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Based on many years of experience, Plan believes that the sustainable development of disadvantaged communities can only be achieved if children's best interests are kept at the heart of everything we do and if children themselves actively participate in the process.
Child centred community development is the term we use to describe how we aim to do our development work. It is a rights based approach to development where we support communities to develop the structures and skills they need to provide a safe and healthy environment in which children are able to realise their full potential.
With an increased focus on child rights, we involve children as active participants in the development process.
In the past, our community development programmes benefited children, but we worked largely with the adult community members. Now, with an increased focus on child rights, we involve them as active participants in the development process.
As a result of the success of these changes, Plan has adopted Child Centred Community Development (CCCD) as its programme approach. This integrates the more recently developed methods of working with children and our long experience of community development.
In India, many children experience various forms of violence, exploitation and abuse. They are forced to work in intolerable conditions or trafficked into sexual trade. Children are also subjected to corporal punishment at school and forced into child marriage.
A girl especially is more vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse. The poor economic conditions of family households, cultural and social practices and prevalence of child marriage are the significant reasons for girls leaving school early and the decline of their education, which in turn reduces opportunity. It can also lead to early pregnancy which is a substantial health risk. The health of girls who are sexually exploited is also at high risk as they are more likely to contract life threatening diseases.
Children in such circumstances have their rights denied in the most fundamental way.
Plan and our partners work to create protective and supportive environments in which both girls and boys are safe from violence and exploitation, their rights are protected and each child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.