In India, slum-dwellers are sometimes know as "ragpickers." These children of God, some as young as six, often live, eat and sleep on the streets. They scavenge through waste dumps to collect recyclables to sell for pennies. Typically, their lot is hunger, sickness, illiteracy, physical abuse and premature death.
REDS (Ragpickers Education and Development Scheme) is a collection of Marianist intervention programs that serve these "ragpickers" living in the slums of Bangalore and Ranchi.
REDS Centers and Play Schools
The Marianists gather street children - from preschoolers to young teens - at REDS centers, where they receive food and healthcare. They learn to read and write, and to do basic math.
We place as many as possible as full-time students in formal schools; older children may be placed in job training programs.
The Marianists operate 22 REDS Centers and place more than 1,000 children in school or skills training each year.
Skills Training Centers
The REDS Skills Training Centers are two-year boarding programs for youth who would otherwise be unemployable. The centers provide training in carpentry, construction, welding, electronics, plumbing, refrigeration and tailoring. In addition to vocational training, these young people are taught how to function in working society - another type of education not available to them in their lives in the slums.
Marianist Skills Training Centers provide the ticket to a stable life: a roof overhead, enough food to survive and basic human dignity.
REDS Women's Empowerment programs provide impoverished women with vocational training, financial literacy, child development education and basic health care.
These programs enable women to bolster their family income by providing job training such as embroidery, stitching and operating sewing machines. Many have gone from doing piecework to starting their own small tailoring businesses.
Marianist REDS Women's Empowerment programs assist more than 1,400 women each year.
Please consider joining with the Marianists to improve the lives of children, women and families in India.
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