Miraj Children's Projects
Miraj (India) Children's Projects
Project Partner: New Life Medical and Educational Trust
HOHI partners with four important children's projects in Miraj.
The city of Miraj along with the sister city of Sangli, is home to over 1700 commercial sex workers and has the highest incidence of HIV/Aids in India. Many of these women have numerous children who are introduced to the sex trade from an early age. The children are sometimes kept under the bed while the mother plies her trade above them, or are in an adjacent room. This exposure damages children and perpetuates an unhealthy cycle.
At an early age some of the children of these sex workers (some as young as 6, but most by age 12-13) are introduced to the sex trade to earn money for their mother and extended families.
The life expectancy of these commercial sex workers is low due to HIV and other diseases. As a result many children are orphaned and left in the care of uncles who often keep them in the child sex industry.
Transitional home for girls
HOHI commenced partnership with this project in 2005, to help young girls so they could escape systemic cycles of abuse, poverty, and so they would no longer be vulnerable to being trafficked. Endangered girls are provided with a safe home, medical care for their health problems, education, and vocational training.
The girl's home currently has 23 girls in residence undertaking schooling and various training courses.
Transitional Home for Boys
Boys are also at risk as they are exposed to the sex industry from an early age, and the gangs who control this industry. We have a small group of boys who had a very bleak future prior to entering the transitional home. These boys are progressing and will be undertaking various vocational training programmes in 2014-15.
We will commence the night crèche for the children of local sex workers as soon as the new building has been found. In Miraj we will open a new computer school in March that will train each of our orphans in MS Office and provide certificates recognizing this training. The training will also be open to the night crèche children and we will also offer courses to local sex workers. HOHI is also planning to eventually provide training in sewing and tailoring.
Night Crèche Project
The night crèche project serves the needs of the children of sex workers. These children are often exposed to their mother's business, and may roam the streets until the early hours of the morning while they wait for their mother to finish with her clients. As a result they do not go to school due to tiredness.
The Night Crèche project provides a safe environment for these children. They are given an evening meal, helped with homework, given instruction on health and hygiene, participate in the computer school, have a safe place to sleep, are given breakfast, and then taken to school.
HOHI has partnered with the New Life Medical and Education Trust to set up a computer school. This school provides a range of training programmes from basic keyboard skills to advanced MSO skills. All of the children in the various Miraj projects attend classes in this school for 1 hour a day.
HOHI believes that this training is crucial if we are to see the children excel in school and in finding a great employment in the future.