The Fakirana Sisters’ Society seeks to rescue and rehabilitate children living in slavery and help families to escape debt bondage and lead a life of freedom and dignity. In its Freedom Fund project, FSS works in 11 villages in one district of Bihar, seeking to reduce the prevalence of slavery through the provision of education and livelihood assistance, as well as support to Community Vigilance Committees.
Photo credit: Atul Loke, Legatum Limited, 2018
The Fakirana Sisters Society will rescue and rehabilitate 120 children living in slavery and help 327 families of two villages of West Champaran to come out of debt bondage and lead a life of freedom and dignity. They will create several community vigilance committees to lead the effort against slavery.
Fakirana Sisters Society (FSS) will expand to work in 11 villages in one district of Bihar, seeking to reduce prevalence of slavery in the targeted area.
FSS will support Community Vigilance Committees, developing their analysis of slavery and trafficking issues and enabling them to track migration of individuals from the community. They will give potential migrants information about key documentation from employers and advise them on what information to leave behind with the Vigilance Committee. These committees will also be trained to make government socio-economic schemes function in their villages, in order to protect vulnerable families and improve local schools. For former child slaves and those vulnerable to trafficking, FSS will focus on enrollment in formal education and successful reintegration within their families.
Students will participate in child clubs to develop leadership skills and knowledge of their rights. FSS will enable access to vocational training for adolescents. It will also form a large number of Livelihood Promotion Groups to set up and manage income generating initiatives. They will research local market needs and participants’ capacities in order to identify viable economic activities. FSS will organize meetings at the district and local level, as well as training elected village leaders. They will particularly advocate for new types of entertainment rather than the music/dance bands through which women and children are often in forms of slavery.
In their 2018-2019 project, FSS will continue its work in West Champaran District to rescue and rehabilitate victims of child slavery and bonded labour. As part of its reintegration activities, FSS will support child survivors to enrol in formal education, working alongside parents, teachers and school management committees to monitor the progress of enrolled children. Moreover, 16 adolescent volunteer groups will be formed, and will work to address child marriage and unsafe migration at the community level. 15 new Livelihood Promotion Groups will be formed to increase knowledge of personal finances, collective savings and establishing sustainable income generating activities. 21 Community Vigilance Committees will be supported, trained and will participate in the creation of micro-plans at village level that will focus on community development and address issues related to marginalised community members such as water, housing and ration cards. FSS will also provide safer migration training to adults who are preparing to migrate and support a Legal Aid Centre to provide services to people currently trapped in slavery.