Jan Ugahi, means People's Realization, Awakening & Development. Jan Ugahi had its beginnings in Calconde slum near Margao, the commercial capital town of Goa, in January 1995. . In keeping with the core principle of launching and under-girding sustainable processes, as also the goals of empowerment and development, plans and actions are carried through inclusive planning.
The founders were: Ms. Bernardette D'Souza & Mr. Gregory D'Costa, husband-wife team, and Sr. Gemma De Sa.
Government Services: Ms. Bernie D'Souza Managing Trustee Jan Ugahi, was a serving member on the State Juvenile Justice Board from January 2003-March 2006 and on the Child Welfare Committee from Jan -April 2012, after which she resigned on principle-grounds as she felt the deeper interests of children were not being addressed. She has also been a member of the Bal Mitra Committee for Apna Ghar, Government home for children, a member of the District Inspection team for Children's Homes in South Goa as representative of JAN Ugahi (2 terms), a member on the South Goa Legal Aid Services Committee and a member on the Govt. Committee for Sexual Harassment of Women for South Goa.
Mr. Gregory D'Costa was part of the Formulation & Review Committee for the Goa Children's Act and the Rules.
Board of Trustee:-
Ms. Bernardette D'Souza (Managing Trustee- Social Worker)
Mr. Mohan Bhat (Treasurer/Business-Manager)
Ms. Gemma De Sa (Social Worker-Sister)
Ms. Neeta Sadekar (Bank Manager)
Mr. Naguesh Daivajna (Business-Proprietor)
Mr. Subhash Naik Jorge (Labour Lawyer)
Mr. Luis Gomes(Trust/Organisation - statutory & Accounts)
Dr. (Mrs.) Nirmala Desai (Homeopath/Physiotherapist)
Verodiano Award for Outstanding Social Service - 2004
Gomant Vidya Niketan Award for Outstanding Social Service - 2004
Popular Front of India Goa Award for promoting education among backward class muslims/others-2011
Giants International Award for Outstanding Woman - 2007
To Bernaardete D'Souza (Managing Trustee - personally)
Jan Ugahi was appointed Nodal Organisation to organize workshops at Taluka & District Level as part of the participatory process to prepare the Goa Children's Act. Mr. Gregory Da Costa, Director, was part of the Formulation & Review Committee for the Goa Children's Act and Rules.
Ms. Bernaardete D'Souza, Managing Trustee Jan Ugahi was a serving member on the State Juvenile Justice Board from January 2003-March 2006 and on the Child Welfare Committee from Jan -April 2012, after which she resigned on principle-grounds. She has also been member of the Bal Mitra Committee for Apna Ghar, Government home and the Govt. Committee for Sexual Harassment for children, a member on the South Goa Legal Aid Services Committee of Women for South Goa, as also Jan Ugahi's representative on the District Inspection team for Children's Homes in South Goa (2 terms).
What We Do:-
Jan Ugahi works at the grassroots-level with marginalised children, women, their families and communities, and tries to bring people together from all walks of life who believe in the rights of children and women. In over a decade, Jan Ugahi has enabled communities in villages and slums across talukas in South Goa to work towards addressing the root causes of child exploitation issues like deprivation, child labour, child sexual abuse/paedophilia including tourism related, domestic violence, that constrain the rights of children. Jan Ugahi was a CHILDLINE Collaborative Organisation with a 24-hr helpline for children in South Goa from Aug. 2005 till Sept. 2012as well as a resource cum support agency for CHILDLINE Support Organisation, Vikalp from Aug. 2000 and continues till date. Three of its team members work part-time for CHILDLINE Support and its Director Gregory D'Costa is also its honorary Director.
Work With Children:
Support: We have a one-to-one contact and support program for street/working children/children in difficult circumstances with regular interaction, identification of problems and issues, remedial & supportive measures with regard to health, education, family problems, training and job placements. Support is also provided to child victims of abuse and exploitation.
Drop-in Centre for Street Children: involving non-formal education, vocational skills, recreation, creativity (drawing, crafts, and singing). Issues related to health, growth and family problems are also addressed.
Rescue/Rehabilitation: Children in difficult circumstances or abused/under threat of abuse (esp. child labor, sexual abuse) are rescued and placed in suitable institutions or Government homes, and support provided to resolve the problem or rehabilitate them by placing them in boardings/homes/Institutes for education, training. We also attempt to rehabilitate children in conflict with the law, i.e. child offenders, through training, jobs, counselling etc. with a view to social re-integration.
Shelter for girls: We have a short stay shelter for girls who are rescued and need to be rehabilitated. Presently through the shelter program we place children in homes/boardings, supervise and undertake their expenses for education/development and look after them during holidays if they have no one.
Prevention: Awareness generation about the rights of children. Besides talks and informal interaction, we conduct open houses, workshops, and other programs for children with the focus on children's participation and children undertaking a process of attaining their rights. Life skill sessions conducted for children of the age group 12- 18. Organising open schools for street/ working children as part of prevention and education.
Advocacy: Lobbying with the government and other agencies for rights of children. Networking with government and non-governmental organisations, educational institutions, other agencies - for enabling children, esp. those without a support system, to find their space in society, realise their rights to education, health, development, protection.
How we work
Child Rights and Advocacy campaigns
Campaigns against Child trafficking and Abuse including tourism related paedophilia and by creating community support groups
Victims assistance and rehabilitation program for child victims and street children, including short stay shelter for girl victims
Remedial, literacy, National Open School classes, day care centre for slum children
Interventions for children in distress & crisis situations with 24 hour Helpline
Leadership and awareness programmes including workshops on child rightsholiday camps, cultural events, and other recreational services
Initiating Community-based Women's Action Groups as the base for women's empowerment, community leadership, children's protection & development and creating spaces to work together to achieve their dignity and rights.
Taking up women's issues, cases of women in distress, in the context of Women's Rights and Empowerment: Interventions include crisis intervention, counseling, legal aid, in cases involving domestic violence & sexual harassment, skill training, job placements, health promotion. In support of the above, JanUgahi also offers a short stay shelter for women victims of violence.
Promoting Self Help Groups: for vocational training & Income generation (sewing and utility items), savings & credit facility.
Counselling for women & children in distress
Enabling the poor, esp. migrants to access Govt. Health Services, promoting immunization and preventive health care, organising Health Camps, referrals
Socio-Cultural programs to observe events including Women's Day, Children's
Day, Independence Day, Prevention of Child labour & Child abuse days etc.
Staff Development & Exposure
Lobbying with the government and other agencies for rights of children
Networking with government and non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, other agencies to enable children, especially those without a support system, to find their rightful space in society Campaign against Child trafficking for sexual abuse, child labour or any other form of exploitation.
Investigating prevalence of child sexual abuse, tourism related paedophilia, trafficking and following up on suspects, prosecution.
Creating awareness of child abuse in shacks, hotels, shops, tourist agencies, schools, panchayats, among public and through creating support groups of citizens to be informants, monitor happenings, assist in other social matters
Women's Issues: Taking up cases of women in distress & crisis situations with provision of counselling, legal aid, vocational training, job placements, savings etc. in the context of Women's rights and Empowerment. Types of cases handled include domestic violence, unemployment and shelter, sexual harassment, etc.
Short Stay Shelter for Women &Children in Distress and Crisis Situation: At V-14 & 19, Vikrant, Malbhat, Margao, for girls rescued-pending rehabilitation & during holidays. Facilities include: board & lodge, counselling, educational facilitation, legal aid, training, job placements etc.
Adult Literacy/Door-Step Literacy Classes: Held earlier at Calconde Bund, Deccan Tyres, Zariwada, Fatorda, Maruti Mandir. Presently at Guddemol through one of the volunteers.
Vocational Training: 2 + 2 six months training courses in Tailoring, Embroidery & Fabric Painting.
Skill-training/Income generation: Started in April 2012, for major girls/women to make & market well-designed ladies bags, purses etc. under the guidance of Ms. Carmina Fernandes, NID Ahmedabad Associate
Self Help Groups: have been promoted for income generation and savings & credit facility.
Networking with Governemnt and NGO's:
Advocacy with Government: Collaboration on Goa Children's Act: Jan Ugahi was appointed Nodal Organisation to organize workshops at Taluka & District Level and conducted session on State Commission for Children at State Level as part of the participatory process to prepare the Goa Children's Act, and was instrumental in final formulation of the Goa Children's Act.
Apna Ghar: For about 5 years till 2009, Jan Ugahi conducted weekly training & accompanied the children at Apna Ghar with counselling, rehab, restoration etc.
Jan Ugahi has been a collaborative member of the National Campaign against Child Trafficking & national Campaign Against Child Labor.
The Director and Managing Trustee of Jan Ugahi have also served as Director and Coordinator of CHILDLINE Support Organisation Vikalp and been part of the National Network of Childline India Partners since its inception in Goa in 2000 till Aug 2005. Thereafter it also took charge of South Goa as a Collaborative Organisation-children's helpline with a 24-hour call and intervention centre for children in distress/difficult circumstances. CHILDLINE is a project of the Central Ministry of Women & Child Development. While Jan Ugahi has discontinued the service w.e.f. 1-10-2012, it continues taking up cases of children in need of care and protection on its own and as a collaborator of CHILDLINE Support-Vikalp in South Goa.
Target Group Participation: Target group participation is high on the agenda. The aim of the project is to train the target groups to ultimately run their own programs themselves. In view of this, the Trust evolved the concept of 'Learner Teachers', where learners themselves assisted in teaching. These learner teachers or community workers have now 'graduated' to become teachers, trainers, co-organisers of various programs. Also, a greater interaction of these and other staff with the participants in the slums & village areas is encouraged. Their findings & feedbacks of participants are incorporated into the programs.
Jan Ugahi has been conducting a campaign against trafficking of children be it for sexual abuse, child labour or any other form of exploitation.
The campaign is done through a 1-1 contact program, group/community sessions, mass awareness programs at beaches, village & town squares, market places, sessions in schools, distribution of pamphlets & cards, putting up of posters in various strategic places, bus stops, institutions, shops, establishments etc. Street plays, puppet shows, skits, slogans, songs have been used at mass and group awareness programs.
The campaign includes
Creating support groups of vulnerable children in beach, slum, village, town areas where we have project intervention. The support groups include children's clubs ( 8-12 years), neighbourhood support groups (adolescents-13-18 years), open school cum day-care centre (at Colva). The school is combined with visits to the settlements for investigation, awareness, community participation.
Investigating prevalence of child sexual abuse, tourism related paedophilia, trafficking and following up on suspects, prosecution.
Creating awareness about it in shacks, hotels, shops, tourist agencies, among public and creating support groups of citizens to be informants and monitor happenings
Networking with various agencies like panchayat, municipality, parish, police, schools, other tourism related agencies to create awareness and seek support.
Support to victims through counseling, legal aid, medical etc. Presently the organization is involved in a number of cases of children sexually abused, in child labor or exploited in other ways.
An important component of the campaign is creating awareness about CHILDLINE, the children's 24-hour helpline for children in need of care and protection.