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PROGRAM M ES @ FORTIFY Why Fortify? Through our extensive work with children in orphanages and shelters, we have learnt first hand that the physical environment in which children grow up and the support that they receive plays a major role in developing their personalities. Research shows that a child's environment has a marked effect on intelligence and emotional development. It also shows that emotional and cognitive impairments caused by a poor social environment can be substantially improved if living conditions are improved early enough. The primary focus of our Fortify programme is to improve the physical environment in shelters to ensure that children have better childhood experiences.

How Fortify works Fortify aims to convert our partnering shelters into spaces that provide basic safety, hygienic living facilities and inspiring learning spaces required to foster a healthy childhood. It does this by raising awareness and mobilizing the community. As part of our community fund-raising drive, volunteers raise funds to improve facilities at the center where they teach. This may include anything from bunk beds to paint to water purifiers. The shelter authorities are also brought in to provide insights into the requirements and improvements needed. Once the improvements are identified, our team works on identifying partners to help implement the suggested improvements and coordinates the implementation. Fortify Impact 2013-14

33 Centers impacted

1,707

*

5,121

Non-MAD children impacted

MAD children impacted

* For every child in MAD's programmes, there are at least 3 other children in the same shelter who are not part of our programmes

What's Next? A key purpose of Fortify was to generate impact by improving conditions for children in Shelters, but we have found that there are interventions with a better cost to impact ratio especially when considering longer term outcomes. As our focus has shifted towards longer term outcomes we realise that we need to re-purpose resources towards improving the quality and range of our empowerment projects. The most effective way for us to do this is to pause infrastructure initiatives. Until we are better able to deliver infrastructure improvements, we plan for Fortify to evolve into a Shelter Support team whose primary focus is to work more closely with Shelter Authorities to understand the needs of individual shelters and children so that we can begin to customise the support and interventions we offer to maximise impact. 23

MAD Annual Report 13-14  
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