This program broadly targets poor women, highly vulnerable children and unemployed and underemployed youth often identified in HUNDEE’s intervention areas. The impact of deepening poverty, HIV/AIDS and those often arising from negative gender norms and various harmful traditional practices disproportionately affect and hugely remains severe among these target groups. Here, children in particular constitute the delicate segments of the society whereby by parents or communities should determine their interests and aspirations. The socialization process sets boundaries where children are not expected to transgress. This socialization process discourages their inquisitiveness and assertiveness by establishing norms that inhibits child participation in the important affairs of their own family and the community at large including issues widely affecting the best interests of children. This heavy-handedness of the families is more accentuated in case of a girl child. On top of such societal perception towards children, absence of institutional arrangements further exacerbated the situation of children and increased their vulnerability and suffering on a wider scale. For HUNDEE the culturally appropriate approach to assist children is fostering since informal fostering within an extended family and kin is usually the best intervention and places children at the center, which, reduces their risk of being marginalized, promotes their psychosocial and intellectual development, and allows family members to act in the best interests of the children.
In most of the rural and peri-urban areas where HUNDEE is currently operating, the vast majority of the youth population who joined the workforce over the last two decades hugely remains landless and as a result exposed to multiple problems and livelihoods challenges. When it comes to young and adolescent girls, landlessness has far-reaching implications compared to the likely impact it might have on the male counterparts. Often reinforced by traditional gender norms and patriarchal traditions, local communities have put in place and effectively been enforcing laws and rules under which male children/youth receives better protection and preferential treatment as opposed to their female siblings. HUNDEE has long been mindful of this fact and tried its best to better articulate issues that are of key concern to youth and effectively incorporate them in the development, planning, implementation and overall management of its major projects and programs. We can cite several initiatives from which youth, particularly young and adolescent girls have been able to derive enormous economic, educational, health, and psycho-social support and benefits as a result. In the various intervention areas, HUNDEE has initiated and successfully implemented several projects that facilitated the provision of financial, economic, material and capacity building support aimed at building young and adolescent girls ’confidence and self-esteem and in turn contributes to their better performance in schools. Male and female youth also benefited from the series of life skills training and provision of start-up capital that really enabled youth to engage in the promotion of different income generating activities.
Women in rural areas, whether they are in wedlock or act as heads of families, occupy the lowest rank in terms of economic, social and organizational considerations. In the majority these rural settings, women’s participation in community affairs and their role in decisions directly affecting their lives are very much negligible. Our organization pursues different strategies if taken together could change and improve the economic conditions and social status and positions of women and girls in the dominantly rural and traditional communities. In addition to community education program that attempts to restore dignity and equality of women and girls through mobilization of both women and men against rules of patriarchy, it has been promoting a number of initiatives to address the economic/financial problems and social concerns of women and girls. Here, major projects and innovative schemes that HUNDEE has been promoting are exclusively dedicated towards enhancing and ultimately realizing the social and economic empowerment of women and girls. Some of these women’s empowerment project schemes include: Dabaree-women economic support, women self-help groups (SHG’s), women owning resources together (WORTH), adolescent girls’ empowerment and women’s economic enterprises.