Launched in 2003, CLASS is a prevention program that consists in responding to different realities on the street and working directly on their foundations: village problems, domestic violence, social exclusion, consumption of alcohol or drugs, absence of family planning, etc. The precise aim of CLASS is to address the multiple problems and risks met by children in certain cities in Nepal where the phenomenon is triggered. Children are at a risk of being victims of domestic violence, social exclusion, drug abuse or lack of family planning. These are some of the reasons why children often try to escape from their village to seek refuge elsewhere. That is why CPCS tries to stop the flow of children at the source and reduce their number by encouraging and sustaining their education.
CLASS is implanted in Dolakha and Gorkha situated 140 km from Kathmandu, respectively north-east and northwest of the Capital, and in Jhapa and Sindhuli situated in the Teraï region, south of Kathmandu, 600 and 400 km from the Capital, in Kakani situated in a rural zone 22 km from Kathmandu and in Narayangadh situated in the Chitwan region, near the Indian frontier, 146 km south of the Capital. In each city or region, one of our social workers organizes preventative actions and socialization activities with a certain number of children and their families.
In 2009, CLASS Programs will be established in Lahan, Itahari, Birtamod and another location with an added part focusing on street children through field visits, medical and legal support.
The initial aim of this program is to reinsert the children in school and help them with their education (Support for homework, discussions with the professors, etc.). The local social workers as well as the different members in the program are free to choose children from the poorest and most disadvantaged families. CPCS gives them a uniform, scholar material, hygienic material and a snack. Our second aim is to make the parents and the community aware of risks implied with the running away of children and the life on the street. These children sometimes leave home because the relations they have with their parents are not good. Our educators regularly try to start a dialogue with the parents and bring up important subjects such as children’s rights, parents’ obligations, consequences of domestic violence, alcoholism, hygiene, health as well as any other subject that touches the parents.
We also intervene in schools to check that the children attend their classes, and to make them aware of the fact that the image they have of the city does not correspond at all to the reality they could be confronted to on the street and that threats such as drugs, illnesses, AIDS and exploitation of any kind are real. The awareness sessions treat other serious subjects such as rights and obligations of the parents, AIDS, domestic violence, hygiene, health, abuse of illicit substances, etc. We also offer informal educational classes and social awareness classes for the most disadvantaged.
In short, the aim of this program is :
- To identify children who would be more inclined to turn to the street
- To reinsert children in the school system
- To encourage children and their parents to carry out the “school duties” one hour per day
- To finance, if need be, the education of children
- To organize meetings of awareness for the families, children and the community in general