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  • While the state of Karnataka and especially Bangalore has been booming economically, the benefits have not reached the urban poor, a majority of which live in Karnataka’s slums.
  • This has been through lack of education opportunities as well as mental health problems which are largely ignored, hence have rendered a percentage of the population unable to work due to lack of diagnosis and medication.

AFP recognizes that there is need to focus on grass roots development to improve health, education and employability in order to give the poor an opportunity to participate in the benefits of the economic boom. Past volunteers have worked with schools and mental health establishments to formalize their structures. AFP also works with visual disability and gender empowerment in Karnataka, all of which contribute to giving the poorest and marginalized an option out of extreme poverty.

AFP and Education

Focus areas: Education, livelihoods, participation and governance
AFP partners with Vidyaniketan, a school where a significant proportion of children have been retrieved from child labour occupations such as domestic labour in hotels and in garages. In the absence of this school these poor slum children would have been excluded from schooling. The school is located within an urban slum with a large migrant population engaged in wage labour. The school addresses issues such as supporting gilrs to continue education, motivating drop outs to return to education and uplifting families by forming Self Help Groups.

Our volunteers have helped these children with developing their art and crafts skills as well as motivating them beyond formal education settings. One of AFP’s professional volunteers, an educationalist, did an audit of the schools governance systems and they have since improved the entire running of the School.

AFP has also been working with Hope School, located in a slum community which is a microcosm of the wider tensions between Muslims and Hindus. Through the school Hope now reaches out to a significant numbers of families educating them on health and hygiene, and providing counseling to families in conflict. Our volunteer worked to improve the English of the youth, and build up their interview skills. It was so successful that they requested our volunteer return again and roll out the training through all the centres.

AFP and disability

Focus areas: Education, Livelihoods
AFP’s associates with Mitra Jyothi which works with rehabilitation and training of visually impaired people. They also raise awareness of disability issues, as well as provide training. Our volunteer was himself visually impaired. Working as a trainer in the UK, he transferred his skills to our partner organisation. By training the trainers and donating equipment that will be useful for visually impaired people, his work proved crucial. Having been proved to be very successful, he has been asked to return. Another volunteer did an overhaul of Mitrajyothi’s IT systems and worked on a way to make them more efficient. Read Paresh’s story here.

AFP and health

Focus areas: Education, Livelihoods
Working with our partner organisation Richmond Fellowship (RF), our volunteers with skills and experience in the field of Mental Health have assisted in RF’s rehabilitation and training programmes in Bangalore. Our volunteer has also done communications work to increase the brand name and widen the reach of the organisation. Future volunteers will further this project with skills to develop training for community health workers aimed at increasing the reach and effectiveness of the programme.

AFP and gender empowerment

Focus areas: Education, Livelihoods, Participation and governance
AFP’s partner organisation Belaku addresses rural poverty amongst women through its income generating projects. Belaku works in the field of health education leading on maternal and child health initiatives in 15 villages. It tracks pregnant women and follows up with them to the post natal and early childhood stage. AFP supports Belaku’s maternal and child health and the income generating projects

Our volunteer was supporting Belaku’s input into the Government run Anganwadi programme which provides crèche and pre school activities to children up to 6 years of age. An AFP volunteer helped train the ‘Gelati’ or friend who is a young woman from the community chosen by Belaku to infuse more stimulation, better nourishment and health care in Anganwadis. Part of the Gelati’s role is to provide health education to pregnant women and parents in child care practices.

AFP’s supports Belaku to develop these projects into a sustainable source of livelihood. Our volunteer ran a work shop to help the women understand costing and pricing of products. These women now earn a regular source of income and enjoy higher levels of self esteem.