Welcome to Praajak

Collectivization

We support community or volunteer action groups that can leverage their strengths and resources to create an enabling and gender equitable environment for children and youth.

Vibrant and strong groups can help communities become more vigilant. They can connect with other stakeholders to collectively reduce the vulnerabilities faced by children and youth. They can, thus, play a critical role in preventing situations from escalating to the stage of institutionalisation for children. The groups can also aid reintegration for those who do slip out of the safety net. In this context our work is based

‘The Personal is the Political’, is the underlying position of Praajak and drives the category of collectivization. Collectivization aims to build significant spaces for both individual as well as for structural change. The lived experience of being part of a collective often leads to other kinds of shifts in the lives of the collective members and enables them to negotiate on various aspects of their life such as education, livelihood, marriage etc. The collectives not just bring together young people and women for conversations around a range of issues but also have the ability to facilitate larger, political change. Collectives also aim to facilitate dialogue between their members and the community. The collective thereby emerges also as a space that enables opportunities for exercising autonomous choices for its members.

Praajak currently works with 11 youth and 5 women’s collectives in different parts of West Bengal

Providing Psycho-social Support

We utilise art therapy and life skills to help children and youth to express themselves, identify and resolve issues, enhance their coping skills and lead to healing and improved wellbeing. The range of activities offered – including art, theatre and movement based activities play therapy and life skills – are particularly useful in helping those who have been affected by violence and/or are coping with deprivation. These activities also offer an important platform for initiating reflection and dialogue on gender.
A tool called Self Book has been devised and used extensively. Children, youth and their parents paste pictures/photographs from colour magazines that they feel connected to in some way. This activity is then used to trigger conversations and gain insights. The tool has helped us in gaining a better understanding of the children, contributed in developing individual case management plans and helped children express their emotions, improve their communication, and solve problems.

Contributing to Systems Strengthening

We work closely with the mechanisms and actors in the Juvenile Justice and the Integrated Child Protection System other allied services for both children in need of care and protection and those who are in conflict with law.
We support the Child Protection Committees mandated under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme to develop a safety net for children, particularly those who are vulnerable in collaboration with urban and rural local bodies
We aid the Child Welfare Committees and the Juvenile Justice Boards.

We have worked extensively with Child Care Institutions to enhance standards of care and make these institutions child friendly by developing the capacities of caregivers through training and hand-holding.

We also engage with the police personnel to develop community policing initiatives in disadvantaged communities.
We provide technical support to schools, Anganwadi Centers, Open Shelters and women’s Self-Help Groups as well as undertake advocacy in collaboration with like-minded organisations and networks to strengthen the child protection structures.

International Partners