The Brickfield Schools
The Brickfield Schools project is run by the Kolkata Mary Ward Social Centre (KMWSC). Throughout India there are thousands of brickfields – open air factories where clay bricks are made by hand. Most of the workers are migrants from impoverished districts who, with their children, spend up to eight months of the year in the brickfields. During all this time, the children receive no formal education. The Brickfield Schools are open-air schools, where the children receive basic education 3 hours per day. This will give them a chance to improve their chances in life. The curriculum of the schools is tailored to the context and needs of the migrant children.
We offered support by donating school backpacks for all children, and for the school year 2020-2021, we financed the full operations of three schools, providing education for 175 children.
• Not only did the children benefit, but their families were included in the project too, for example through counseling on the importance of sending your children to school and awareness-raising sessions for parents on a wide range of topics, from safe social distancing to menstrual health.
• KMWSC organized a special workshop for adolescent girls within the Brickfield Schools project.
• A lot of focus was placed on health during and in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. For example, regular health checks by a medical practitioner were organized for the children, and where necessary medication was freely distributed.
• During heavy Covid lockdowns, migrant workers did not earn any money, meaning they weren’t able to feed their families. Therefore KMWSC distributed ration packages amongst those in need.