The Child Welfare Scheme (CWS) is a charity committed to bringing change to the lives of the most disadvantaged children and their families through protection, education and healthcare. CWS works in Nepal and addresses big issues through grassroots, low-cost, replicable and sustainable solutions. The Sovereign Art Foundation has been supporting CWS since March 2013 in an initiative to provide art to the children of remote villages in Nepal. The Sovereign Art Foundation has recently renewed its support of this project and extended it to bring art to the street children of Pokhara, helping children to learn and advocate for child rights through art.
CWS, through its partner Child Welfare Scheme Nepal (CWSN), supports children in 13 remote villages; providing Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) to children aged 2 to 5. These centres not only benefit mothers (who now have a safe place to leave their children whilst they work), but it has also been shown that ECCE is crucial for the development of children. Children who attend ECCE centres are also more likely to pursue their education than children who don’t and, in a country which struggles with high dropout rates, these are essential services. Previously, these centres lacked both art supplies and facilitators with the knowledge of how to stimulate children’s creativity through art specifically. Over 507 children benefited in 2013 from SAF-donated art supplies and activities, as well as the 29 facilitators who had the opportunity to receive art training in techniques to teach to the children.
Following the success of the art initiative in the remote villages, The Sovereign Art Foundation extended its support to help with another CWS project. The project is called JYOTI Street Project; it supports over 750 street kids each year, providing them with shelter, food, showers, healthcare and Non Formal Education (NFE) classes. These children have often run away from home due to abuse, lack of education and poverty; CWS aims to provide the basic services necessary for them to remain safe while they choose to live on the streets and the services necessary once they choose to leave it, including vocational training opportunities, banking services or family reunification.
Some of the children come to the centre to receive NFE classes and now they will also have the opportunity and joy of taking art classes from trained instructors. CWS has also begun a pilot project ‘Education and Advocacy for Child Rights’. This project aims to raise awareness about the child’s right abuses suffered by many in Nepal, and is managed through a participatory approach involving groups of children aged 12 to 18 using two mediums: media/radio and art. The Sovereign Art Foundation supports the art component of this project, which includes the creation of an art educational booklet developed by the children from the 20 various child clubs, art murals raising awareness of child rights painted in community spaces, an art competition to engage children on issues and topics which affect them the most, as well as regular art activities.
To find out more about the Child Welfare Scheme, click here.