SLP STARGAZERS FOUNDATION

Stargazers Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation, committed to solving one of the most urgent crises of our time: To give the 11-15 million children who are living on the streets in India a home.

ABOUT SLP STARGAZERS 

Stargazers Foundation was founded by Dr. Miniya Chatterji with the aim to improve women’s education and health in India in 2010. Its mission was to include healthy and skilled women from economically backward regions into the mainstream economy and governance structures.

Stargazers ran its programmes in the Middle East and in India in close collaboration with the International Labour Organization, 100 Women in Hedge Funds, UN Women in Egypt and in India, Whypoll in India, King's College London in United Kingdom, Winentretien in France, Reconstructed Labs in South Africa, Lebara Foundation UK. 

Past funding was received from both the International Labour Organisation and the Lebara Foundation.

 

We have now become a part of Sustain Labs Paris and are working towards a systematic solution for the provision of shelter and education to all street-connected children.

SLP Stargazers Foundation feels a strong sense of responsibility to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. Our team at Sustain Labs is leading a coalition that includes our clients and organizations we are associated with. Together with our partners, we are setting up alternative COVID-19 recovery centres across India. The crowdfunding platform for this work is run by Stargazers Foundation. 

Our work focuses on homeless children as they belong to the most vulnerable populations in India. Up to 18 million children are estimated to live on the streets in India who find themselves deprived of adequate care and protection. Their most basic human rights are being violated on a daily basis as inadequate nutrition, work in hazardous conditions, and physical abuse are part of the status quo for street children. Too often, their precarious situations make it impossible for them to access education while studies have shown that unclean water, poor sanitation, hygiene, and harsh environment constitute the most common risks for death among children aged 5 to 14 years of age in India.*

At Stargazers Foundation, we are committed to protecting all street-connected children. We are convinced that their suffering can be prevented with a systematic solution on the policy level.

 *Global Burden of Disease 2020.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

It is Stargazers Foundation’s guiding principle to act according to the best interest of the child and in line with a do-no-harm policy in everything we do.

We believe that empowering children and strengthening their agency by involving them in finding solutions to issues that concern them is key to a successful intervention. 

 

Further, we take a strictly data-based approach that includes in-depth research and the involvement of experts in every step of the process.

STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS

At Stargazers we always aim to promote children’s agency and to involve them in the process of finding solutions that are meant to serve them. While this is a critical means of empowerment, it also helps us to understand their needs more adequately and design the proposed solution accordingly.

To test our solution, we conducted Storytelling Workshops as creative alternatives to a traditional survey which aimed at engaging the children and involving them in the process of finding a solution.

These workshops represented an integral part of our research.

METHODOLOGY

After having identified 12 aspects covering health, shelter, mental well-being, ambition, and emotional needs of street children, Sustain Labs’ Creative Director Joseph Rajini Asir and Jinal Doshi traveled to Mumbai to conduct the survey with 40 street-connected children. As part of a participative research methodology, they used art to communicate the 12 aspects with the children. 

These Storytelling Workshops involved a three-step process:

1. Participatory Research: This step involved using art and pictograms as a premise for dialogues with the participants while also looking for subconscious indicators for experiences with violence and abuse.