Established in 2018, Monkey Sports is a social enterprise promoting physical and mental well being (SDG 3,4,5)in children through sports. The organization operates in two of the least developed state in India – Bihar & Jharkhand.
The idea to start the organization came from the founder’s personal experiences while studying at a low-income school in Bihar and research conducted by Indian Psychological Journal. The study conducted among the 1412 students selected in Patna (the capital city of Bihar) showed that the prevalence of depression in 49.2% of children.
While working for the last two and a half years, we have been able to dig deeper and identified challenges to achieve our goal to improve children’s physical and mental well being.
A key component of children well being is protecting children’s rights. Even though India has laws for children’s rights, it has not taken adequate steps to monitor and implements it. Therefore, it is common to find children getting physically and mentally abused in schools. The belief of punishing children to discipline and improve their lives is ingrained in communities and schools (More commonly found in low-income schools).
Most parents and children are not aware of children’s rights. It happens because of a lack of awareness as children’s rights are not a part of education at school or home.
However, abuse can have long term adverse outcomes for children as anti-social behavior and substance abuse.
Theory of Change
Though many NGOs work in the city to protect children’s rights, they fail to reach a broader audience and schools because of the lack of goal alignment with parents and schools.
Most private schools are focused on academics results, which have led to academic pressure, physical punishment, and mental abuse.
By promising educational outcomes through protecting children’s rights, we want to meet the school half ways. Research conducted by the Wested has shown that creating a) high levels of caring relationship b) high expectations at school. c) Opportunities for participation and contribution can help improve children’s academic outcomes (while ensuring child rights are protected).
We have identified short and long term goals to reach our objectives.
a) Raise awareness (to parents and children ) about child rights through sports sessions.
b) Encourage schools to have a child protection policy and understand long-term adverse outcomes.
c) Influence policies of the state government to actively pursue and monitor children’s rights.
d) Partner with international NGOs like UNICEF to increase outreach and address the situation in rural communities.