A DELEGATION from a Wirral nursery chain have just returned from a visit to Northern Goa, where they sponsor a day care centre that educates children living in slums.
The children, aged two to six-years-old, whose normal life involves being sent out to work or beg, are condemned to a life on the street and the vicious cycle of poverty because they have no chance of reaching the required level of education to qualify for a place at primary school.
For 10 years, Daisy & Jake nurseries, including one in Little Sutton, have raised money to run their own day centre via a charity called Tender Heart.
Their Goan centre costs just £2,000 a year to run and the children and families from their six Wirral nurseries undertook a variety of fundraising activities all year.
On their trip, the team decided to take their own expertise to India to help the charity in a more practical way.
Daisy & Jake staff members funded their own travel and expenses for the trip and spent the week sharing teaching techniques, lesson ideas and their general expertise with the centre’s teachers, to develop a level of variety, interactivity and diversity to the curriculum.
The Tender Heart Foundation offers help and hope to Indian street children by providing basic Early Years education that could lead to a primary school place at the age of six.
These children would otherwise remain uneducated and face a lifetime of continued poverty and disadvantage.
The foundation builds relationships with local families, as parents often need persuading to send their children to the day centre to help end the cycle of child poverty through education, while also helping with essentials like food and shelter for children who would otherwise go without.
Managing director Lisa Collins, from Heswall, was overwhelmed by the levels of poverty and the adverse living conditions the children faced.
She said: “I was completely in awe of the wonderful work the foundation was doing to offer these children a future.
“Their families are some of the poorest in India and a lack of education condemns successive generations to a life of poverty.
“What I saw there made me even more determined to help and that is why we returned this year to offer practical support as early year’s educators.”
The foundation has helped more then 900 children attain primary school places over the last decade and has recently opened four additional centres to help even more.
In addition to their Early Year’s Centres the foundation also provide places at embroidery and tailoring schools, where adolescent girls and older women can learn the skills and get access to sewing machines that will enable them to earn a living and keep them off the streets.
A new tailoring centre is to be opened shortly and the £9,000 raised by Daisy & Jake staff, parents and children has been ring fenced to cover the running costs for the next three years. Fundraising plans have already begun for next year when another trip is planned.
Mrs Collins added: “We are so proud to have raised this money to help the Tender Heart Foundation with the work they do.
“We also regularly raise funds for Radio City Cash for Kids and worry that sometimes we ask too much of our families, but they all step up to the plate and without their participation along with local businesses it would not have been possible. I would like to offer my personal thanks to everyone who helped.
“The Tender Heart Day Centres offer street children the chance to escape a lifetime of poverty through early year’s education and adolescent training for teenage girls.
“As a business involved in childcare at home it is fitting that Daisy & Jake can offer our help to children living in such desperate conditions abroad.”