The child is the future of every family and community. The lifestyle and decisions of the people amongst whom the child lives has a direct and lasting impact on the child and his or her future. Keeping this in mind, Holistic Child Development India has created Child Focused Community Development Programmes, better known as CFCD Programmes, to ensure that children obtain holistic development.

What is a Child Focused Community Development Programme?
HCDI runs its CFCD Programmes through local partners who work within specific regions. These regions are rife with poverty, lack of education, lack of resources for a healthy lifestyle, and lack of opportunity. While most of these problems can be solved through funding, financial assistance can only offer a temporary solution. HCDI’s CFCD Programmes aim at creating overall development in communities through the efforts of the families and communities themselves. These programmes ensure that communities, and the families within them, tackle common issues and concerns together in an effort to become more self reliant, with long term sustainable lifestyles.

HCDI acts as a facilitator that creates an understanding of the concept of the greater and combined good within such families and communities. Through this endeavour, HCDI aims at creating communities that provide holistic development for their children.

Why make the community the focus of child development?
HCDI’s Child Focused Community Development Programme keeps the child at its core. HCDI believes that if the family and community in which a child grows up receive opportunities for equitable and sustainable development, the effects of this progress will percolate to the child itself. Being one of the first of its kind, the CFCD Programme was fine tuned to suit the various geographical regions and population at which it was targeted. This refinement ensured that the programme was extensively suitable and adoptable by the region concerned, making the development part of the community itself. This ensured that the development activities could become part of a lifestyle that can positively affect the children and their future, and that could be carried on, unhindered, after HCDI gradually withdraws its support over time.
On what areas of development do the CFCD Programes focus?
  • Education

Literacy can aid the poor through increased productivity leading to increased incomes, and increased awareness of hygiene, the need for population control, need for nutrition, and other aspects that result in a more wholesome life. Keeping in mind the need and desire for education, HCDI has developed various programmes that fall within the education spectrum of the CFCD Programmes. These include:

  • Early childhood care and development programme (ECCD) – This programme focuses on the physical, cognitive, language, and social development of a young child. Read More
  • School education programme – This programme focuses on ensuring an education, primary and elementary at the least, to all children who fall within the age bracket of school students. Read More
  • Skill training for youths programme – This programme focuses on providing vocational training of varied skills to boys and girls who have been unable to complete their schooling or who would like to develop a focused skill, with a view to make them capable of employment. Read More

Village Education Committees, or VECs as they are more popularly known, consist of parents of the children who benefit through the CFCD Education Programmes. These VECs are created in order to greater involve the community within which the children live. The VECs supervise and monitor the education programmes, ensuring that their children and others receive good quality, and consistent, education. The active nature of these VECs has helped increase attendance of not only students, but also teachers themselves, as well as reduce the number of school dropouts.

  • Health and Nutrition

People who live in the rural areas of the country rarely pay attention to health and nutrition. Diseases and illnesses tend to be rampant due to unhygienic living conditions and habits. In addition to this, the quality of health care facilities is very low. HCDI focuses on increasing awareness about healthy living in these areas, as well as make healthcare more accessible where possible, through the activities that fall under the health and nutrition spectrum of its CFCD Programmes. Read More

  • Livelihood

Livelihood in the rural regions is mainly sustained through farming, animal husbandry, forest produce, and IGPs in the case of landless labourers. However, with changing climatic conditions, urban development, and increased natural disasters, these options are not as feasible as they once were. HCDI understands that, in order to make a livelihood for themselves and their families, the people of these rural communities need to increase their skills and productivity as well as further their knowledge on the livelihood activities which they presently employ. It is to create this increased productivity that HCDI and its implementing partners carry out multiple activities that fall under the Livelihood spectrum of its CFCD Programmes. Read More

  • Community organizations

A host of issues and concerns felt by the individuals within the rural communities, especially by children, remain unheard by those who can bring about change. This is mainly due to the fact that these individuals do not possess a platform from which to voice their needs, opinions, requirements, and hope for change. This leads to people remaining unaware of the situation at the grass-roots level and change becoming almost non-existent. With a view to change this situation, HCDI has created multiple organisations under the spectrum of the community organisations of its CFCD Programmes. These organisations include:

  1. Women’s Self Help Groups – Read More
  2. Farmers’ Groups – Read More
  3. Village Institutions – Read More
  4. Children’s Parliaments – Read More
How are the CFCD Programmes implemented?
The aim of HCDI’s CFCD Programmes is to help communities develop such that they create an environment in which children can grow up without hunger, poverty, and depravity. This has led to HCDI developing a long term approach in which families and communities become self reliant and self developing. Instant inflow of funds works as little more than a temporary solution; so HCDI, instead, focuses on a four pronged approach to enhance the abilities, productivity, and potential of the people within the community. This approach uses the following aspects to attain sustained community development:

  1. Everyone, including entire families and children, are involved in the development process
  2. The interests, rights, and dignity of children are promoted and maintained
  3. The capacities of the family members, including that of children, are enhanced
  4. Maximum resources from within the community itself are effectively mobilised

This multi-dimensional approach enables HCDI to cater the CFCD Programmes to each region as per the area’s requirements. Whether it is land development, income generation, health care education, or self-sustenance that is pivotal to the development of a region, these CFCD Programmes are fine-tuned to address pivotal concerns, while also undertaking the rectification of smaller issues.

The dedication to implementing a programme that is most suitable to the necessities of a region has enabled HCDI to apply its efforts at community development across different socio-cultural and geographical regions. Furthermore, the range of activities covered by the CFCD Programme ensures that HCDI helps better the absolute lifestyle of marginalised people, unbiased by age, gender, caste or creed.
While a great part of the efforts of HCDI and our implementing partners are focused on the community, the children of the community continue to remain at the centre of our attention. Children’s participation in the programme is pivotal to its successful implementation. Other family and community members are encouraged to participate, and a wholesome programme is implemented that helps each individual unlock his or her complete potential. This, in turn, helps the community develop into one that uses its own resources to the maximum and is self reliant, with a focus on bringing up children to be confident, independent adults.

How is progress within and by the community measured by HCDI?
The CFCD Programmes implemented by HCDI are carried out over a period of five to six years, eventually being phased out when the community is capable of remain self sustaining. To understand the effect of the programme, HCDI uses both, quantitative and qualitative measures, to analyse the development of the people, community, and region. In order to measure progress of the community as a result of the programme, HCDI measures those physical and behavioural aspects that are crucial for the community to become self sustaining. As such, the following parameters are considered while measuring progress:

  1. Improvement in the rights, care and development of children
  2. Visible development in physical infrastructure
  3. Transformation in motivation of family and community members
  4. Enhancement of abilities and skill sets
  5. Development of social relationships
  6. Development of the mindset of teamwork
  7. Overall economic development