Iran News ...


10/5/06

The Cultural and Support Organization for Child Laborers Bay Area Fundraiser

Sunday October 8, 2006, 6-9pm in Oakland, California

 

Kanun Farhangi Hemayati Koodakan Kar is a non-governmental organization whose main purpose is to reduce the number of children in the Labor Market from the Pamenar neighborhood on the south side of Tehran.

 

Kanun fulfills this vision through providing comprehensive support to mothers, children and their families. We are a non-governmental organization, operating with a core base of volunteers. Essential to securing the rights of children is reducing and ultimately ending the child labor that is pervasive in the South Side neighborhood of Tehran called Pamenar. Kanun believes that this cannot happen outside of improving the economic and social conditions and behavior of the family and community in which the child lives.

Through women’s social and economic empowerment, increasing parental responsibility and community accountability, children and youth scholarship, advocacy, and community health we reduce the need for child labor.

 

Here are some of the services that we provide:

  • Provide a stipend to children who wish to stay in school and continue their education: In one year time, we identified 12 Iranian sponsors provide stipends to 15 children
  • Provide on-site tutoring for children in the program
  • Classes for children who are unable to attend public schools to pass the UNHCR diploma exam
  • Violence prevention classes
  • Nutrition classes

We are currently trying to reach our goal of raising $7000.00 to continue our current and future work at the Kanun. Please join us on Sunday October 8, 2006 for a night of food, drinks and music and to hear more about the work of Kanun and its future projects. Support us in continuing this vision.

 

Where: 676 Hillgirt Circle, Oakland CA 94610

Please RSVP to: Poroshat Shekarloo

Tel: 510-882-7500 or email at pshekar2@yahoo.com

 

If you would still like to donate but are unable to attend please send checks paid to Poroshat Shekarloo to the address above.

 


Background Information:

 

Kanun Farhangi- Hemayati Koodakan-e Kar

(A Cultural and Support Organization for Child Laborers)

 

Contact Information:

37 Nouri Alley, Soufiani Street,

Pamenar Street, 15 Khordad Avenue;

Tehran, Iran, Tel: +21 3395 4122

 

Simin Marashi (In Iran)

siminmarashi@yahoo.com

 

Poroshat Shekarloo (In U.S)

pshekar2@yahoo.com

 

 

Vision:

Kanun envisions a community which has the resources to support their children to grow up in a healthy environment that is free of violence and exploitation, and in which their full social rights are recognized and enforced. These rights include, but are not limited to education, health, wellness, adequate housing and nutrition, and access to preventative health care and sanitation.

 

Mission:

Kanun fulfills this vision through providing comprehensive support to mothers, children and their families. We are a non-governmental organization, operating with a core base of volunteers. Essential to securing the rights of children is reducing and ultimately ending the child labor that is pervasive in the South Side neighborhood of Tehran called Pamenar. Kanun believes that this cannot happen outside of improving the economic and social conditions and behavior of the family and community in which the child lives.

Through women’s social and economic empowerment, increasing parental responsibility and community accountability, children and youth scholarship, advocacy, and community health we reduce the need for child labor.

 

Background: Why Pamenar?

The Pamenar neighborhood is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tehran. It is located near the Bazaar which is the financial center of the city. This once affluent neighborhood has become neglected and abandoned and the homes unkempt. Currently, these run down homes are being used by slum landlords as rental units for a high price in this impoverished community.

 

Most of the residents of the community are refugees who immigrated to Tehran as a result of the eight year war between Iran and Iraq.  Many of the Kurdish families came from the city of Ilamin Kermanshah located near the Iraq and Iran border. The Afghan families came mostly from Khorasan near the Iran - Afghanistan border.

 

Most of these families have at least five or more children.  Many of the men in this community are unemployed with the exception of the few who are either peddlers or porters for the Bazaar. The majority of the women in this community are also unemployed with the exception of a few women who are either factory workers or domestic workers.  In addition, the community culturally does not condone women’s work outside of the home; as a result, the financial burden of the household often falls on the shoulders of male children who are forced to work in factories or on the streets.

The female children are even more disadvantaged than their brothers: Not only are they left to care for their younger siblings at home, in many instances they are forced to give up a portion of their food share to their wage-earning male siblings, which results in their stunted growth.

 

Problems:

·         These children work on the streets and in factories for very small amounts of money and are vulnerable to physical, sexual and emotional abuse by adults.

·         Children who are of Afghan descent have no access to local schools because of their lack of proper birth certificates.

·         Some of the children are used to transfer drugs through out the city, increasing their exposure to and risk of drug use.

·         Lack of children’s access to nutritious food has resulted in many cases of stunted growth among this population.

·         Because of their life on the streets, many of these children's basic hygienic needs are unmet.

·         Many of these children are exposed to domestic and sexual violence by family members and acquaintances on a daily basis.

·         Parents who are employed often leave their children unattended which increases their risk of abuse by strangers.

·         Overcrowded living quarters increases the incidence of violence within many families.

·         Drug use and addiction amongst the men and women in the community is prevalent.

·         Some of the women in the neighborhood are engaged in sex work, increasing women and children’s vulnerability to violence.

 

 

Our Approach

In order to end violence and abuse of children, it is imperative that we not only examine the social factors that contribute to poverty, but also address the interpersonal and cultural factors that allow it to continue. Kanun believes in working with the community to support behavioral change and to work towards changing the conditions that breed inequality. Violence both violates women and children's rights and prevents the achievement of their comprehensive well-being; therefore we integrate violence prevention across all our programming.

 

Women’s empowerment:

  • Literacy programs
  • Safety planning
  • Public Health Education: Nutrition, HIV/AIDS and STD prevention, substance abuse prevention and intervention
  • Violence prevention: Domestic violence, Sexual assault and Child abuse
  • On-site individual and group therapy
  • Job training and placement
  • Economic Empowerment (micro-credits): Provided 10 women with loans to invest in increased earning or improved conditions for their families.
  • Social enterprises: Teaching women design and fabrication, employment and funding for programming.
  • Parent responsibility and community accountability

 

 

Sakineh’s husband was released from prison; during his stay he quit substance use. Sakineh knew that in order for her husband to stay clean, he would need to work. There were opportunities in motorcycle transportation, however the family did not have the money to purchase a motorcycle. Kanun loaned Sakineh $350 to start a family

 

 

 

Children and Youth Programming: 

 

  • Provide a stipend to children who wish to stay in school and continue their education: In one year’s time, we identified 12 Iranian sponsors to provide stipends to 15 children
  • Provide on-site tutoring for children in the program
  • Classes for Afghan children who are unable to attend public schools to pass the UNHCR diploma exam
  • Violence prevention classes
  • Nutrition classes
  • Classes in sculpting, drawing, music and theatre
  • Story book reading and writing
  • Recreational and outdoor activities
  • Referral system to resources such as doctors, mental health practitioners, employment, educational classes
  • On-site social worker for individual and group therapy
  • On-site doctors' visits

 

 

Sahar excelled at school but was forced to quit and work to support her family. She became a recipient of the Kanun scholarship program, which allowed her to continue her education and still provide financial support. She is currently studying for her college entrance exams.

 

 

Community Health:

  • Annual visits from a delegation of dentists from the US
  • Quarterly visits from local physicians providing primary health care
  • Public health education for the entire family

 

Training and Public Awareness:

  • Challenging misperceptions of children in the labor force
  • Increasing awareness on the impact of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse
  • Increasing awareness about HIV/AIDS and STD prevention and intervention
  • Trainings on economic empowerment and micro-credits for women
  • Increasing awareness on the impact of trauma on refugee communities in Iran
  • The impact of harm reduction on substance abuse prevention and intervention

 

Staff and Volunteers

  • Four paid staff from the local community
  • A local woman who lives on-site with her family, and who is responsible for the relationship between Kanun and the community
  • Three core staff, in addition to numerous volunteers in every program

 

Building Towards the Future

  • Purchase a building to create a permanent space for Kanun
  • On-site health care facility
  • Prepare a team of volunteers to spend one night a week in the facility to respond to emergencies and needs in the middle of night
  • The creation of a three-day training program for persons working at Kanun
  • Plan an annual fundraising event

 

By July of 2006, a delegation of dentists will provide comprehensive dental care for the community.

 

Support Us!

  • $30 prevents a family from having to send their child to work and supports the child's school attendance for one month
  • $30 provides a child and their mother with nutritious snacks for one week
  • $100 funds a medical doctor to provide a day of health care
  • $360 prevents a family from having to send their child to work and supports the child's school attendance for a full year
  • $1000 provides micro-credit for 3 - 4 women to make an investment that improves the earning potential and conditions of the family
  • $5,000 funds a medical doctor to provide a day of health care each week for a year.
  • $10,000 covers rent for the year
  • $10,000 to complete renovations to the facility
  • $35,000 would enable Kanun to purchase a facility and create a permanent home

 

 

Delegations of medical providers, mental health, trauma workers and dentists welcome.

 

 

... Payvand News - 10/5/06 ... --



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