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The main reason why children work is because their parents are poor. The Born to be Free project directly helps families in several ways. The project pays for roof tiles to replace leaky thatched roofs. The tiles will last for many years and the family won't have to the expense of replacing the thatch, every two years.

Free health checks
Free health checks

The project also gives families livestock, like goats or cows. As the animals grow and reproduce, the family can use the milk or sell any surplus. They can also sell some of the offspring whenever they need extra money. This helps them cover their living expenses and they no longer need to borrow from the moneylender.

Medical teams hold free health checks in the villages on a regular basis. Early diagnosis and treatment prevents serious health problems and reduces medical expenses.

The Born to be Free project also sets up and trains Self Help Groups. The members of these groups save small amounts regularly. As the group's savings grow, members can apply for low-interest loans from their savings fund. They can use the loan to start a small business or to pay for urgent expenses. Their repayments are affordable and the funds build up again for other members to borrow.

Helping a child labourer's family prevents their children from returning to work in the future.

Settu's family received goats from the Born to be Free project to help improve their income. The family can now sell the baby goats or the milk if they need some extra money. The project also replaced the thatched roof on their house with tiles. The tiles last much longer than a thatched roof, saving them money in the long-term. Tiles are also waterproof and safe from the risk of fire. Settu's parents also have new opportunities through the Self Help Group. Settu and two of his sisters go to school – his other two sisters are still too young. Settu is now 10 and in Year 4. The family is pleased that Settu’s baby brother Vijay won’t have to work like Settu did.

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Settu and two of his sisters go to school.
Settu and two of his sisters go to school.