The International Labor Organization estimates that around 218 million children between the ages of 5-17 were engaged in work related activities in the year 2004. A variety of factors influence a child’s need to work, as such there is no panacea to the problem. In working towards a response to the issue, this paper argues that strategies which harness resources already in place with minimal help from external parties are sustainable in the long run, especially for non-profit organizations which are often short of resources.
A qualitative study of former child workers with in-depth interviews and observations was conducted in two villages of Rangareddy district, Andhra Pradesh, India, which showcased potential strength based strategies which brought about resilience and hope into the life of former child workers. Social networks are seen as the inherent strengths to build resilience and bring hope. Collaborations amongst a range of individuals who are connected to these children’s world – such as, parents, employers, government school teachers and former-child-workers-turned volunteers, etc. made positive and practical solutions possible for the children to disengage from paid labour and engage in schools. While education is not the exact reverse of child labor, it is surely one of the means to eradicate it.