SCAI’s Education Scholarship programs help keep families together by educating the children and empowering their families through Income Generation support
Due to poverty, lack of education and various social, economic and political issues, thousands of children continue to be trafficked, used as labour or sent to orphanages or other similar institutions in urban areas, predominantly for a better life and education. As a result, many children unnecessarily lose contact with their families often for several years and in some cases permanently. This is particularly prevalent in remote village areas where many families are uneducated and don’t understand the risks of sending their child away, where poverty is at its greatest and where it is simply too far for children to find their way home.
“Every parent wants the best for their child, and if they can’t provide even basic needs like nourishing food, clothing, medical care and an education, when someone comes along and says they will give your child an education and everything you can’t give, you think you are doing what is best for your child. At the time, many parents do not realise that whilst they may be changing their child’s life by sending them away, that it is actually for worse not better.”
SCAI’s Education Scholarship Programs provide families with a better alternative, that empower both the children and the families, and keeps them together. We takes a holistic approach to the children’s well-being and development, and with the child’s best interest at the heart, we assess the needs of the children in all aspects of their lives, from a physical, psychological and social perspective.
Without basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, medical care, a safe, nurturing home environment where they feel a sense of belonging, it is very difficult for children to attend school regularly or perform at their highest potential, and the children are at much greater risk of trafficking or being sent away from home.
Whilst the focus of our support is on education and income generation activities over the five year project period, SCAI provides short term support to help the families meet their basic needs, and to help create other support networks within their local communities where the children feel a sense of belonging and connection, respect and recognition.
SCAI provides the following support:
- School materials including uniforms, shoes, bags, books, stationary, fees, tuition
- Short-term support for basic needs such as medical care, clothing, toiletries
- Rent assistance and basic household goods for youth to go on to college with their peers when the nearest college is too far to travel on a daily basis
- Income generation support for the children’s families (Read more about SCAI’s Income Generation programs)
Physiological and social support
- Regular visits to the children’s school to discuss each child’s progress with their teachers and to meet with the children
- Regular visits to the children’s homes to monitor the living conditions of the family, assess their progress and providing counselling and support as needed
- family counselling to address issues of individual members or family relationships
- Group forums and support groups for parents and guardians to share their issues, express their views, learn about their child’s development, risks they may face, opportunities they have and provide feedback
- Child clubs in all schools in the program areas, which empower the youth by building their confidence, creating a local peer support network, giving them a forum to be heard and supporting them to take action to protect their rights, such as prevention of early marriage (Read more about SCAI’s Youth Empowerment programs)
- Child Club Network which brings together representatives from all child clubs for regular training, capacity building and child protection activities with local child protection specialists, that can then be disseminated through all child clubs.
SCAI strongly believes that being with one’s biological family wherever possible is a vitally important factor in a child’s well-being and healthy development. A considerable amount of research has shown that long-term separation of a child from its family can have long term psychosocial impact. A child who is separated at a young age is much more likely to commit crime, have drug and alcohol issues, sexual issues, have greater trouble trusting and developing close relationships or reaching their full potential when they are older.
Psychiatrists have said it is ‘The worst nightmare I can imagine for a child’ and ‘The effect is catastropic’.