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close this bookVolunteer Participation in Working with the Urban Poor (UNDP - UNV, 64 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentNote on terminology and abbreviations
View the documentSummary
close this folderI. Urbanisation: recognition and response
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentUrbanisation and poverty
View the documentResponse to urbanisation
View the documentRecognition of ''Self-help'' initiatives
close this folderII. Insights derived from community-based programmes
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderUrban informal sector
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMicro-enterprise promotion
View the documentWorking conditions in the informal sector
View the documentThe ILO experience
View the documentLow-income housing
View the documentInfrastructure and basic services
View the documentHealth and HIV/AIDS prevention
View the documentNon-formal education and functional literacy
View the documentWomen, gender and development
View the documentChildren of the street
View the documentImplications for VSAs
close this folderIII. Towards a community-based strategy for VSAs
View the documentParticipation: how and for whose benefit?
View the documentA sense of ''community''
View the documentGeneral characteristics of low-income urban communities
View the documentFactors determining support possibilities
View the documentGeneral characteristics of CBOs
View the documentSupport channels and intermediaries
close this folderIV. Programming concerns for VSAs and UNV
View the documentGuidelines for involvement
View the documentSuccess criteria for volunteer involvement
View the documentTaking the initiative
View the documentFlexibility
View the documentMeeting personnel and associated needs
View the documentChannels of operation
View the documentUnited Nations Agencies and their partners
View the documentFunding and other programme concerns
close this folderV. Principles and characteristics of volunteer use
View the documentFunctions and volunteers
View the documentQualities of VDWs
View the documentTeams
View the documentSkill requirements and experiences
View the documentSelection and placement process
View the documentAcculturation and language training process
View the documentEpilogue: follow-up, 1995
View the documentAnnotated reference list
close this folderAnnex: Excerpts from background papers
View the documentUrban development policy issues and the role of united nations volunteers
View the documentWorking with the urban poor: lessons from the experience of metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria
View the documentBrief account of my experience as a DDS field worker and a UNV in Sri Lanka and Jamaica
View the documentSpecial consultation on volunteer participation in working with the urban poor

Non-formal education and functional literacy

It is paradoxical that relatively few case studies in the area of education have been included in the growing number of reports on programmes of support to low-income urban groups. Yet in both Latin America and Asia, much of the organisational work of local NGOs and PVOs, in some cases church-inspired, has heavily emphasised literacy and adult education programmes in low-income urban areas. These programmes have served to raise awareness of a sense of community, have enabled women to find a stronger voice in decision-making; and have imparted basic skills, through training, which can be put to immediate use in the informal sector.

UNESCO, in its long history of support to functional literacy and non-formal education programmes, has predominantly focused on rural areas. There may be an assumption that the educational needs of low-income urban groups require no special methodologies or techniques, although the nature of urban community concerns, outlined above, seems to indicate that special organisational efforts may be necessary.

The need for special emphasis on the educational needs of women in low-income urban areas should be a priority as well. Studies have shown that when women have access to education, family planning can take root; infant and child mortality rates decrease; literacy and nutritional levels rise among children; and family welfare improves through greater wage-earning potential. Promoting the socio-economic role of women is an essential step in confronting community concerns and encouraging a participatory approach to solving them. There remains enormous scope for greater VDW involvement in working with communities, and especially women and children, in meeting educational needs.