India - Empowering Women and Children Champions

Having taken the decision to expand its work overseas, Mosaic Community Trust is currently piloting an exciting new project in Andhra Pradesh in Southeast India.

Building on its extremely successful Community Champions model, which has been widely adopted by the BME community of North Westminster, Mosaic Community Trust has now initiated a programme to support Indian NGOs adopt the same model.

This project will offer women and children from remote and isolated villages training in leadership, mentoring, child rights and child protection, among other engaging topics, with the ultimate aim of empowering them to share this knowledge with their peers and family members, as well as other members of their communities.

Training will be provided by local partner Hands of Compassion with support from Mosaic Community Trust.

With increased skills, knowledge and confidence, it is hoped that these children and women, as well as those they have trained, will be able to advocate for improved services within their communities, such as education and health, particularly benefitting the most socially disadvantaged members of society.

The project area in Guruvayapalem village in Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh has recently been visited by Mosaic’s Managing Trustee Lena Choudary-Salter and several activities have been identified with the help of local community leaders and Mosaic’s local partner NGO Hands of Compassion, whose founder Director Vijaya Benjamin has visited and familiarised with Mosaic’s projects in London. There are 64 families who are socially and economically disadvantaged and totally dependent on wages from farm labour or subsistence farming.

As an entry point, the partnership will begin with the provision of basic facilities such as drinking water and school toilets, village drainage improving hygiene and sanitation, which are almost non-existent. All these activities will be undertaken by the local community with financial contribution from the local Panchayat (local government) matched by funds from Mosaic Community Trust.

Together with our local partner Hands of Compassion, children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are trained as Champions to promote key messages within the wider community around:
•    Personal health and hygiene
•    Regular school attendance and study
•    Importance of clean water and safe sanitation
•    Children involved in hand writing classes

Positive change:
•    90% of children regularly attending school and completing homework
•    35% improvement in hand writing
•    60% decrease in number of girls dropping out of school
•    50% of parents attending monthly parents meeting
•    Higher exam result scores

Childrens’ Champions
Guruvayapalem, Andhra Pradesh, India