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From Vulnerability to Strength: Bridging synergy among children from Asian conflict zones by children-children techno-educational innovation

SEWA aims to apply successfully tested model of children-children techno-educational model to address the formal education in emergencies

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What problem does your innovation solve?

The children who lost parent/s had left education due to insecurity and left hope of survival after internal conflict. The damage to the minds, bodies and social fabric was such that cannot be compensated or fulfilled but SEWA worked with them to bring to mainstream. following problems will be dealt 1) Traumatised / stressed out children 2) Drop out children 3) Re-linking with schools 4) Lost hope in humanity and survival 5) Widowed mothers struggling for livelihoods and education

Explain your innovation.

The innovation is about bringing “human faceted technology programme” which are developed by understanding needs of children of various age groups in emergencies which results in sowing seeds of constructive future by overcoming fear and hatred. The technology will bridge common bond between main three stakeholders 1) children, 2) handholders and 3) mothers of other countries. Handholders are SEWA's women organisors who work closely with familiesSEWA will introduce a cloud based country-feasible e-training and education system. Under the progamme, first study cum exposure training will be conducted at SEWA in India where interaction will be conducted with affected groups who will explain their emergency situation and how they overcame and now have reached a level where they can showcase to others and live peaceful life. Though they have come out of trauma they also seek further financial support for education. Under this process, other stake holders are mothers and handholders. After that e-training will be conducted. E-modules and training material will be developed on following subjects. 1) Handholder’s training on faith/relation building & trauma counseling 2) relinking children with mainstream schools 3)Sharing e-platform for mothers on livelihood linkages and develop interest in education 4) Sharing e-platform for a group of children on trauma, Educational and career needs. SEWA has worked on similar approach with 608 children in Gujarat who live peaceful life now.

Who benefits?

The direct benefit will go to affected children and their parent either affected by conflict, drought, floods, Tsunami or other natural disaster in India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. In India, the children of Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir are affected by recurring natural and man made disasters such as conflict, drought, floods. The South Asian region- the highest populous region is prone to recurring challenges of deadly disasters, economic downturn, internal conflicts. Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are the worst sufferer of consecutive 30+ years of internal conflicts and recurring disasters. All these have not only destroyed the physical and human assets but also fabric of the society and killed the hope in humanity and peace. The worst suffers are the women and children who are widowed with burden of nourishing families or disabled husbands in a harsh socio-political environment with lack of education, skills, employment, income and security. The children and mothers will be benefited.

How is your innovation unique?

SEWA’s innovations are in two ways 1) bringing technology to bridge children to children connection across borders, languages, creed, religion 2) integrated approach encompassing healing to mainstreaming truly transforms anger and hatred into constructive development. It is profoundly influenced by Gandhian thoughts, notably the concept of equality, non-violence, respect and self-reliance. The innovation is unique in a way that it is designed in integrated manner after understanding root causes, needs of children and challenges of families to re-link drop out child. SEWA’s follows integrated approach which encompasses three aspects of educational needs for children - values, human aspect+ education +values which not only enables relinking children with education for a say but also strengthens their confidence and make children role model and agent of change by convert trauma/hatred/anger into constructive and positive development just like a phoenix, rising from ashes.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

SEWA would act as a resource organisation to the local organizations. SEWA will build the capacities of local organizations in terms of reaching out the affected children, work on trauma counseling and brining them to mainstream. The local organizations shall act locally in regions to reach out and implement the programme with children, mothers and hand holders. Some of the questions come to our mind are, 1) Connectivity of internet and back-end support 2) On virtual platform, how much additional time will be required compared to one-on-one meeting to make children understand, believe and put faith that constructive positive change is possible 3) Continuity of planned activities as per schedule in the countries like Afghanistan

Tell us more about you.

Self Employed Women’s Association – (SEWA) is a trade union of 1.9 million poor women workers from Informal Economy across 14 states of India. SEWA’s goals are (a) full employment - employment that provides work, income and food security and (b) self-reliance – economical & decision-making. To achieve its goals SEWA follows integrated approach of organizing for collective strength; SEWA has worked in war affected countries and communities in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka on economic rehabilitation.

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Natural disaster
  • Armed conflict
  • Prolonged displacement
  • Extreme drought
  • Other (please specify in next question)

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

In Gujarat, now there are still 100 conflict affected children whose education needs to be supported while 650 children from drought and earthquake affected areas needs to be sustained. In Jammu & Kashmir, approx 200 children needs to be sustained.In Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, more than 35+ years of war and oppressed society has affected the education of children. SEWA plans to cover 200 children from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka each

Where will your innovation be implemented?

The innovations will be implemented in India, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. In India the progamme will be implemented in states of Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir. In Afghanistan, the programme will be implemented in Kabul while in Sri Lanka the programme will be implemented in Easter Province. SEWA promoted organisations In Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have set up Community Learning Centres where the training will be implemented.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

In-country Networks

SEWA has been working with network organisations in all proposed states and countries. In arid area of Radhanpur, SEWA works with Banaskatha Dwakra Mahila Association. In conflict affected area of Jammu and Kashmir, SEWA works with Help Foundation in Jammu & Kashmir, Sabah Bagh-e-Khazana Social Association in Afghanistan and Women’s Self Employed Development Cooperative Society in Sr Lanka. All above partner organisations are well connected with technology and virtual communication.

Sector Expertise

  • I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

SEWA is working since last 45 years having 1.9 million women members from 14 states of India. SEWA also works in 7 SAARC countries. Through its joint action of union and co-operatives – struggle & development SEWA facilitates. women members to build & manage their own organisations. We now have 3200 SHGs, 110 cooperatives.15 economic entities and 3 producer companies. SEWA worked with 608 single parent/ orphaned children since 2002. Many children completed their education and somebecame engineer

Innovation Maturity

  • Existing Prototype or Pilot: I have tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.

Organization Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Organization Location

Self Employed Women's Association, SEWA Reception Centre, Opp. Victoria Garden, Bhadra, Ahmedabad - 380 001. India. Ph: 91-79-25506444



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