It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.
(Adapted from a quotation of Frederick Douglass)
1. Safe Spaces for Children – Friends of Little People (FLiP) Centres
CRG runs FLiP Centres for children living in bastis in Baga, Calangute and Candolim in the north coastal belt in the afternoons, five-days-a week, empowering children to prevent them from becoming victims of tourism related child sexual abuse or other forms of abuse such as child labour, child marriage, incest and domestic violence.
2. Empowering Children through FLiP Club Activities
CRG forms clubs of children from the FLiP Centres who are keen on organising activities and taking leadership. Initially all children who wanted to join in any activity were accepted as Club members. From around September 2013 children have begun to develop their own rules about who can become a member of the club. The Club members are expected to attend meetings regularly and carry out tasks that they volunteer to undertake. FLiP Club members have conducted awareness programmes on substance abuse in their bastis. They have conducted a rally against child marriage. They have tried to convince parents to send their children to schools.
The Club members from the three centres get together around once in three months to share their experiences and exchange ideas.
3. Parents’ Meetings
The CRG facilitators organise parents’ meetings regularly to discuss children’s problems. At the parents’ meetings sometimes resource persons are invited to share useful information with them. Usually joint meetings are held of parents from the three bastis.
4. Safety Education for School Children
CRG conducts sessions on child rights awareness and protection from abuse covering around 30 schools in North Goa. In the academic year 2014 to 2015 CRG proposed that it could show its Konkani film Niragas to the school children during the sessions. Following this, the Department of Education issued a letter to all schools saying that they could approach CRG if they wanted Niragas to be screened. This resulted in more schools approaching us to conduct sessions enabling CRG to reach out to over 1,000 more students (from 1,636 students in 2013-2014 to 2,784 students in the last academic year).