Development Focus is a non profit organization working towards empowering underprivileged children, youth & their communities to achieve quality of life through relevant quality education and skills training. We see education from a broader perspective as preparation for life or lifelong learning rather than just passing grades. Hence to make education relevant, life skills are promoted for children between the ages of 6 to 14 years, at Primary schools, and livelihood skills for youth in the age group of 15 to 20 years.
Registered as a Trust at Bangalore, India, in 2006, Development Focus (DF) has functioned as the 'Local Expertise Centre' (LEC) of Edukans in India (Edukans International is based in the Netherlands, which works to improve quality and availibility of Education in 9 focus countries).
As a co-implementer, Development Focus's role encompasses conceptualizing & designing programs, strategizing, monitoring and evaluation, building capacities of community and partner organizations for effective field implementation. Sharing/dissemination of best practices with the stakeholders – governance institutions & civil society, help advocate/lobby/influence appropriate education & skill building actions/practices and policy frameworks by the governments, enabling communities sustain the impacts locally. We partner with grass root-level organizations for development initiatives focusing on Education for Life. This includes Primary Education, Health Education, Functional Literacy, Livelihood skills, and Appropriate Technology leading to Clean Energy.
Geographically, we have focused on the states of Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand, especially the remote districts in these states. Our work has targetted the tribals and the most poor and marginalized sections (the last 10-15% strata of the village society). Our development strategy is to empower communities to claim their rights & entitlements – education, livelihood etc. from the local governance system.
DF has steered the implementation of a 2 phase Basic Education program over the last 8 years, covering nearly 900 tribal villages in the states of Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, with good results. We partnered with nearly 45 partner Non Governmental Organziations – grouped in 5 Clusters (each Cluster led by a Cluster Lead), building their institutional, programmatic and fund raising capacities for effective and sustainable initiatives.
This programmatic strategy also gives it the unique advantage of scales & cost effective reach of a large geographical area with the ability to positively influence overall direction of programmatic initiatives.
Building on the base of the community organizations from the Basic Education program, we are currently:
With higher economic growth and development in India, there is a growing awareness/interest amongst Individuals, Philanthropists and Companies – private & public, to actively 'Give' and support development initiatives in the country. The 'Companies Bill of 2012', seeks to further give an impetus to this endeavour. Development Focus (DF) seeks to actively collaborate with Individuals, Schools, Corporate CSRs, Foundations/Trusts and funding agencies, in reaching the development goals. We see such association as a partnership transcending 'mere funding or financing of costs', and therefore offers several options – adaptable to the specific contexts and challenges, including joint development and monitoring of programs.
We invite all to join hands with us, in making the lives of these marginalized tribal children & youth better, bringing smiles to their faces and hope in their lives.