The Assam Care Leavers’ Association (ACLA), an umbrella collective of the Young Adults aged 18 years and above having representation from various Child Care Institutions of Assam, celebrated its 2nd Foundation Day on 20th September 2023 at Shilpgram, Panjabari, Guwahati, Assam with support from Aide et Action through its ‘Strengthening Alternative Care Reforms in Assam’ initiative, in collaboration with State Child Protection Society Assam and supported by UNICEF and SARA Unit of SCPS.
Formed on 12th September 2021, ACLA has been able to accommodate 370 members under its periphery. The event was graced by Shri Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta (IPS, Former DGP Chief Information Commissioner, Government of Assam), Shri. Mukesh Chandra Sahu (IAS Principal Secretary to the Govt. of Assam, Dept. of Women and Child Development), Smti Preety Lekha Deka (ACS, Deputy Secretary to the Govt of Assam, Department of Women and Child Development), Shri Laxminarayan Nanda (Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF Assam), Dr. Martin Kasper (CEO, Child Aid Network), Dr. Madhulika Jonathan (Chief of field office, UNICEF Assam & NE office), Smt. Kalpana Deka (ACS, Joint Secretary, Department of School Education), Shri Ranjit Borthakur (Deputy Director of Employment & Craftsmen Training) and Shri Pranab J Panging (Regional Manager, Aide et Action) along with members of Aide et Action and Care Leavers from 22 districts of Assam.
The event started with the felicitation and lighting of lamp followed by an inaugural song sung by members of ACLA, and then a welcome address given by Pranab J Panging where he emphasised on the existence of ACLA and its objectives.
Post this, Mausumi Das (Chairperson of ACLA) briefed on ACLA’s journey so far and placements of Care Leavers in various institutions and vocational trainings with a Care Leaver sharing her journey as a member of ACLA. This was followed by speeches given by dignitaries, where emphasis was laid on the importance for strengthening the role of ACLA for becoming an umbrella organisation to support its members. Following this session, there were various technical sessions for providing awareness to the members of the organisation on opportunities related to skill development along with importance of higher education.
The event then was followed by the Annual Review Cum Planning meeting of ACLA where executive members of ACLA reflected on previous years activities, followed by discussion on preparation of annual action plan and formation of district level committees and sub – committees. The event ended with a vote of thanks by the chairperson of ACLA.