Rehabilitate

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Child labourers have usually been working long hours in unhealthy conditions. They may even have been physically or mentally abused. The Born to be Free project workers counsel them and their families to help them recover from these experiences. The project workers continue to meet with the families regularly to offer help and advice when they need it.

For a child who has spent years working, transit education helps them catch up on years of missed schooling so they can be successful in class. The transit school helps younger children who have never started school and those who need to catch up a year or two.

At the transit school
At the transit school

Every family with a child going to the transit school receives a small amount of money from the government. This helps with any extra expenses. The children get free lunches at school and a uniform or clothes. These things make it easier for them to keep attending.

When older child labourers are released, it may not be practical for them to return to school. The alternative is job training – to learn skills like tailoring, carpentry and electrical repairs. After they complete their training, the Born to be Free project sets them up with carpentry tools, electrical tool kits or sewing machines. They use these to start working in an occupation that uses their skills and improves their future income.



Settu was enrolled in the Born to be Free project transit school. Here he could catch up on the education he had missed. At the transit school students receive a free midday meal, a uniform and regular medical check-ups. They have also been on a class trip – the first time Settu travelled outside his village. The transit school teachers take special care of their students. They know the students need lots of encouragement and support to overcome the experience of being a child labourer. It helps that all the students in the transit school were once child labourers like Settu. They understand what he is going through.

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Settu attending transit school classes.
Settu attending transit school classes.