Our new learning centre (start June 2023) provides a safe space for our first batch of 15 malnourished and neglected street children. Their parents, many of whom we know since over a decade and sometimes were our students before, are grateful for this opportunity for their kids. They might not be able to provide the childhood they would wish for their children, so they are now happy these kids will be able to flourish at the beautiful space that was lend to us in a small village just out of Varanasi.
Being read to at toddler age is very beneficial to children's linguistic development and later performance in school. On the street, the kids never even lay eyes on a story book. Thus, since December 2022, older students of our Future Education Program read stories to toddler kids on the street. Thrice a week our high school and college students take time off and visit the kids on the street to read illustrated Hindi story books. We've never been able to offer educational input to toddlers before, and we're thrilled this is happening!
We are currently enabling about 40 students to fulfill their dream of getting an education. 25 of them are at the Secondary level or attending colleges or vocational trainings. Not only do we pay for their school and tuition fees, we also have a full-time supervisor who helps them with all small and big issues that come up in daily life. Since these students have almost zero support from their families, we step in and provide them whatever they need: counselling, a safe place to do homework, or medical help.
No kindergarten without educators, no school without teachers. Since the individual teacher has the most influence of an educational experience of a child, we see them as one of our main stakeholders. Since 2010, we provide teacher trainings in Hindi, keeping in mind the educational and cultural background of our teachers. We acknowledge them, equip them with what they need to be successful teacher-learners, and help them get out of their comfort zone to grow in their art of teaching.