Children of the Forest (COF) is a vocational school for the children of the deprived Chenchu tribes and other villagers of Vatavarlapalli, Sarlapalli and Kudi-chintala-bayalu, situated in Nallamala forests at a distance of 160kms from Hyderabad. COF is a non-profit initiative by Centre for Environment Protection and Cultural Exchange ( www.cepceindia.org).
Children of Sarlapalli village
Why do they need another school?
COF is not an alternative to the poor rural schooling infrastructure. It is an initiative to provide knowledge, skills and training to the tribal children to earn a livelihood in the very forests whose children they are and always have been.
How is COF related to environment protection?
Sustainable living is the very ethos of Chenchu life. Socio-economic issues and dwindling per capita have led the Chenchu migration to the villages and towns. In their absence the forests have fallen to evil ways of logging, poaching, encroachment and illegal cultivation.
COF aims to equip and train the next generation to earn a respectable living while preserving the remnants of the once abundant flora and fauna.
How does COF function?
COF works in a system of voluntary participation from members and guests. COF encourages professionals from all walks to visit the Chenchu villages, trek with them and take guest sessions for the Chenchu children.
What are the focus areas of COF?
a) Health, hygiene, nutrition and ecosystem
b) English, Mathematics and Sciences
c) Usage of computers and internet
Does COF have a physical presence?
The village council of Sarlapalli has allocated land for establishing COF. A structure that will include classrooms and guestrooms, being built in Chenchu style is slated for completion.
What are the COF objectives?
a) To increase the current average life expectancy of 40 years to a minimum of 55 years
b) To bring the drop outs back in to the mainstream of education. (95% of drop outs below 10th class)
c) To nurture the talent native to the tribal children like archery, tracking and identification of animals and usage of herbs
Children of the Forest building their school
Would you like to help shape the destinies of these little hands?
Your encouragement and support can go a long way in helping the children realise their dreams while they lead a life of hardship, disadvantage and discomfort as the bearers and keepers of our forests, ecological balance and the very nature.
While nothing less than your personal interaction with the children is a starter, you may help COF in raising a corpus for functional needs or by contributing books, stationery items, furniture, computers, educational and sports items. Contact us to contribute / participate or know more <firstname.lastname@example.org> or < +919866703785 / +919885127026 / +91-9000088894>