The right to quality education is still beyond reach for many children and young people in India, which hinders their future prospects. Furthermore, the Indian labour market is in transition: Employment opportunities in agriculture, traditionally the most important employment sector, are decreasing as the economy becomes more digitalised. As a result, more people, especially youth, migrate to the cities even though there aren’t enough employment opportunities for everyone. It is therefore even more important for young people from rural areas to be equipped with skills that are in demand outside of agriculture or with skills to start up their own business.
Many children and young people in India do not have access to quality education or dropout early, particularly in rural areas. Two of the main reasons are that parents cannot afford the costs associated with sending their children to school and they lack awareness on the importance of quality education, especially for girls. Without proper education or training, children and young people do not acquire the necessary job-related skills. Furthermore, the few jobs available mean that many will be un- or under-employed.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING TO PREVENT UNEMPLOYMENT
Together with its local partner organization Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA), SA4D is committed to providing disadvantaged children and youth with sustainable future prospects through quality education and entrepreneurship training in the rural areas of Anantapur district. Students who are at risk of dropping out of school (mostly children of daily wage workers) are housed on a campus that provides them with a safe place to live, balanced meals and ensures their enrolment and regular attendance in formal primary and secondary schools. Young people can engage in interactive employability and entrepreneurship skills training to prepare them to start their own (micro)businesses or find decent employment. The trainings are complemented with an internship program as well as a mentoring providing youth with the right support in their first work experiences. The children and young people are also prepared to lead careers and lives in an increasingly technology-based world through regular IT courses.
SPORT AND PLAY TO IMPROVE KEY SKILLS
SA4D’s sports and play approach aims to bring people together, improves learning opportunities for children and young people and provides them with skills relevant for overcoming the challenges of daily life. The playful sessions also help to improve physical health. This project uses sport and games to create a child-friendly and safe environment for children and young people to have better access to educational opportunities and to develop to their full potential.