Akshaya Patra Annual Report 2014-15

Annual report 2015 of The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a leading NGO dedicated to underprivileged children, is out. The Annual Report 2014-15 titled ‘Giving Every Dream A Chance’ mainly focuses on the theme, ‘The Making of a Dream,’ and all the main procedures which is undertaken by the organisation to  help children get closer to their dreams.

The Akshaya Patra Annual Report, in a way is an effort to highlight the role of a nutritious meal on children. It also provides a solid evidence to show that how the opportunity to eat healthy along with a structured guidance or education helps children follow their dreams.

In an effort to prove this, three young beneficiaries of Akshaya Patra were enrolled into a mentorship programme and were trained according to their field of interest. The whole session including the progress was documented. We can see that the initiative was a great success.

One of the most interesting parts of Annual Report of the NGO is its design and presentation. The cover page of the annual report showing the image of a school boy gazing into the starlit sky is powerful and conveys the message clearly.

TYPOGRAPHY.JPG

The NGO Annual Report is presented under 8 topics namely:

  • Introduction
  • At the Heart of the Dream
  • What Drives the Dream
  • 2014-15 in a Wrap
  • The Dream Progresses
  • Management Message
  • Dream Stories
  • Previous Annual Reports

annual-report

The best part of the Annual Report is Dream Stories, where the organisation tells stories of three 14-year-old young stars- Shivu, who wants to become an astronomer, Manjula who is keen on following her dreams to become an actress and Shekar, who wants to become a chef.

Apart from these, the report also gives an insight into the organisation’s progress, mainly its Annual Financial Report, awards and recognitions received by it during the previous year.

This is just a short description of our Annual Report. To get a detailed account of our work, you can download our Annual Report.

Advertisements

Fighting Child Hunger and Improving Education

Food is one of the essentials needed to survive on this earth. However, all of us are not lucky enough to receive a sufficient supply due to many reasons.  It is shocking to know that about 870 million people in the world struggle for a square meal every day due to extreme poverty.

Feed the hungry children

When we talk about hunger children always come at the forefront as they are the worst affected. Lack of food or nutrition during the early stages of growth can lead to several health problems and sometimes even to death. Here are some statistics on children and hunger:

  • Malnutrition kills about 3.1 million children every year
  • About 100 million children (one out of six) in developing countries fall below the recommended weight
  • One in four children in the world is stunted
  • About 66 million primary school children go hungry to school

Measures have been taken to bring these numbers down and works by The World Food Programme (WFP), the largest anti-hunger agency of the UN in the world, have been quite inspiring. Interestingly, the agency feeds 80 million people in 75 countries every year.

From the past 54 years, the agency has been trying constantly to eliminate hunger and provide children an opportunity to attend school.  For this purpose, WFP supplies nutritious school meals to over 20 million children across the world.

The initiative has helped bring children back to school and bring hopes in millions of families. These meals, in a way, have also provided underprivileged children all the nutrition needed for growth.  The school meal programme has also given an opportunity to utilise the local resources and increase their demand.

Who else help school children in India – an overview:

A 2013 report on school feeding programmes across 169 countries released by the World Food Project ranked India 12th among lower middle income countries. During that time, India was feeding 114 million school children every day.

Some of the organisations which have helped improve lives of school children in India include:

  • The Akshaya Patra Foundation: The NGO, at present feeds freshly cooked nutritious mid-day meals to over 1.4 million school children in 10 states.

logo-white_jpg

  • Annamrita: The NGO feeds 1.2 million meals in eight states in India.

ISKCON Annamrita logo PNG

  • Nanhi Kali: The NGO  helps provide education to girls

nanhikaliNew

  • Smile Foundation: is dedicated to empower underprivileged children, youth and women.

Smile_Foundation_Logo

These organisations have helped feed the hungry, provide education and empowerment and brought hope to millions of school children. However, there is a long way to go in eliminating classroom hunger altogether or providing education to all.

But, it is very much achievable. Just keep the good works going and soon ‘child hunger is gone’ will be a beautiful truth.

Resolving Global Issues Surrounding Children

Millions of children across the world are denied the opportunity to enjoy childhood and are still in search of basic necessities like food, education, shelter and safety.  Child trafficking, child marriage, poverty, malnutrition and child labour are some of the main global Issues surrounding children.

Child trafficking

Image Courtesy: cseindiaportal

Child trafficking affects millions of children across the world. Children are bought and sold for various activities including forced labour.  According to a 2012 report released by the International Labour Organization, 21 million people are trapped in forced labour across the world.  Of the total, 5.5 million are below 18 years.  Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia (COSA), Children of the Night, Called to Rescue, Love 146 and Maiti Nepal are some of the charities working to end child trafficking and exploitation across the world.

child_marriage

Image Courtesy: newzimbabwe.com

Similarly, more than 700 million women marry before turning 18 and about 250 million get into wedlock before age 15, according to a data released by the UNICEF in 2014. Though efforts to end child marriage have been going, the custom is still prevalent in several parts of India. The after effects include early pregnancy, school dropout, violence, abuse and exposure to HIV and AIDS.  Some of the charitable organisations trying hard to free young children from the clutches of early marriage include Girls Not Brides, Care and Breakthrough.

Poverty is another issue we need to take care of. About 1 billion in the world live in poverty, according to UNICEF.  Poor nutrition claims 3.1 million young lives every year. In developing countries, about 100 million children are underweight and 66 million primary school children go hungry to school. Poor nutrition can damage the immune system and increase a child’s risk of contracting deadly diseases. It can also affect learning ability, cognitive and physical development of children.

Feed the hungry children

Image Courtesy: brighterbrains.org

Some of the organisations fighting hunger and poverty include Action against Hunger, the U.N. World Food Programme and Bread for the World Institute. In India, apart from the government, charitable organisations like The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Annamrita, No Hungry Child, Annapoorna of Adamya Chetana distribute mid-day meals in schools. Initiative taken by these charitable organisations has helped fight hunger and improve nutritional status of underprivileged children in India.

It’s also shocking to know that about 100 million children are homeless and live on streets.  The reasons differ from war or poverty to harmful diseases. Some of the children are orphans, while some live in streets to support their families. Street children, according to UNICEF, are the most difficult to protect and provide education and care.  They face risks from various sources including the police and are sometimes murdered as part of the cleaning up of the city. Charitable organisations like Youth Advocate Program International (YAP International), Consortium for Street Children (CSC), Dreamz (Mumbai), Support (Mumbai) and Railway Children have helped improve the situation and given new meanings to the lives of street children across the world.

Akshaya Patra Inititative4

Image Courtesy: Akshaya Patra

In addition to this, millions of children today are trapped in child labour. Children are often forced to work in several dangerous environments.  A data from UNICEF shows that about 150 million children are engaged in child labour including mining, quarrying, domestic service or agriculture.

However, the number of children who work in India has come down over the past few years.  In 2011, only 43.53 lakh children aged between five and 14 were working compared to 1.26 crore in 2001, thanks to the work of organisations like International Labour Organization, The Child Labor Coalition and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).  Apart from them, the list of charities for children also includes UNICEF, United Nations and Save the Children.

There is no doubt that these issues have made children’s lives miserable and hard. But, the situation has definitely improved than earlier, thanks to the thousands of charitable organisations across the world that have engaged in charities for children.

If the good work of charitable organisations continues at this pace, we can soon completely free our children from these issues and return their rights.

Effects of Climate Change on Children

Climate changes have been a topic of concern across the world. From Ozone depletion to melting of polar ice caps to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the air, we have plenty of reasons to worry.

Global warming

A report released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001 found humans as the main culprit behind the recent global climate change and the natural calamities which follow it.

COP21

An effort to address this problem and improve the situation was initiated at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) conducted in Paris from 30 November to 12 December 2015. In the conference, all the delegates agreed to keep the ‘increase in global temperature below 2 degree Celsius’.

Here is an example of how natural calamities affected children.

Earth quake and typhoons affect everyone, but children are the most affected of them all.  Some of the effects of climate change and natural calamities include food insecurity -hunger and malnutrition in children -and emotional insecurity -loss of home or loved ones.

nepal school

Additionally, education also gets severely affected. Nearly 5,000 schools were destroyed in the Nepal earthquake while hundreds got affected in the Malawi floods.  The 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines damaged around 2,500 schools.

You can read more at http://blog.akshayapatra.org/children-the-unseen-victims-of-climate-change/

Climate change can be solved with proper intervention.  However, we have to start now to protect the planet for our future generations.