The cooperation project “Railway kids“ was founded by the Indian Paul C Matthew and Australian Bev Spencer Paul in 2010. The basic idea was to show new perspective to children, who live in or nearby the railway station. Most of the children are either abandoned by their families or they live with their families at railway station. Because of which social problems such as lack of education, poverty and crime (for example stealing) occurs. As a family care project, Paul C takes care of few girls and boys in his own family, who no longer live on the streets today thanks to his support because of which there is a possibility of providing education and security to them. Due to the large number of children in need, the railway kids project was outsourced to “Lifehouse” near Agra Cantt Station and is now primarily trying to include the children’s environment (family, friends) in the relief. The main objective is to change or at least improve the situation of families in order to support the children in their family’s system and to give them a better future. In addition to the individual promotion of children, the project tries to support the families in everyday activities such as searching house and to support their medical care.
Paul C supervises all the activities in the “Lifehouse”. He is supported by Dina and James, who lives with their two children in the building of the “Lifehouse”. James is the only person who speaks and understand English fluently, he also teaches children English. His wife Dina is responsible for the small children and looks after the projects “Early Intervention Centre” and “Marian Pre-School”. There are also two other teachers working in the “Lifehouse”.
The project is divided into several areas:
- The Youth Dropping Center (YDC) project tries to work with young people as part of providing them skill training, for example to show different perspectives of jobs and to train them to get those jobs.
- The Child Dropping Center (CDC) project is one of the main project of the “Lifehouse”. It offers five days a week a contact point for street children from the area, which have different difficulties. These children should be preserved from the bad influence of their environment through a wide educational and schooling opportunities, these children are intensively supported and also have access to laundry facilities, as well as provided hot meal. The daily routine is strictly timed and the children are handled in a disciplined manner with mutual respect.
- The Early Intervention Center (EIC) project also takes place in the “Lifehouse” and addresses the target group of 2 ½ -5 year old children. The children receives books and food is financed by the project along with the early pedagogical support.
- The project Marian Pre-School belongs to the EIC project and caters to those children who are affected by only a few problems and therefore they return to their families at lunchtime. The project is aimed primarily at providing a school education for the younger children.
- The project Community Development Center (CDC) wants to intervene especially in the whole environment. Currently, the offer is directed only to women in adult age. So far, tailoring training and literacy courses has taken place. Other courses such as cosmetics, fashion design and mehndi (henna) are currently in the planning stage.