Need to bring Children’s Cooperatives to all Children
Children from 8 countries share how Children’s Development Khazana (CDK) & Child Health Cooperative (CHC), has helped them and their families
Children from 8 countries shared how Children’s Development Khazana (CDK) & Child Health Cooperative (CHC), both cooperatives managed by children have helped them and their families. The interaction was part of the nine day International Workshop on CDK & CHC from 31st August -8th September 2015 in Wayanad, Kerala organized by Butterflies & Shreyas. The workshop had interesting sessions where children were trained in communication & counselling skills, team work, democratic values, running their Khazana on a practicum basis among others.
CDK started in 2001 & CHC in 1995 in Delhi by Butterflies are both children’s cooperatives managed by children themselves. CDK is a life skills education programme, educating children and adolescents democratic values and financial management. CDK trains children to be responsible, prioritize needs, budget and save. Children between the age group of 9-18 years are the only members, volunteer managers and promoters of CDK. As of now, Khazana has members from rural, tribal, urban marginalized communities. CDK is owned by children and is run by children themselves, under the guidance of adult facilitators. All the money deposited by children are put into a mainstream bank.
Whereas CHC is based on the principle that children can collectively advocate for quality health services. One of the key objectives of CHC is to promote safe and healthy living among children and communities and reduce their vulnerability to preventable illnesses, thereby saving them from medical expenses and further poverty. CHC also has a cadre of Child Health Educators, the prime movers and promoters of advocating safe and healthy living among their peers. Child Health educators are trained in administering first aid, attending to small injuries and when necessary take their member to a hospital for medical treatment. As of June 2015, CHC is operational in eight countries across the world and in ten states of India with a total of 4,720 members.
CDK, currently has 13,405 members in 171 CDK branches in 8 countries -Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Madagascar and Ghana. Within India, the program is operational in ten states & Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal, Kerala, Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Rajasthan, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Maharashtra. The total savings today from all countries amount to Rs. 38,46,282 (US$58,277).
“I am so lucky to be part of CDK. CDK has taught me to save & dream for a bright future and respect elders and girls. My parents are also so proud of me” says a beaming Ritesh, a CDK member from Mumbai, Maharashtra. “CDK has taught us to be non-judgmental, helped us improve our communication & confidence and taught us the importance of saving for our future”, says Felicia, a proud Child Volunteer Manager from Ghana, Africa. Voicing the same happiness Muzhda, another CDK member from Kabul, Afghanistan said, “CDK has taught me my rights as a child and above all the right of every child to study. Now with CDK, I and many other children like me are able to pursue our studies and save for a bright future.”
All the children collectively expressed their eagerness to welcome more children into their cooperative so that every child can benefit from these unique programmes.
Speaking on the success of this unique concept, Ms.Rita Panicker, Executive Director, Butterflies said, “Children’s participation is the basic premise on which CDK & CHC are designed, implemented and promoted, with children coming together as collectives to take action for their empowerment. These cooperatives have become a lifeline to poor children. They can today fall back on their savings and advances to tide over a crisis at home and lead safe & healthy lives with the help of their CHC.”
“We are glad to say that our association with Butterflies is beneficial and pro-developmental to our tribal children in Wayanad. Through CDK & CHC our tribal children learn good human and democratic values, communication skills, leadership quality, banking system and so on. We appreciate the dedicated service of Ms.Rita Panicker of Butterflies to empower & encourage children to develop their power, strength, abilities, insights and understanding for a better future”, said Fr.Dr. Louis Puthenveettil, Executive Director, Shreyas Social Service Centre.