Pathways is the major funding source for operation of the Jan Seva school and community development project. This project is made possible through a partnership with the Society for Indian Childrens Welfare (SICW), an experienced NGO (Non-Government Organization) with a long record of support for children and families. Jan Seva’s mission is to give severely impoverished women and children in Kolkata, India the necessary education and skills to lift themselves out of poverty, while caring for their basic nutritional and medical needs so that they can learn and thrive.
The school is a three-story building where the following programs occur:
An early childhood program with 225 children, ages 2-6 enrolled. The children come to the program six days a week. They are given free education, nutrition and health coverage, two sets of uniforms per year, plus all books and study materials. The bright and spacious classrooms are well equipped with colorful furniture and toys. The children are taught in Bengali using a play-based method.
UDAAN – A Special Needs Program
Special School for challenged children with special needs, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy. It is the only such facility in the area. Currently, 30 children are enrolled with more than 50 children currently on a waiting list. Our objective is to mainstream these children into society. The program provides them with education, nutrition, medical needs, prosthetics, psychotherapy and counseling. With these free services, the children’s skills are developed according to their capability.
Two medical clinics, a pediatric clinic for the children in the school and children from the surrounding community, and an adult clinic primarily for the mothers and their families.
Mothers Job Training Program
Our aim is to encourage young women and girls towards empowerment through self-employment with the following women’s adult education programs:
- an adult literacy course for young girls and women
- Computer training courses for 60 girls and boys at a time, providing a recognized diploma from NIIT University.
- Vocational training in cooking, sewing, cleaning, first aid, childcare, and making of handcrafts and other quality items.
Community Health Program
Pathways to Children, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health has developed field experiences for current graduate students. At Jan Seva they have developed an amazing Community Health (Public Health) program based on completing a study of every family in the surrounding poverty-stricken community. The main aim of this program is to protect and improve the health of families and communities through promotion of healthy behavior taking cue from the old adage “Prevention is better than the Cure”.
This successful collaboration between Pathways and the University of Minnesota provides much needed health and disease prevention information and counsel while giving Public Health students from the U.S. avenues to implement health strategies in a culturally competent manner in poorly served countries. Well attended seminars are given at Jan Seva. These educational sessions tackle everything from cleanliness & family planning to spousal abuse and drug addition, thus educating and changing an entire poverty stricken community.
Pathways, in conjunction with ReSound Hearing Aids, provides students of the Jan Seva School and students from the Helen Keller School, with state of the art hearing aids, profoundly impacting the lives of these children suffering with severe auditory handicaps. ReSound technicians from Kolkata not only install the hearing aids but also do monthly follow-up visits volunteering their valuable knowledge and time to help these children suffering with severe auditory handicaps.