Child Led Research is an activity driven by children where they are trained to identify problems in their villages, document and analyse them and find means to solve them.

In the month of October, Terre des Hommes Netherlands’  Children GOOD project trained girls vulnerable to and victims of exploitation on research tools such as photo voice, community video, community mapping and video transect walk, which would equip them to be drivers of community development.

Each of these are elucidated below.

Photo voice : This is a medium where children take photos of relevant problems for research and documentation purposes. These photos are discussed, a narrative of the problem is written and this is shared with decision makers to bring the issues to their attention.

Community video : A more detailed documentation of the problem is done where children do a video recording of the problem as well as the community members’ take on the problem, where they explain their struggles and how the problem affects them. The videos give a more clear and detailed picture of the concerned issue. These videos are later shared for advocacy.

Community Mapping : In this research methodology, a map of the village is drawn and the problems are marked as per the geographic location. The map helps children identify locations and study their issues.

Video Transect Walk : This methodology involves recording a walking tour of the village and collecting inputs from community members along the way. This gives a realistic picture of the village’s situation and it’s issues. This video is further used to clearly identify areas of improvement and its investigative approach helps unearth the truth.

The training on these research tools has helped the girls develop skills in photography and  videography along with analytical thinking.

Ms. Rakshita, a young girl from the Devadasi community says, “It is a new experience for me to go around our village and write down problems by discussing with people. I have identified many issues and will start mapping them by using a camera which has been provided to me.”

The project so far has trained 314 adolescent girls from the Devadasi community on Child Led Research methodologies. The training has empowered this marginalised section of society. The girl’s have reported an increase in confidence and are more lively and enthusiastic. The community is beginning to give Devadasi families more respect and recognition as they are taking efforts to address village issues