Community Development Program Helps Families Build a Path Out of Poverty
Deepika and her family—a husband, three children, and mother-in-law—all live in a tiny house in India’s Colaba slum community. Like other families living in this kind of poverty, they didn’t have resources to cover even daily basic needs.
Siddhant, 2-year-old son, was struggling. He was extremely introverted and this was affecting his development. As part of the Wide Horizons For Children Community Development program, Deepika was visited by Family Service Centre social workers and encouraged to enroll Siddhant in the ‘Balwadi’ Pre-School Project.
At first, Siddhant was shy and didn’t participate very much in the program. Gradually, he became friendlier and actively engaged in school activities, thanks to the constant motivation from his teacher and the support of his parents.
Deepika was encouraged by her son’s progress, and it motivated her to take steps to improve the health and well-being of her entire family—including enrolling in a Self-Help Group that is focused on empowering women and is part of the Community Development program.
“Deepika has shown great improvement in a very short period of time. She already had potential. She just needed a way to enhance it. By enrolling her into a Self-Help Group, we were able to watch her skills and leadership grow,” observes Avanti More, a program officer who works with Deepika.
Deepika has been instrumental in motivating the other mothers of children attending the Balwadi Pre-school and they have formed a new Self-Help Group and begun to save money which will be invested in a group business, for example making and selling rotis.
Today, Deepika’s family is stronger and more optimistic about the future. Her husband is supportive and encourages Deepika and his mother to be part of new projects together. They are highly motivated to continue their progress because of the positive impact it has made for their family.