Bosco will plan one supervisory visit to every night school every three months. We look forward to following the project’s progress and sharing its impact on the health and well-being of children in the Jawadhi Hills.