KOA98 and the Joe Homan Charitable Trust:

 Combating Child Labour

We have received a copy of the annual report from the Joe Homan Child Labour Prevention scheme in Chithalai, India, that Kennington supported so generously in1998. It is not in electronic form, but if you would like to read the full paper version, please contact Clive Rodgers.

The scheme is now in its second year with 50 families from Chithalai and the neighbouring hamlet of Melaorappanur being selected for the calf scheme.  Thirty of the families bought their first calves at the end of the year, and all are thriving.  The local organiser said that some of the families were reluctant to buy calves because of the expense of rearing them, but are now doing so, are pleased with the scheme, and are looking forward to getting 6 litres of milk a day from their cow in two year’s time.  They plan to start a milk cooperative in the village, which would employ a milker and a marketing manager to sell the milk to a charity which runs a chilling unit in Tirumangalam.

Some of the children are at the local primary school, up to about 11 to 13 years of age, and the older ones are at the large Government Higher Secondary School, which caters for 608 childern from 8 surrounding villages, including 40 from three other Child Labour Prevention scheme villages.

One typical beneficiary is S. Muniammal, a widow earning 20 rupees (28p) a day as a farm coolie.  She says she is ‘very, very happy’ to be able to keep her 13-year old son at school, and sometimes takes her calf to work with her so that she can look after it.