It has come to light that a large number of those under 30 years of age living in these villages are unemployed. They waste their time either consuming alcohol, or gambling or indulging in disorderly behaviour and acts of violence. This creates an unpleasant atmosphere and disturbs the peace within the community.
This is a multifaceted problem. To address it, TEWFI has introduced a number of policies and initiatives. TEWFI chooses to employ staff and train them from the local community. It would like to further develop and extend its existing alcoholism awareness programme. Besides this a number of vocational training schemes are provided. Another programme that proved popular was the waste management campaign to clean up the locality on World Environment Cleaning Day 2007. TEWFI social workers are in the midst of setting up a children’s parliament also.
Primarily, TEWFI seeks to engage youth in sporting and cultural activities that create occupation, promote confidence, self-esteem and further inter-community understanding.
Sporting activities have been successful and attract many participants. This is another way to develop bonds and team spirit amongst the youngsters. Top of the list are the well-attended volleyball tournaments which have been held over the past two years. The first one was aimed at local boys in recognition of World AIDS Day 2007. Another in demand sport, cricket was taken to tournament level in December 2008.
The Indian culture is rich with customs and traditions, and celebrating ethnic activities within the community is an important way to promote peace, harmony and bring the community together. Here are some of the cultural activities that TEWFI has been actively involved in:
- Pongal Festival (14th January): Each year, a volunteer sponsors the Pongal Festival. This involves providing a special Pongal meal to the community children, which is enjoyed by all.
- International Teachers’ Day (ITD): There are seven schools in the district. In accordance with the importance of education to the Foundation, ITD has been celebrated over the past few years. Each year, the Head Masters and teachers of all the schools as well as leaders and youth groups from the three communities are invited to attend. The Head Master of each school selects one teacher to receive an award based on his / her performance during the school year. Cultural shows are performed by youth groups from Othukauttamman Kuppam and some of the children from the Uluru Children’s Home.
- Children’s Cultural Programme: Students from the Glenunga International High School (GIHS) in South Australia visited Alamparai in 2008. Together with children from the community they presented a cultural performance on 14th April. The programme comprised items alternated between those presented by students from GIHS and those from the local community. Over 100 children participated and while some received prizes, there were gifts for all the participants.
- Universal Children’s Day Celebration 2007: In accordance with the importance given by TEWFI to the rights of children, a celebration was organised for Universal Children’s Day in November 2007. Activities organised included drawing, trivia, speech, awareness song and fancy dress competitions. During the event some children also presented short plays.
If you have a particular sporting or cultural initiative for the community that you think would be beneficial, please contact us.