Life Skills Education - Kerala Balavihar

Project Brief: The project aims to involve underprivileged children (both urban & rural) in activities to teach them that they should be looking towards careers to change the world rather than just to take a lowly job to make ends meet.
Project Type: Alternative Education (description)
Primary Focus: other (description)

Secondary Focus: health and cleanliness

Area: Urban
Supporting Chapter Contact: St. Louis
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Anjana Mohan
Project Partner(s): Anitha Sharma
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , BALAVIHAR,Behind Tagore Theater,Thiruvananthapuram,
KERALA  695010
Tel: 0471-2727008
Stewarding Chapter: St. Louis
Dec 2006St. LouisUSD 2555

Total = $2555

The project will provide supplementary education to students of age group 6-16 with the view to equip them to grow as socially committed individuals with a clear perception of the world around them, a vision for this world and strong values. This will be achieved through conducting regular forums for children where relevant topics like health, nature, education, arts and crafts, politics and philosophy are discussed. Prominent and eminent local personalities are involved to influence the children and sharpen their outlook to life.

Through an fruitful excercises with an end product that is useful to the community, the children learn about a variety of work that they can do. An example of a project that a group of children have undertaken is the documentation of traditional means of fishing and boat making that are being replaced by western models.
Building social commitment and values, so underprivileged children see themselves as part of society and understand their place in the world.

To educate children about career options and open their eyes to the potential of their contribution to the world.

Secondary goals involve basic non academic education with respect to health, hygeine, traditional ways of life etc.
Small group of committed individuals looking to enrich the lives and the education of both rural and urban underprivileged children. They act as facilitators and participants in a variety of community discussions about curriculum in schools, betterment of communities, or empowerment of locals. Balavihar runs many programs in Trivandrum, including a Balvadi and Youth Choir, and is engaged with various community groups, both rural and urban.

It started as a "Lenin Clinic," to distribute polio vaccine from Soviet Union. It had the patronage of the communist activists/politicians in the city. Later as the clinic was no longer required, the organization evolved into a Balvadi in response to the influx of English Medium education even for pre-school children. The Balavihar summer camps were conceived around 1991. Some of the initial camps were considered very successful, and at one point drew the attention of the Governor who invited the children for tea. But after one of the main co-ordinators passed away there was a break of 5 years, starting aroung 1998. They have now been revived. The camps, originally conducted for middle class children are no more popular as there are much more sophisticated summer camps for those of privilege. Balavihar is reinventing itself for a rural/suburban audience, and providing these life skills and social value camps to underprivileged children and children from minority groups such as tribal communities.
Additional Phone number: 0471-2318113