Our outreach programs have grown directly out of our work with street children living and working in our neighborhood of Yerwada. Many of the children on the streets of Pune return each night to their families, only to leave early the next morning to eke out a meager income begging at busy intersections. Because their income or labor in the home is many times necessary for the survival of their families, they are completely unable to attend school, thus perpetuating a cycle of poverty.
Our educational outreach program works by directly supporting over two hundred children through their primary and secondary education. We enroll the children in school, provide all the necessary fees and supplies, and work with them three days a week to supplement their academic instruction. We also work with their families to ensure proper emotional and social support, and to address any further barriers to their reaching their full potential.
Our health outreach program works more broadly at the familial and community level, and in many ways addressing the issues that force children onto the streets in the first place. We provide all necessary medical care; we teach health education and adult literacy courses to improve health awareness and empower adults in the community to become forces of positive change; and we work closely with governmental and non-governmental healthcare programs and providers to improve access to healthcare and health information.
The three outreach programs have grown quickly from something that we do "while the kids are at school" to full-time jobs in and of themselves. Our new Health, Education and Community Centre, inaugurated in October 2007, has seen a constant stream of people for tutoring, literacy courses and medical treatment, and we've been quite staggered by the positive community response.