Other Activities

Preventive Services
Health education and awareness programme, de-worming, adolescent clinics etc. are the main services offering by the centers for preventive diseases.

Curative Services
Out patient clinic with one medical officer offers consultation and treatment daily. Treatment for minor ailments and referral services are available. The medicines and primary care is free of cost to all patients.

MCH Services
Antenatal and postnatal mothers are identified and registered at the centre. Assessment of Antenatal and Postnatal mothers, screening for urine sugar, immunization, distribution of iron, folic acid and calcium tablets and health education.

School Health Services
Health camps and health awareness programmes are being conducted for the school children of these areas.

Adolescent Clinic
Adolescent clinic for adolescent population, health check camps, awareness classes, immunization offered.

National health programmes
The centre is cooperating with all national health programmes.

Basic data about house and family members are collected by survey and periodical resurvey. Survey includes all members’ information and environmental conditions.

Home Visits
Home visits are being done by the posted students under supervision of faculty members for primary care at home settings.

Referral Services
Through home visits the clients problems are referred to the community health centre and then to Bishop Benziger Hospital.

Health Education
Health education is conducted in centers as well as covering areas and schools regarding all aspects preventive promotive and curative services.

Nursery School
To take care of the basic education of the kids of the coastal area and make sure that they are better prepared to get admission in class 1, we have a Nursery school with two classes benefiting 80 children. An organizer, 2 teachers and 1 helper are working to impart basic education to the little ones.

Lower Primary supplementary classes for classes 1, 2 and 3
This is a scheme for the coastal children attending regular schools and studying in classes 1, 2 & 3. These tuition classes help to prevent school drop-outs in schools, to teach alphabets and to encourage these children to continue their studies. There are 12 such tuition centers and 273 students are benefiting from this activity. 12 teachers are taking care of these supplementary classes.

Remedial Education centres
Remedial education classes are conducted in the evenings for children studying in classes 4 to 10. Presently there are 1087 students in all the centers. These remedial classes help to encourage the children to go to school willingly, to make sure that they pass on to higher classes and to help them to get high marks in their secondary school examinations. These remedial education centers are looked after by 4 organizers and 40 teachers.

Balavedi (Children’s Forum)
This is a programme organized for the children between the ages of 7 and 15 to develop their intellectual, artistic, sports and cultural talents.

Fisherman Youth Group
This is a group of married and unmarried young men of the coastal area who are engaged in fishing and allied activities. The aim of this group is to give them social, economic, cultural and political awareness and to evolve appropriate intervention strategies in strengthening the fishing community. In this group there are 685 youth from the 5 coastal region divided into to 10 groups.

Non Fisherman Youth Group
This programme is for both the married and unmarried youth of the coastal are who are not engaged in fishing or allied activities. The aim of this group is create a platform for youth to involve in constructive social, cultural and economic activities, which will pave the way for overall progress of the community and the society. This group has 110 members in 4 centers.

A savings scheme has been started for the fishermen and non fishermen youth groups to inculcate in them the habit of saving. A good amount has deposited by these groups.

Credit union (Loan scheme for men)
This programme helps to keep in touch with the fishermen youth and inculcate in them the habit of saving in the small saving scheme for them. At the same time they also have several responsibilities at home which involve money such as building better house, treating the sick members, marrying the girls etc. Since the need for credit facilities is very much high, FCDP started a Credit Union for the fishermen Group members. As per the scheme a loan up to Rs. 10,000/- is given to the members of the credit union which has to be paid back through daily savings.

Don Bosco Fish Marketing Centre.
FCDP has been instrumental in starting two societies for fishermen for auctioning fish. This intervention helps fishermen to obtain fair prices for their fish. FCDP also advances loans to the fishermen for various purposes like purchasing of boats, nets, boat repairs etc.

Housing Scheme
The project location is Mundakkal west at Thope, Kollam in kerala. It is also referred to as Vedikunnu. It is 200 meters from the sea. There are about 300 families living in this area. About 50% of the population is involved in fishing while others are daily wage workers

Though most of the houses in the area are tiled or concreted, there are about 100 houses which are thatched. The houses were just saved from being washed away due to the break-water project. Being close to the sea, they are always in danger due to the rough weather conditions. We built 48 new houses in this area.

Water Project
A survey was conducted in the 3 Nagars of Mundakkal area (Beach Nagar, Thiruvathira Nagar and Nethaji Nagar) to identify the houses without water connection. The area also lacks proper supply of clean drinking water. The water supply scheme of the corporation is not easily accessible for the people due to the initial costs involved as well as investment to reach the water to the area. We propose to address this issue with the involvement of the water Authority who are happy to provide facilities to this area through the necessary infrastructure. We have given 185 water supply connections to the families with the cooperation of District Water Authority in these areas.

Project Justification
The FCDP has been rendering yeomen service to the poor and needy of the coastal belt of Kollam District since 1985. It was a time when more than half the fisher folk were living in deplorable conditions. Education remained impossibility amidst grueling poverty in the huts and colonies which provided them precarious shelter. Since the electrification of the houses was grossly inadequate, many of the school going children had to depend on kerosene lamps and candle lights. This triggered a steep fall in the pass percentage of children in the coastal schools. Failures and drop-outs increased to a very large extent.

Male students whose future was in jeopardy had no other alternative but to return to the traditional trade of fishing along with their fathers in order to make a living. The girls on the other hand confined themselves to their homes without pursuing their studies. This plight of the fisher folk which was brought to light by the educational survey conducted in 1985 was an eye-opener for the FCDP which lost no time in chalking out a comprehensive programme to cater to the needs of these deprived classes of people.

The humble beginnings of the educational programmes were in the form of tuition classes exclusively for the students of 8th and 9th standards. 75 underprivileged children found their succor in FCDP which provided tuition both in the morning and evening at Pallithottam. The tuition centers registered a robust growth and opened new centers at Moothakkara, Vaddy and Thangassery thereby taking the number of centers to 4 in 1988. This phenomenal growth further inspired the FCDP to render financial assistance to students in the higher education sector. By 1992 there were 5 tuition centers including the one opened at Port Kollam. The FCDP took the inclusion of educational beneficiaries from the Mundakkal area by creation of yet another centre at Mundakkal in 1998. Taking into account the high concentration of fishermen in the slum areas of Chinnakada, a centre was opened there to cater to the educational needs of the people there.

The FCDP was able to script the success saga in the educational sector by its relentless efforts to rope in the failures and drop-outs and by putting them once again on the track of learning. With a slew of measures undertaken by the FCDP the pathetic and plummeting educational standards underwent a sea-change for the better.

In 1985
•   The schools along the coast had very low pass percentage.
•   Large scale drop-outs from schools
•   Children took to fishing putting aside their studies
•   Very few went for higher education
•   Lack of congenial atmosphere for studying at home
•   Inability to pay high tuition fees
•   A poor educational progress at the rate of 40%

Twenty years of incessant work by the FCDP and the flawless execution of its programmes ensured a steady development as detailed below.
•   Increase in the pass percentage
•   More children attended classes
•   Drop in the number of students who took to fishing for livelihood
•   More students went in for higher education
•   Youth took recourse to trades other than fishing
•   Many could afford education
•   Interest in education rapidly increased
•   There was a record 90 % educational progress

However, despite this progress various factors have adversely affected the studies and pursuit of knowledge. Successful education still remains an unachievable dream as the pervading atmosphere is hardly conducive for educational improvement with the congested houses, distracting modern gadgets of entertainment and uncertainties in the employment market. In the wake of such development there is an increasing demand for tuition by the students to retain their interest in education and to anchor them safely in this competitive field.

The FCDP has been abundantly blessed with ample facilities to house its tuition centers provided in the schools and institutions in the respective areas have considerably reduced the burden of finding building and other amenities, thanks to the cooperation and support of Parish Priests and Convent authorities.

But the major roadblock to this ambitious programme is severe financial crunch. When foreign funds were readily available between 1985 and 1995, the FCDP rendered this much-needed service without collecting any fees from the students. But since there was drastic drop in foreign funds, the FCDP had to depend on small contributions from the students. It has now become increasingly difficult to manage the various projects like Nursery classes, Evening classes for Classes 4 to 10 etc. owing to acute paucity of funds. Nearly 28 teachers handling classes have to be paid. The electricity charges, expenses of conducting examinations, costs of answer sheets, stationery and the expenses of other extra curricular activities are spiraling out of control. The meager sum collected as tuition fees from the students is hardly sufficient to meet the expenses rocketing everyday. Not even a quarter of the expenses can be met with the tuition fees. The fisher folk cannot be forced to shell out money for fees when the pittance they earn is hardly enough to make both ends meet. The only time when the fishermen earn is the period between June and October and the rest of the time they are able to pay only a small sum of money proportionate to their earnings. Hence practically the students cannot be asked to pay fees in the months of low earnings. Moreover it is worth mentioning that in the aftermath of the Tsunami of 26th December 2004, the resources in the sea have depleted and the income of the fishermen has touched an all-time low.

In these circumstances the fees collections has also been affected severely. The changes in the sea-bed has reduced the availability of fish. Such financial problems affecting the people have created difficulties in the smooth running of the tuition centers. It might take more than 10 years to set things right. The FCDP has a daunting task ahead. It has to sustain and keep up the gigantic strides already taken. This necessitates substantial monetary help from external sources.

The proposed project is of great importance to the target groups. The implementation of the project will provide them with the opportunity to become literate and move up in the ladder of education. Thus the project will improve their educational standard, which will positively and greatly influence and effect their overall development.

Through the various activities such as nursery schools, lower primary classes, tuition centers and children’s forums, the level of education in this coastal area would be improved. Thus the objective of providing quality education to the children and youth of the fishing community of the coastal areas could be achieved.