About the Project
The Tehelka Foundation is a non-profit arm of the Tehelka Magazine. The Foundation has been working on Youth Empowerment and Active Citizenship for over 6 years.
In 2009, we were invited by Justice Madan Lokur (currently Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court) to work with Juveniles in Conflict with Law at Kingsway Camp, New Delhi.
Through our Expressive Arts Therapy program, we aim to breakthrough the walls of anger and frustration of these young people. Battling poverty, malnutrition, lack of education and opportunity, these youth see crime as a survival strategy.
The thrust of our work has been to understand:
• Life histories of these youth
• Their dreams and aspirations
• How to assist them in charting out a new roadmap for their lives
Through our Threads of Humanity program we have recruited volunteers from Delhi University who work with the youth to engage them through arts, indoor games, comic book making workshops, wall painting exercises, waste recycling and informal counseling. Our Expressive Arts Therapy program will be strengthened in 2012 with Master Practitioners who will be volunteer time and energy to take classes on Theatre, Music, Physical Movement, Creative Writing, Guided Imagery, Painting and other skills, to enable the juveniles express themselves and begin the healing process.
As the Arts’ program triggers a healing process it will motivate these youth to begin the next step of rehabilitation - vocational training, the next phase of our intervention.
Raju (name changed) is a bright and talented 17 year old who has been in and out of Juvenile Justice Observation homes. It all began 6 years ago with a group fight that ended with one person dead. Raju claims that he had nothing to do with the murder but happened to be with his friends in the group when the fight broke out. The entire group was arrested.
Since then it’s been a long endless cycle of being on the wrong side of the law. A crime is committed in his locality and Raju is one of the first people to be rounded up. Increasingly hardened he’s been part of a group of boys who break out of the home, only to be re-arrested.
Raju never went to school, as his family could not afford it. At our art and waste recycling workshops, he discovered his artistic side and would be absorbed for hours making shopping bags and decorating them with recycled paper. Given the right opportunity, Raju has the skills to channel his talent into a lucrative vocation.
But here he is, stuck in this vicious circle of crime and punishment, a result of his choices. How can we help him to open up a new set of options and opportunites?
Raju will soon be 18. He has dreams, aspirations but no guidance.
The Foundation’s work with vulnerable youth like Raju is focused on building their capacity to aspire and connect them with opportunities to build a new life. The Foundation proposes to build on its art-therapy-driven-capacity building program by:
- Developing a skill training center in partnership with existing skill training organizations (private and nonprofit)
- Connecting trained youth to work opportunities through industry partnerships. For instance, the Foundation is currently in conversation with leading health care providers to train boys in nursing and hospital care and eventually absorb them in their hospital chain.
The skill training focus will be on increasing employability of these youth and driven by the needs of our industry partners. In some instances, like health care, the Foundation connects youth to existing independent training centers run by the relevant company.
The Foundation training center located in New Delhi will offer training in –
- Construction industry – plumbing, electrical work
- Hospitality and Retail
- IT hardware
We do not see creating opportunities alone as a sufficient condition for these youth to chart out a new roadmap for their lives. Our innovation lies in –
- Our Expressive Arts Therapy program which builds the capacity of these youth to imagine and aspire to a different life
- Skill training that is entirely driven by industry partnerships to ensure absorption into workforce
- Emphasis on partnerships to build our own capacity
Project Action Plan
Project Action Plan
1Develop and strengthen industry partnerships: Status - Currently in discussion with healthcare industry leaders who will train these youth in their own training centers In discussions with other skill training centers to collaborate on curriculum design
Develop and strengthen industry partnerships:
Currently in discussion with healthcare industry leaders who will train these youth in their own training centers
In discussions with other skill training centers to collaborate on curriculum design
2Design vocational center with inputs from all stakeholders (the Juveniles, their families, the Juvenile Justice Board, industry partners): Status - Working with state authorities to understand the legal and security dimensions of the initiative
Design vocational center with inputs from all stakeholders (the Juveniles, their families, the Juvenile Justice Board, industry partners):
Working with state authorities to understand the legal and security dimensions of the initiative
3Fundraising This project will never be sustainable on its own and will require financing on a continuous basis. Its success can serve as a model for future government, private and nonprofit initiatives: Status – In conversation with CSR programs; Funding organizations.
This project will never be sustainable on its own and will require financing on a continuous basis. Its success can serve as a model for future government, private and nonprofit initiatives:
In conversation with CSR programs; Funding organizations.
Who will this help Rise
Juveniles in Conflict with Law are juvenile offenders who have been apprehended for a range of crimes and offences. Most of the offenders are boys. The National Crime Records Bureau data for 2010 records 30,303 juvenile offenders across the country. 95% of these offenders were boys with about 63% percent of the boys in the 16 – 18 age group.
The Foundation’s intervention specifically targets boys in the 16 – 18 age group. It aims to be a model for Juvenile Justice Board homes across the country that is serving a similar age group.
We believe that these youth can also emerge as positive role models in their communities.
How will this help them Rise?
The programme will help them
- Explore a sense of Self, express this connection creatively and engage with the outside world more effectively
- Train them in life skills and enhance their capacity to communicate
- Expose them to various vocational options and train them in their choice of activity
- Help break the cycle of crime by providing employment opportunities through industry partnerships
- Empower these young people with a sense of dignity and self-respect
Programme Coordinator, The Tehelka Foundation
This Project Needs
25 Assisting Art therapy Practioners
20 Business professionals to develop business plans,industry partnerships and mentoring youth post skill training