helping indian slum children and destitute families

El Shaddai Child Rescue USA

Community Outreach

Based on several extended trips to India, the founders of El Shaddai Indian Street Child Rescue USA feel that the community outreach efforts by El Shaddai Charitable Trust merit special attention and support. ESCT was founded in 1997 to provide a safe haven, food, shelter, and protection from violence to abandoned and abused children found on the streets of slums and along the beaches of Goa.

Between 1997 and 2002 ESCT established five residential homes which now shelter more than 250 children. Most of the children housed by ESCT come from economically destitute families which migrate into slums in Goa from impoverished rural areas in surrounding states on a seasonal basis.

Some of the children are true orphans, some have simply been abandoned; many of the children are victims of abuse; all of the children are malnourished and none of them have received adequate health care or education. In some instances children have been brought to the ESCT homes by mothers who are themselves victims of abuse and deprivation.

The residential homes operated by ESCT truly do offer safe haven and hope for at risk children. However, the founders of ESCT, Anita Edgar and Matthew Kurian, have long felt that a nurturing family environment is the best setting to raise a child and that institutional housing is a poor substitute. To rectify this situation, ESCT has embarked on a program that enables children to remain at home with their families.

The primary purpose of ESCT outreach centers is to help local residents create and maintain wholesome community environments conducive to childhood growth and development in safe and nurturing family settings. To this end, efforts at the centers focus on empowering residents to take charge of community functions and responsibilities relating to health and education and to help them more effectively obtain government aid and assistance.

Helping Indian Slum Children and Destitute Families in India
To serve the needs of children of families residing in slums in cities where migrant populations tend to concentrate, ESCT established three day care/night shelters in Goa: Asha Deep, in Panjim in 2003; Stepping Stones, in Margao in 2005; and Little Acorns, in Calungute in 2005.

Indian slum school Together these three outreach centers serve about 230 children in their main facilities and they reach more than 150 Indian slum children through 19 ambulatory slum schools. Working in cooperation with local residents in other areas with relatively stable populations ESCT staff have established satellite outreach centers in three additional slums in Goa: Tremara, in Chimbel, Panjim; Good News, in Moti Dongor; and Ashraya, in Birla.

More than 350 slum residents are served at these three locations. In addition, at the invitation of communities in adjacent states, ESCT now sponsors Mungood Community Center in Karnataka, Bethel Community Center facilities in Adaralli and Belhatti, Karnataka, and Faith Mission in Kerala. More than 650 children are served by these outreach centers. It should be noted that the services provided by the ESCT community centers help diminish the load placed on its residential programs.

Depending on local needs and resources, ESCT community centers engage in the following action areas:
• "Meals on wheels", daily feeding programs
• Pre-school (balwadi) programs
• Adult literacy programs
• After-school tuition and enrichment programs
• School holiday vacation classes
• Vocational programs (especially for girls/women)
      o Basic computer skills
      o Tailoring
      o Basic electricity
      o Handicrafts (e.g. flower making, painting)
• Health and nutrition educational programs, with maternal and child health emphasis
• Medical outreach clinics, prenatal maternal-child health monitoring, health screening (diabetes, blood pressure, vision, etc.
• Clothing distribution

Your Contributions
EISCR USA strongly feels that outreach efforts at the community level such as those described above are worthy of support. How would you like to help?

Why Help Us?

El Shaddai Indian Street Child Rescue USA (EISCR USA) is a registered charity created to raise funds and provides support for efforts by Indian NGO's directed at alleviating the plight of Indian slum children and destitute families in India.