Thursday October 6th we visited Butterflies NGO. More than 2 years ago we had already met Rita Panicker and Mr. Oli but were not aware of their projects yet. We met at their office in Delhi where Oli and Prakriti gave extensive explanations about the different activities they develop. There are too many to mention, but we would like to explain a few.

Street Education Program: With its unique non- institutional approach endeavors to empower street and working children in various situations in the city of Delhi. The street program interventions are rooted in places like bus terminals, railway stations, market places, parks and so on, where the children live and work. Butterflies works in 8 contact points in Delhi (we visited Okhla) and reaches out to more than 1,000 children on a daily basis. The Street Programme of Butterflies has a team of qualified educators designated as Education Programme Officers who are placed in the contact points either in the morning, afternoon or evening. In this way, these children score higher in their regular school and are better able to enter further education.

Children Development Khazana: It is a life skills education programme, educating children and adolescents, democratic values and financial management. CDK’s primary objective is to impart life skills education, teach them to be responsible, prioritise needs, budget and save. In CDK, children organise general body meetings, nominate their own child volunteer managers (for six months) and members for the advance committee, who are then provided training to handle their responsibilities, in basic book-keeping & accountancy, communication skills and to work in a team. As part of a practicum children manage their own Khazanas on cooperative principles at set timings and members focus on becoming entrepreneurs or learning a professional skill and exiting from their situation of poverty and insecurity.
The core objective of CDK is to promote life skills education through democratic participation, and inculcate knowledge of cooperative and financial management, fundamentals of management, accountancy & banking principles and promoting entrepreneurship.

Child Health and Sports Cooperative (CHSC): The core goal of CHSC is to support street-connected and ethnically marginalised children lead healthy lives and make positive, informed choices. The mission of the Child Health & Sports Cooperative is to educate every child on the importance of safe and healthy living including being emotionally well which would help them to stay healthy and reduce their vulnerability to preventable illnesses, thereby saving them from medical expenses and further pauperization.

We visited the Okhla Market where the children received extra lessons after school on a protected plot of land. When we got there there were at least about 100 children. We received an explanation from the children themselves about the CDK program and that in turn gave us many ideas to be able to roll it out elsewhere. The children were highly motivated to participate in the Butterflies program.

We gained another great experience!

Oli, Branko, Rita, Nicole en Prakriti

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