The issue of education and access is a prevalent one. It gets further complicated in scenarios where communities are generationally linked with carpet weaving and their children find themselves absorbed in the process. The last one year has been a boon for children in as many as 14 villages in Rajasthan where GoodWeave’s CFC (Child Friendly Communities) project is being implemented. Belonging to predominately carpet-weaving communities of Jaipur, Alwar and Dausa districts, a large number of these children (1394) were identified as academically lagging and extremely vulnerable to child labour.In a gradual move towards providing a platform for these children to learn and not become oblivious victims to child labour, a total of 7 Motivation and Learning Centres have been set up in half of these villages. In most cases, these centres act to abridge the learning gap most children have with their peers as a result of being school drop-outs or highly disinclined to study. These centres are run by the facilitators from the communities themselves. The facilitators receive a basic level of training that eventually pushes them to play multiple roles of teachers, counsellors as well as community activists. The participatory approach this project decidedly takes has more than one virtue attached to it. The primary result is that these potentially brilliant children get to learn and evolve in an atmosphere that completely disassociates itself from mainstream teaching methods, and virtually embarks a subjective journey to each child’s home. This is carried out by active counselling and teaching sessions, individual profile development, school visits, reenrolments, events that bring people together to deliberate, and so on. The secondary accomplishment here is the development of a strong and sustained human resource, in the form of community facilitators, who play a direct role in transforming their communities. Given that all the facilitators are mostly of 18-22 years of age, the model gives an opportunity to the young volunteers to gather valuable exposure and technical skills.
The multidimensional engagement of the project with schools, local authorities, weaving community and most importantly with vulnerable children has helped GoodWeave put forward a model that makes use of the interconnectedness of the village-stakeholders to address the barriers to education. Child-labour being a constant risk, a deeper delve into the lives of these children through local efforts and capacity building proves to be a valuable entree.