Introducing the 2024 Dignity Award Winner

By Blondie Ndebele | May 28, 2024 | Asia | Education

We are thrilled to announce the recipient of the 2024 Robert D. Stillman Dignity Award – Suchana Uttor Chandipur Community Society in India.

Each year, Global Fund for Children presents the Robert D. Stillman Dignity Award to honor an outstanding organization that is responding to risks and challenges affecting the wellbeing of children and youth. Established in 2020, the Dignity Award recognizes organizations that advance the dignity of young people by providing critical services such as shelter, refuge, and humanitarian aid; foster economic empowerment to break the trap of intergenerational poverty; and promote welcoming communities through social inclusion programs.

A group of children engaged in a learning activity. © Suchana

Suchana Uttor Chandipur Community Society in Birbhum, India, offers meaningful, engaging, and accessible education opportunities to children from marginalized communities. Through multilingual early learning, the organization supports basic literacy and numeracy for children of the Santal and Kora tribes. Suchana also uses locally relevant arts, crafts, music, dance, story writing, and other approaches to reach students between the ages of 4 to 25 from various backgrounds. The organization uses Santali and Kora in early years learning, and teaches Bengali, English, environmental science, and math, among other subjects, and provides remedial classes and activities to students with learning difficulties.

“Central to our work is the belief that education must sustain the cultural identities of the diverse communities we serve, and must promote equality in communities, including gender equality,” says Shanto Kora, language lead at Suchana.

In a region where job opportunities are scarce, young people often find themselves in exploitative work environments. The award comes at a crucial time for Suchana, as the organization is exploring ways to support the next generation of Adivasi women and men who have basic education but lack opportunities for healthy, humane, and sustainable livelihoods.

Children participating in an activity. © Suchana

To address some of the challenges in marginalized communities, Suchana also plans to expand its programme, linking former students with skills training programs in dress making, content creation, CCTV installation, jewelry making, motorcycle maintenance, printing, and other technical skills, aiming to empower youth and set them on a path to a brighter future.

“We believe that involving young people in our initiatives and providing them with training and job opportunities not only enriches their lives but also strengthens our ties to the community, ensuring our work remains relevant and responsive to current needs,” explains Sandip Majhi, Data Manager at Suchana.

The resources received through this award will help Suchana identify and develop new areas of work to enhance children’s education and reinforce young people’s livelihood options. The organization is also planning to help young parents prioritize their children’s education through establishing secure and local sources of income.

This award was created to honor former GFC Board Chair Bob Stillman and his commitment to improving the lives of the children and youth who are most in need. It is made possible thanks to the generous contributions of Bob’s family and friends.

Header photo: A group photo of children. © GFC

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Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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