Belaku has supported the government ICDS (Integrated Child Development
Scheme) programme by introducing a trained community aide (/Gelathi/
meaning friend in Kannada) who would provide support to the Anganwadi
workers. The /gelathis /work alongside the staff in the anganwadi to
facilitate learning and good health and to ensure that the service
achieves its full potential. Preschool education component is
strengthened, the nutrition and health components of the children is
monitored. Apart from this, the introduction of music and dance in their
curriculum has been adopted to bring about an overall improvement in
their educational curve. We hope to expand our efforts of having a
trained community aide to support the government workers in as many
villages as possible and to influence government policy with this
experience.

The project initially started in 6 villages in 2006. One woman from the
community  was chosen in each village and trained in aspects of health
and nutrition of young children and pregnant women as well as in
teaching preschool children through play and activities.

Thanks to an encouraging response from the community and what we saw as a positive impact, the project has expanded. We are encouraged by the
fact that the people in each village are sufficiently enthused by the
programme to have gathered funds to partially support it.

Belaku Trust