RESILIENT AND EQUITABLE COMMUNITIES
ME TO WE/PAGDANDI
BACKGROUND & RATIONALE
Adolescent girls and boys are the most vulnerable section in a community in terms of access to information, opportunity and resources – more so in under-resourced and marginalized communities. They are bound by patriarchal attitudes, beliefs and expectations. As a result of this, they face emotional neglect, and physical, sexual and financial discrimination which often leads to abuse. What started in 2007 as a small school on the banks of the Yamuna run by Swechha volunteers, engaging with children from nearby urban slums translated into ME to WE / Pagdandi school for learning in 2009. Run by our team and volunteers, with children and youth from Jagdamba Camp, a slum community in Sheikh Sarai of South Delhi.
COMMUNITY SHOWCASE AND CAMPAIGNS
LIFE SKILLS TRAINING AND CAMPS
‘Me to We’ is Swechha’s adolescent and youth empowerment program supported by Empower Foundation. It engages adolescent boys and girls from the Jagdamba Camp and nearby areas from the age group 10 – 24 years. The program grew out of a need to understand and address the problems of adolescents living in the community. It supports young boys and girls to progress towards secondary school completion. For holistic development of the adolescents, it also focuses on issues of identity, social efficacy, resourcefulness and employability. ‘ME to WE’ aims to give adolescents a sense of direction and the confidence to make their own choices through a planned curriculum using interactive sessions. To promote employability amongst young adults, ‘Me to We’ organizes job exposure camps and sessions to raise awareness and improve their employability skills. Since 2019, over 400 youth have attended job exposure camps and sessions on digital literacy, CV making and interviews. This has improved their employability skills and supported many to gain employment. Over the last 13 years, the program has intensively worked with over 3,000 girls and boys and has also been able to mobilize industry support from various fields. Initially supported by KHD Humboldt Wedag and other individuals; since 2014 the program has been supported by EMpower Foundation.
Pagdandi began in 2007 as an open-air school run on the banks of the River Yamuna at Kudsia Ghat. It has now developed into a regular informal school run by Swechha volunteers for children of Jagdamba Camp, a slum community in Sheikh Sarai, South Delhi. We aim to integrate and inspire underprivileged children through sessions on life skills, environmental responsibility and active citizenship, an interactive library (Kitaab Ghar), film screenings and excursions, children’s festivals, and performing arts. The Right to Education campaign is an important element of Pagdandi, where we strive to secure places in government schools for those slum children who are missing out on formal education. Two dedicated physical spaces for the children – Kitaab Ghar and the Creative Learning Center cater to the creative and learning needs of more than 100 children every month.
We are always looking for young and enthusiastic minds that can help us create the change along with being the change. Whatever your passion, we always have opportunities for you along with endless cups of Chai!
SOME OF OUR
” I enjoy myself a lot here. I learnt how to work in a group setting and make goods from waste. I also made many new friends.”
9th Grade student
” We have classes such as drama and dance that have helped me become more confident. I learnt a lot of new things through the media class .”
6th Grade student
“I really enjoy coming here and feel like I am at home. I have noticed the growth and change in me. I love all the other students I have met here. “
12th Grade student