Young people are being reached through high school clubs, home clubs, leadership training schools, sports events, career guidance seminars, music teams, talent contests, village outreaches and youth magazines.
The largest Community Development project to date has been the Ragpickers Project. Ragpickers and street young people are not unusual in Chennai city. Through a survey, Youth for Christ found approximately 25,000 of these socially abused young people inhabiting alleys, pavements and digging into the garbage dumps. These kids have been driven to this unwholesome way of life, either due to broken homes or due to the viciousness of a foster-parent. They leave their homes in a bid to become self-sufficient.
The Ragpicker Project’s aim is to rehabilitate at least 20 ragpickers a year, build their self-image and help them to be self-reliant. It also provides nutritious food and give lessons in hygienic living so that they can have a healthy strong body. This teaches them to be self-reliant and to lead a life of dignity.
Basic education is provided in areas such as math, English, Tamil, and general knowledge. Training in basic vocational skills like electrical work, tailoring, carpentry and cooking are also a part of the program.
Short-term mission teams have helped Youth for Christ build the main youth living centre where 21 boys currently live. The Centre has been functioning since 1996 and 126 boys have already been rehabilitated. Some have reconciled with their families and have returned home to help their parents financially.