Sahyog -Sangharsh, MAHARASHTRA
Sahyog was initiated in 2000 in Mumbai to benefit young girls who had dropped out of mainstream primary schools. Today, as adults, some of them are the sole earning members in their families and are armed with life skills. Thereafter, Sahyog’s programs evolved organically to enable a social change in the community, in the belief that children are the seeds of change.
The Danbury Chapter supports ‘Sangharsh’, a program that was created to be an inclusive space for children with intellectual, hearing and orthopedic disabilities. More than 150 children have attended Sangharsh school to date. The responsibilities of staff extend well beyond the daily interactions with children and include arranging for diagnostic assessment following enrolment, locating medical and therapeutic services, engaging parents, educating and escorting them to avail of services, planning events and outings, conducting awareness sessions with different stakeholders in the community, and sensitizing the neighborhood and community on various issues through street plays.
In 2017, the Danbury Chapter disbursed ~$13000 towards rental expenses, mid-day meals, medical assistance and tuition.
SEVA MANDIR RESIDENTIAL LEARNING CAMP, RAJASTHAN
Due to poverty and other vulnerabilities like having a single or no parent, elder girls, working children, many children are unable to attend a regular school. Most of these children are engaged in cattle grazing and domestic chores. Based on the past residential learning camp data, they found that the main reasons for dropping out were school related issues (more than 50 % children) and for never been to school -the main reason was parents’ lack of interest and work responsibilities at home. Regular schooling for such children is almost impossible unless there are programs which meet their specific vulnerability. Given this backdrop, Seva Mandir has been running residential learning camps to ensure quality education to out of school children of very poor remote and tribal locations of Udaipur.
Since the program’s inception in year 2000, about 10,000 children have benefited from it. For most of these children, the camps were the only education they got. Based on the learning herein, they were able to keep better accounts when they migrated or teach their younger siblings. About 70% camps passed out children are continuing their education from last 3 years by enrolling in government schools.
Asha for Education, Danbury chapter has been supporting 50 children for one residential camp since 2017.
Even today, 70% of India’s children attend government schools as those schools are the only option in most rural areas. The schools continue to be challenged by infrastructure needs, teacher attendance and learning outcomes.
REWARD Trust’s model is simple: hire teachers and invest in their training and motivation so they can do their job well. They use 3 criteria in decision-making to support a school: [a]. teacher-student ratio less than 1:40 [b]. lack of teacher per class or per grade [c]. lack of subject teachers. After 13 years, the schools have doubled their pass % from ~30% to an average 85%. REWARD Trust currently works with 45 schools in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu.
Multiple Chapters of Asha for Education support this project. Asha Danbury has supported salaries of 5 teachers in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
Kalkulum School won the “best school in the block” award and 2 national merit scholarship awards for 3 students in 2014-2017.
VIVEKANANDA ROCK MEMORIAL AND KENDRA – ANANDALAYA
The drop-out rate of students in schools in Ghatgaon block in Keonjhar district and Jujumura block in Sambalpur district of Odisha is high. To overcome the problem, Vivekananda Kendra Odisha Seva Prakalpa runs 20 anandalayas during before and after school hours in both districts. Over the years, the model has helped recruit youth as paid acharyas (teachers) to the anandalaya while keeping otherwise school drop-outs motivated and to stay in school. Acharyas currently are paid Rs.4000 per year. It has caused them to look elsewhere for jobs leaving the anandalayas with no one to teach the students. To solve the problem, Asha Danbury will help to increase the honararium of acharyas by 65% to Rs.12000 per year and of supervisors by 40% to Rs.2500 per year. We will also provide financial support for training of acharyas, cost of books and uniforms. We will initiate by supporting 10 anandalayas in Ghatgaon block in Keonjhar district, where the site has been visited in 2017 and 2018.
Ashray Akruti, TELANGANA
Ashray Akruti is a registered non-profit organization working in the area of hearing impairment and offers education to 350 children with hearing impairment through its 3 centers in Hyderabad, Telangana. The organization envisions a society where people with disability lead a life of dignity with equal rights and equitable access to opportunities and services. It has a full-fledged hearing diagnostic facility, and offers sponsored cochlear implant surgeries and speech therapy to needy children.
The ‘Pre-school and early intervention center’ was established in 2015 and focuses on comprehensive evaluation of the child, amplification, development of auditory and speech-language skills, and family counseling. The project aims to improve the reach of its intervention services at an early age among poor and lower middle class sections of society. To overcome challenges associated with migratory nature of jobs of parents and to ensure that children receive uninterrupted services, Ashray Akruti set up residential facilities for girls and boys.
In 2017, the Danbury Chapter disbursed ~$13,000 towards the preschool program so children can be mainstreamed into appropriate schools at an early age. The Chapter also provided financial support to the girls’ residential facility.