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BGM Social Service Centre is undertaking the following projects in Thiruvananthapuram / Trivandrum, Kerala, India:
Education Projects [Top]
International Volunteers Programme
BGM Social Service Centre is the member of International Volunteers Group. BGM conducts various exchange programmes, which benefit the local people very much. Through this program, we were able to understand various cultural activities prevailing in other parts of the World. Many foreigners visit our organization and stay here from 1 week to 3 months. During this period they are actively involved in various developmental activities of BGM. They also take classes in our Evening Schools teaching various subjects.
School Material distribution ProgrammeMost of the families in the target area belong to Below Poverty Line families. More than 50% of the population belong to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Dalit and other backward communities. Their living conditions are very poor. Most of the parents are illiterate and they are unable to teach their children properly. The poor parents are unable to provide study materials like text books, note books and school uniform to their children. This is the main reason for not sending their children regularly in schools.
BGM regularly distributes Study Materials, School Uniforms, School Bags, etc., to poor school students in the nearby Schools. This year we had distributed School uniform to more than 600 poor students studying in various schools from 1st Standard to 8th Standard. The study materials and uniforms were purchased with the contributions received from well wishers and from our own fund. If the study materials and uniforms were not distributed, many poor students will not be in a position to go to schools.
Evening School Education Programme
As most of the families in the target area belong to Below Poverty Line(BPL) families. Their parents are illiterate and they are unable to teach their children properly. But always they want to give better education to their children. The poor children are unable to attend regular class in Schools because most of the children does not get uniform or cloth. To overcome this situation, the BGM Social Service Centre regularly conducts free tuition to the students of 23 villages during evening times and holidays. A dedicated and committed team of educated persons are co-operating with the organization for conducting Tuition classes.
Computer Education Programme
Computer Technology is increasingly making new applications. Earlier computers were mainly used for data processing. Most of the companies and organizations had many application like pay roll, inventory control, account payables etc. But today this scenario is gradually changing. Many of the services that we make use of in our daily life is associated with computer applications. Thus computer applications give ample scope for rural youth especially rural women to create employment opportunities.
Environment Projects [Top]
Environment Club & Environment Campaigns
BGM Social Service Centre had developed an Environment Club. They visit houses and help the families to plant trees and other plants for environment protection. BGM regularly conducts environment campaigns in which the bad effects of plastic and other non degradable materials are explained to them. This year BGM had organized the World Environment Day by organizing a seminar.
The women development cell of the BGM Social Service Centre organizes different awareness programmes regularly through women Self Help Groups. A lot of group discussions and interactions are arranged within the Women Self Help Groups and Tuition Centres. BGM regularly conducts awareness camps for mothers in nutrition, Health and sanitation, child care etc. These camps are very much useful to them.
Rain Water Harvesting
Presently BGM Social Service Centre is constructing Rainwater Harvesting tanks to needy people in the area.
Health Projects [Top]
BGM Social Service Centre is running an Ayurvedic Free Clinic for tribal forest people at Puruvimala, which is situated with in the forest area, providing consultation and medicines on wednesdays. About 50/70(Tribes) are visiting the clinic for consultation and medicines. This clinic is very useful for this poor people. There is no other medical facility in that forest area.
BGM Social Service Centre had developed a emergency cell to provide all assistance to the local people as and when required. Sometimes natural calamities, or other disease in whole village people, or lot of poverty in one area, or suffering widows for food, or children, in that time we will distribute medicine, or rice or and daily livelihood items that critical condition time.
Water Wells Construction for poor families
The project area of BGM faces acute shortage of drinking water around six months a year. Most of the people depend on open water sources like pond, community wells etc. for fetching water. But during summer the level of ground water gets lowered and they do not get drinking water. So, sometime people get Cholera, Diarrhea or Diarrhoea and different kinds of water related diseases. So, BGM Social Service Centre takes up digging of open wells or individual wells for poor people.
Toilet Construction Programme
From inception BGM Social Service Centre has concentrated on the health and hygiene of rural people. One of the main problem in this area is the non availability of sanitary latrines for the poor people. At present they do not have proper sanitation facility. Many people are defecating and urinating in open places, which lead to water and air pollution, causing lot of communicable diseases and infection of various types of worms among the children.
BGM regularly takes up construction of improved and cost effective sanitary latrines for poor people. By providing sanitary latrines to individual houses, good sanitary habits can be encouraged among rural folk. This will also provide privacy especially among women and children and is more convenient during monsoon and winter seasons. Regular awareness trainings are also organised for the local people.
Women Empowerment Projects [Top]
Women Self Help Groups
BGM Social Service Centre had already formed more than 215 Women Self Help Groups(SHGs). The number of members in each group varies from 15 to 20. The strengthening of SHGs through training, setting up micro production units, Goat rearing, Poultry keeping etc assumes a vital role in the alleviation rural poverty.
SHG’s are an effective mode of rural saving, mobilization and credit delivery to the poor women. More over these SHG’s are expected to provide a Forum for women in which they can discuss and disseminate their problems and take a collective decision to solve these problems. Almost all SHG members belong to very poor families and their living conditions are very poor.
BGM regularly conduct group meetings in which the SHG members talk openly and discuss their problem. One team member from BGM Social Service Centre regularly attends the meetings and give proper guidance to the SHG members.
At present rural women are aware of their rights, but unless and until they come together and work together and fight their rights will still be a dream. Organizing the women and creating awareness is formed to be most important in their regard. BGM Social Service Centre take the responsibility of organizing them, mobilizing them and capacitating them. For that BGM has five animators and one coordinator.
Tailoring School for Rural Women
The tailoring school run by BGM Social Service Centre has proved very much helpful to the rural women in this area. BGM provides free training to them. A well qualified and experienced teacher is working as trainer. After training, the women use this center as a common service center. Most of the trained women use the facility. Many trained SHG members purchase sewing machines and regularly use it.
BGM provides all help to SHG members to purchase machine and to start production centers either individually or collectively. They are further given short term training in Embroidery and fashion Design work, which gives more income to them.
Empowerment through Vocational Training
BGM Social Service Centre is working in this area for the last 12 year. BGM had conducted a large number of awareness camps and programme in the target area. BGM had conducted a detailed survey of each and every family in the target area and recorded all resources available. They had a lot of socio-economic problems which make their living conditions very poor.
Goat rearing is comparatively simple and less expensive and can be managed by women. There is very good demand for goat milk and goat meat. A new variety of goat called “malabari Goat”, having high yielding capacity in terms of milk and meat is identified and propagated by BGM Social Service Centre. This has very good disease prevention capacity also.
BGM welcomes volunteers with different skills & qualifications like: doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, etc. and is very keen to hear from you. BGM strives to create a specific and meaningful role for each of the Volunteers. Everyone who volunteers with BGM will, at the very least, get the opportunity to experience grass-roots level development work first-hand.
Accommodation and costs
Due to space constraints BGM can currently only accommodate seven to ten volunteers at a time. This is in Mr.Wilson's (BGM founder) home upstairs, which has separate four double rooms and a single room with western-style commode / toilet and shower/bucket/jug facilities for bathing.