It has been nearly 25 years of Community Outreach Program of ISST. It was in 1984 that the Central Social Welfare Board starting supporting the Family Counselling Centre that was being run on a voluntary basis since a few years by ISST. In the late 90’s, the counselling work was reoriented to include women who were facing crisis being part of the ‘family’. Soon the women from the community started highlighting the issues they were facing due to lack of proper public infrastructure (roads, public toilets, PDS Sytem).The field teams responded and were aided by the Right to Information Act and collective action by women which then articulate the role of COP as ‘Building the spirit of citizenship. Subsequently, the centre’s work on public accountability, running a Gender Resource Centre and mobilization of domestic workers strengthened their beond with the community.
Rising need from the community to provide educational support to the children eld to establishment of the Saathi Cnetre in 2006 with the support of the Kalyanpuri Police Station. They provided the space which was developed as a safe learning environment for after-school hours. On an average each year 250 -300 children participate in various programs. A separate space for Adolescents was created around 2017 called the Yuva (Young) Saathi Centre.
While there is no escape from supporting children in reaching their age appropriate learning levels, the main focus of both centre is to focus on socio emotional learning (SEL) needs. Thus activity based learning, providing opportunities for creative expressions through theatre, songs, stories, poetry forms the core of what the team offers to children and adolescents. An active link with community remains the Help Desk which is operated at both the Centres to offer guidance on accessing entitlements and making referrals to appropriate services.
All these activities at Saathi and Yuva Saathi center are planned keeping in mind the Gender Transformative Approach.
Apart from the above mentioned programmatic activities, the centers also provides other resources in the form of
Responding to the needs of the community, the team offers a variety of services at the help desk such as Filing RTI, information on admissions to schools and colleges,helping in filling forms, information on vaccinations, counseling on social, emotional & economic well-being.
The ISST Saathi Centre has been hosting a community library for children, adolescents, women and other members of the community which is being used by them.