Tag Archives: Germany

VCPC members stopped two child marriages

Sussane, the team member of Don Bosco Mondo, paid a visit to the panchayat office of Venkatapuram village and interacted with the members of Village Child Rights’ Committee (VCPC) on 28.11.2018. All the members of the committee, except for members of Human Rights’ Clubs, were present on the day. The students, HRC members, could not make it to the meeting as they had an examination.

The session started with Fr. Ignatius addressing the meeting and briefing about PARA and its projects and the purpose of visiting the village. He also introduced Susanne to the gathering.

On coming to know about the problems in the village, Susanne asked if they were facing any challenges working with the people. The members of the VCPC said that since they were familiar in the village, people generally listen to them. With regard to VCPC, Susanne asked if any exchanges between the members of VCPCs of Venkatapuram and VCPCs of other villages have taken place so far. To this, VCPC members said that nothing as such had happened as the committee was just three weeks old.

The team member of Don Bosco Mondo asked the VCPC what were child-related issues in the village. Answering the question, the members of the committee said that they were spreading awareness in the village about trafficking of children on the pretext of job. To this measure, we are seeing that no girl goes out of the village for job with an unknown person, they added.

Talking about her 2-year-old child, who is in Germany, Susanne asked how children are being treated. The VCPC members said there was a bad influence of television on parents and added that these days parents, instead of giving time to children, were stuck to watching TV serials. A member of the committee said that parents were just cooking food for children and leaving them on their own. There was no exchange between parents and children.

They said they were ensuring that there were no cases of child marriages in the village. They also added that they were sensitising the parents about the complications related to early marriages, early pregnancy, challenges in raising children, and so on.

Susanne asked the committee members if they needed more training programmes on Human Rights. Nodding their heads, they said it this would help them get more familiarise with child rights. And when the session was open for ‘question and answer’, they asked Susanne what made her travel such a long way, leaving the 2-year-old at home. The team member of DBM said that though her job was to sit at her desk and report to BMZ, she wanted to know the conditions of children of other countries apart from her own.

Sharing her personal life, she said that she was a student scout and was passionate about helping others. This made me work with the needy. She added that her husband was into business.

Later, she visited the nearby Anganwadi centre which was about 200 meters away from the panchayat office. She enquired about the nutrition and medication given to pregnant women and children. She also she spent some time with kids who were of her child’s age.

From there, the district coordinator of Krishna, T Madhusudan Rao, led the visiting team to another panchayat office in Pedhaprolu village where the VCPC meetings generally take place. Even here both the parties, visiting team and VCPC members, introduced themselves to each other and Fr Ignatius walked them through the works of PARA and explained the agenda of the visit.

The guide teacher asked Susanne and Fr Ignatius why they were sensitising people on Human Rights. Fr Ignatius and Susanne said it was important to make the children aware of their rights like participation, protection, education, and survival of that children have a better future.

Talking about Human Rights, the members of VCPC asked for printed materials like fliers, books, hoardings, etc, on the rights to reach more and more people in the village. They added that there was no point in conducting or discussing about human rights within the four walls if they don’t reach the masses.

When asked if there were any problems in the village, the village secretaryaffirmed that there were no problems as the district collector was closely following up. He said that for this reason there were no NGOs in the area.

Susanne asked the meeting if there were any child marriage cases in the village. For which, all said no. However, as the discussion went on, they said there might be few child marriages carried out outside the village which were not coming to their notice. However, they said that parents were taking the children to faraway places like temples to conduct the child marriages.

The VCPC members added that they stopped two child marriages in the village that they came across and counselled the parents about the problems related to early marriages. They also sensitised them on rights. One of the VCPC members said that might the reason why parents were taking children to remote areas to conduct child marriages.

Discussing about the health of pregnant women and children, the gathering said the village had established a nutri-garden, where all the required fruits and vegetable were grown. To a question on how their children were treated, they said now-a-days children were not listening to parents. They were either busy with their mobiles when at home or go out with friends and return only late in the night.

To this, Fr Ignatius said that the current generation was fast and “quick learners”. He added that parents should give them time and listen to their ideas and opinions instead of downplaying their views. Otherwise, once they realise that you are not listening to them,they stop telling you anything to the parents or elders, even if anything major incident takes place. He ended the session by asking them to have quality time with children and make them aware of their rights.

Workshop on HRE/HRC project reporting

Sussane, a team member of Don Bosco Mondo, was treated to a warm welcome by Director Fr. Ignatius Vattigunta and staff of PARA on November 26, 2018 at PARA campus, Ravulapalem, Andhra Pradesh. Fr. Ignatius went through the phase-I of the project and why it was taken up here. He spoke of several cases of child rights’ violations, children not being heard and children not aware of their rights. Moreover, there was no evidence of a culture of Human Rights.

The director said that the intervention of PARA saw increased number of Human Rights’ Clubs and raised awareness on child rights and child participation. However, he also spoke of the setbacks: there was no sustainable Human Rights’ culture and high number of violations of child rights is still taking place.

Talking about the phase-II of the project, Fr. Ignatius said that one aim was to involve the government and to link the clubs with communities through Village Child Rights Protection Committees. This would also help in the sustainability of these efforts.

To break the ice between them, the staff members introduced themselves and explained their responsibilities to Susann, who in turn explained the purpose of her visit to India, namely, to review the current status of the project and to conduct a workshop on how to report to Don Bosco Mondo. Later, Sussane introduced herself and explained the purpose of the visit to India from Germany.

Beginning the process of explaining the format of reporting, Susanne gave modules to the staff in which there was an additional column, “Means of Verification,” besides goals and indicators.

Earlier in the phase-I, there was no such column. The team member of Don Bosco Mondo said the ‘objective’ of the workshop was to review the current indicators and examine them carefully to ascertain possible ways of verification.She explained that while the indicators describe the success of the project, the “means of verification” indicate where and how the information is obtained.

To make the session participatory, she asked the participants to form 5 groups and brainstorm on “Means of Verification”. Each group presented their “Means of Verification” to all participants and discussed in detail the same. After two presentations, the session broke for lunch.

Before the session could resume, post lunch, the staff observed the 69th Indian Constitution Day – also known as Samvidhan Divas. Later, the remaining three groups presented the “Means of Verification”. After each presentation, the session was open for suggestions and views which further helped participants understand the difference between “Indicators and “Means of Verification”.Each “means of verification” was scrutinised, and further possibilities were explored by participants as well as Susanne. The day ended with the feedback from all the participants on the discussions of the day.

On the second day, the session began with Fr. Ignatius revisiting the “means of verification” suggested by all groups on the previous day. A team of two staff along with the director and Susanne had filtered the suggestions made on November 26.

Susanne, then, presented her PPT on BMZ regulations.She explained the funding scheme. She added that BMZ gives 75%, SDB/FMA gives 15% and Don Bosco Mondo (DBM) gives 10% funds to the project. The presenter also gave details about the roles of each organisation i.e., BMZ (Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany) provides funds, SDB/FMA implements the project and reports to DBM and the DBM administers the project and reports to BMZ.

The agenda of the session was to create awareness among the staff of PARA on reporting format as they will be submitting reports to DBM. Susanne explained the regulatory statute of reporting and said that upon every three months, a quarterly report should be submitted. Likewise, upon six months, a half-yearly report, annual report, follow-up report and audit report should be submitted to DBM, which will then be forwarded to BMZ after editing, if needed. Talking about the reporting format, she asked the group to give an overview of the activities implemented in the three months and an update with regard to the status of funds of the project.

She also highlighted the due date 15.02.2019 of the annual report and asked the staff to report on 01.01.2019 so that there would be time for review, improvisation and correction, if any. Susanne also underlined the different components that should be incorporated in the report. She said the report should be narrative, financial matters should be touched upon, audit section, supporting documents according to the project agreement and photos (JPEG) should be attached.

The team member of the DBM added that the actual state of the project implementation, outlook on future project progress, special notes, success stories, documents or bills of items purchased, and presentation of “means of verification” should also be reported.

Information like changes in the general conditions and project implementation organisation, target-actual-comparison of all measures or activities and outputs, cooperation with other stakeholders, appropriateness of the utilisation of the resources should be mentioned in the report.

When staff brought to her notice the difficulties in yielding 100% results, Susanne said that it was completely understandable if that were the case. She added that the staff needed to document the challenges to support their claims. If there are negative results, even those should also be mentioned in the project report, she said. Finally, the overall assessment of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability or viability of the project is to be followed by the conclusion.

Later, she handed over the stamp to the finance department which needs to be every bill that is to be claimed by the implementing organisation. After explaining thoroughly the financial section, she conducted an exercise for staff. Five volunteers were given five bills and were asked to tell in which section it fits. She then opened the session for feedback. Susanne received a very positive review from the participants.


YaR DAY 2018 – I
Rajamahendravaram, 8-9 December 2018

YaR Day Celebrations – 2018 kick-started with participants singing melodious songs on December 8, 2018 at Nethanja Residential High School, Rajahmundry. Around 300 people, including children of the 6 province YaR centres, teachers and directors of Don Bosco institutes from Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Kurnool, Warangal and Hyderabad and volunteers from Austria, Germany and Italy took active part in the celebrations. The programme included various games and competitions for all the participants.

State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) member Gandhi Babu was the chief guest. The Salesian Provincial Fr. Vijay Bhaskar SDB, Mayor P Rajani Sesha Sai, Child Welfare Committee Chairperson Mrs. Padmavathi, Rajahmundry SHE Team Assistant Sub-Inspector M. Rasheeda, YSRCP Floor Leader Sharmila Reddy and Oye Ninne fame M Bharat were among the honourable guests who graced the dias.

Addressing the gathering, Fr. Balashowry, the YaR coordinator for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, welcomed SCPCR member Gandhi Babu and everybody present on the occasion. Saying that this is the 20th YaR Day celebrations, he added that children from various parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh meet every year at this platform to encourage and support each other. He pointed to this year’s theme as “Protect Children from Violence”.

The inaugural session began with all the guests on the stage lighting the lamp at 10:50 am. The Provincial pointed out that Don Bosco considered childhood as a crucial phase of human life and every child should lead a happy and free life. The speaker added that the Don Bosco organisations seek to ensure such a possibility for children. Quoting a study by UNICEF, he said that one youth was succumbing to violence every 5 minutes somewhere in the world. For society to change, we need to change first. The Provincial concluded saying that we all need to work towards a better future of all children. He added that the YaR centres were special NGOs that work with orphans, semi-orphans and children who find shelter on the streets. He added that the organisation not only provide education but also teach them how to love each other and spread love across the society.

Welcoming the theme of the YaR Day, “Protect Children from Violence”, Oye Ninne fame M Bharat said that children should not be subjected to violence. He added that it was important to identify the root cause of a problem to eradicate it. Moreover, the government should adopt children, provide education and see that they succeed in life, the actor said. Saying that education is as important as food, he asked students to study hard and reach high positions. He added that he would work, in consultation with elders, on the root cause of the problem and take action against it. He said that he was determined to establish an orphanage and an old-age home in the name of his grandfather M Rama Rao. The idea was to create a space where orphan children could see parents in elderly people and vice-versa. He concluded saying that he would work towards the welfare of children.

Retired Commerce Prof. V A Narayana said that the government should encourage children with regard to finance, facilities for mental health, etc. Asking the participants not think that they are orphans, he said that they would, one day, become self-supporting. He assured the gathering that some of the participants would become teachers, doctors, engineers, scientists, some day.

Asking to aim high and to dream high, YSRCP floor leader Sharmila Reddy added that everybody had hidden talents. Not everybody may be good at studies, some will be good at music, some at drawing, sports and so on. With several organisations coming forward, child labour – to an extent – has reduced in the city, the YSRCP floor leader claimed. Talking about self, she said that after being elected as the corporator she had adopted two government schools, Nehru Nagar High School and Nehru Nagar Municipal School, which are now providing facilities on par with private institutions.

Rajahmundry SHE team assistant sub-inspector M Rasheeda shocked the audience with the information that about 8,000 men were taken into custody by their team. They were counselled against teasing and bullying women which is actually sexual harassment. Warning against such acts, she asked the participants to respect women and elders, to study hard, and not to get involved in illegal activities.

AKWA founder president Md Arief said that real orphans were not the ones who didn’t have parents but friends. He added that the one who was without an aim was an orphan. He also said that the participants should grow to such an extent where they would be able to guide elders.

Explaining the pressure from politicians while stopping child marriages, resisting violence, talking about child rights, etc, SCPCR member Gandhi Babu said everybody who was drawing salaries from the government were accountable for the future of the children. He questioned the authorities why they were scared to question about the violation of the rights of children. The SCPCR member said those who violate child rights should not go unpunished.

At this point, all the guests who graced the dais were felicitated and given mementos. After the inaugural session the programmes of the YaR day continued. (To be continued)






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