This issues of “Ek – Prayas” the Annual Report of Kinderhilfswerk Society (KHW) 2006 is special as it heralds the 25th year of KHW’s service. From small humble beginnings in 1982 KHW has grown closer to its stated aspiration of becoming a
– contextually relevant, functionally effective and
nationally credible child care and development organization -
KHW as an organization draws its inspiration from the values advocated by Jesus Christ.
There are some others that deserve special mention – Mr. Hans Juergen Pechmann who remained the single most driving force behind KHW and who deeply loves India and Indians The work of KHW in India, and indeed the whole world, is a direct result of his vision, commitment, hard work and dogged determination.
I would also like to acknowledge the pivotal roles of the late Stephen Hishey and Mrs. Chamzes Wangmo, former heads of KHW. The board of governors of the Kinderhilfswerk society, KHW staff, volunteers, community representatives, friends, family and individuals. KHW today is the sum total of their hard work and dedication. To all I express gratitude.
The main program of KHW has been to support the education of underprivileged children through sponsorships. For many years now one of KHW’s mandates has been providing access to quality education for the underprivileged. However, many KHW children struggle to do well academically due to a variety of reasons – social, economic, psychological, health, etc. We have tried to address the needs of individual children and their families through appropriate counseling, nutrition & health support, livelihood assistance, tutorials and the like.
As part of its twenty fifth anniversary programs, KHW has introduced a special project – “Micro Enterprise Development & Livelihood Enhancement. Through this program we hope to strengthen individual initiative, aspiration and entrepreneurship.
Another emerging KHW initiative is Samvedna – the program for the differently abled. Having been through a two year learning curve, I feel that Samvedna is now poised to positively influence many more lives especially in the un-served remote mountainous areas of Garhwal. KHW aspires to have a full fledged community based rehabilitation program in the Rudraprayag district and also to replicate Samvedna in at least two additional Garhwal districts in the year 2007-08.
One of KHW’s frustrations has been the long and incomprehensible delay in getting an N.O.C. from the government for the Dehradun Public School, Kandoli (DPS). KHW’s priority will always be the underprivileged child. We will develop DPS into an institution where even the socio-economically advantaged children will consider it a privilege to attend. By the year 2009 we also hope to start a vocational training program concomitantly with formal education at DPS.
For a very long time KHW has been very concerned about the care of children with no family or community support. In most cases KHW prefers that children stay with their families or in their community as opposed to in institutions. However, sometimes this is not possible. In the past year KHW has taken tentative steps towards caring for such children through Asha Griha (House of Hope), where children will be brought up in a family environment by parent figures. We hope to develop this program as a replicable model where each unit will be managed by a dedicated couple who have their own children. Each unit will not have more than ten children.
Tsunami Rehabilitation work in Tamilnadu continues. KHW has completed the first phase of construction of houses and will very shortly start the next phase which will extend till May 2008. As a result of our work we have also started a small sponsorship program for children whose both or one parent is HIV positive. This is a small beginning and we plan to eventually develop a comprehensive care and rehabilitation program for children and families affected by AIDS in Tamilnadu.
I am very happy to inform that KHW has been granted registration under section 80 G of the Income Tax Act 1961. One of my challenges is to reduce KHW’s dependence on foreign assistance. Over the next five years KHW will ensure that a significant part of its funding comes from within the country.
To further highlight twenty five years of service, KHW has planned to introduce two scholarships for residents of Garhwal: One, for professional training of an academically brilliant underprivileged girl, and another for professional training or higher education for a differently abled person. In addition KHW plans to introduce two research fellowships in partnership with either a university or institution offering Post Graduate studies in Social Work, Sociology and related disciplines. These fellowships will be towards researching socio-economically relevant issues in the state of Uttarakhand.
My larger role in the Asian region continues as the Asian Director for Kinderhilfswerk Stiftung Global Care, Germany. Besides India there are partners / projects in Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia. I am grateful that God has enabled me to shoulder this responsibility effectively. In my work with KHW I have never been content with what has been accomplished, rather I have always looked to what more needs to be done. Nevertheless looking back over twenty five years, I must pause and acknowledge with gratitude our past achievements. Looking ahead at the next twenty five years I see opportunities and challenges in a different, more globalized, but unfortunately an increasingly less equitable and partisan world. Today there is an even greater need for KHW to listen to the voices of the community, to understand their needs and to work tirelessly towards “poverty free and just world where all children have equal opportunity and access to develop their God given potential”.
Thank you very much.
Jaywant Pratap Singh
Secretary / Director