Educating the Next Generation
The plight of the widowed and deserted women affects the well-beng and the future of their children.
St. Joseph’s Community College – Technical Institute Campus
Realizing the importance of skill training for the future employment of disadvantaged young adults, Kalangarai established a community college in 2005. The first students were survivors of the Indian Ocean Tsunami and children of the widowed women who were participating in the Kalangarai programs. The College offers four Vocational Diploma Courses: 1) Electrician, 2) Refrigeration and Air-conditioning, 3) Desktop publishing, and 4) General Duty Nursing Assistant. In addition to their coursework, the students work as interns for businesses or hospitals–many of these internships result in employment for the students after completing their degrees. With the support of Friends of Kalangari Inc, Kalangarai provides children of the widows with scholarships to attend St. Joseph’s Community College and other colleges in the Nagapattinam district.
Children’s Education Program
Kalangarai sponsors evening study centers spread out in 30 different villages, providing educational activities to approximately 1000 children. Almost all the study centers are situated in Dalit (low caste) villages and the beneficiaries mostly are the children of widowed women and other single women. The objectives of these centers are to motivate the children to pursue their schooling without any interruption, to boost their self-esteem by promoting their hidden talents, to inculcate social and moral values, to cope with psychosocial concerns arising out of the ill-treatment experienced by their widowed mothers, and to help them understand and accompany their widowed mothers in their struggles for justice. Every year during summer a 10-day camp (residential programs) is organized for the children studying in the evening study centers.