Going to School Fund

Going to School creates design-driven stories to teach India's poorest children skills at school. We're an award-winning nonprofit trust with a 10-year track record of inspiring millions of children in India to stay in school, learn skills, use their education to transform their lives and create their own opportunities. Our journey began in 2003 when we created Going to School in India, a children's book that tells 25 stories of what school can be, from going to school in a tent in a desert to going to school in the dark with solar lanterns. We made the book into a pioneering TV series that aired on India's leading television networks reaching 65 million children. Our next series, Girl Stars...
Feb 24, 2011

The Amazing Adventures of Phulwa the Mechanic

‘Be! an Entrepreneur’ is a large scale multimedia skills-education campaign (50 skills books each teach an entrepreneurial skill, 10 movies and a 15 part radio series) to inspire millions of young people age 10-16 from low-income groups to choose to become entrepreneurs and to pioneer enterprises that solve the social, economic and environmental problems they face in their lives. From water to waste, energy to housing, Be! believes that young people who have grown up in poverty have the capacity to pioneer enterprises that create jobs, solve problems and generate income, they have just never been given the chance before.

50 Be! Skills Books teach 50 entrepreneurial/employability skills for young people age 10-16 from low-income groups in India – from identifying a problem, to making a plan and a budget to generating resources and building a team to taking a risk. Be! Skills books feature 10 urban/rural business models, in the form of graphic novels, 50-100 pages long that solve issues of water, waste, sanitation, energy, health, transportation, communication, craft, information, agriculture/farming and education. Each Be! book has an in-built activity that children complete once a week. 

50 Be! books each teach an entrepreneurial skill to children age 10-16. 10/50 books teach enterprise models where the skills in the series are explored through graphic novels. Here is a story of one of the graphic novels - 

The Amazing Adventures of Phulwa the Mechanic

Meet Phulwa. She is 19 years old and unlike any other girl in her dusty little village. She works as a mechanic helping her father, Ram Prasad, at his ramshackle garage on the highway.

One dark night, a car breaks down on the highway. A city-wala pushes the car to Ram Prasad’s garage and is surprised to see Phulwa there. “You’re just a girl, how can you fix a car?”

Phulwa stands up for herself. “I’m the best mechanic in this whole village. I’ll show you.”

But Phulwa’s village doesn’t have electricity and without it, she can’t repair the car, not even with her expert jugaad skills. Embarrassed and angry, Phulwa decides that enough is enough. Young men from her village have been leaving for the city in droves. There is no enterprise here and everything shuts down at dusk. It’s time for things to change. She’s going to find a way to bring electricity to her village.

She hunts down information and with the help of Kumar discovers a village a 100 kilometers away with light. This village generates electricity from a biomass gassifier plant. This is Phulwa’s solution, but she can’t do it alone. She needs to get the people in her village to contribute money to construct the biomass plant. But how will she convince Gayatri, the sarpanch (village head) to support her? Especially when Gayatri’s scheming husband is intent on sabotaging Phulwa’s plan? And how will she convince the villagers, who have long since given up on the dream of electricity?

Find out when this graphic novel comes out later this year.


Attachments:
Jan 12, 2011

Children's responses after reading the mini books

We send out Going to School in India mini books to schools with self addressed and stamped postcards. After reading the books children write down what they liked about the book on the postcards and post it to us. Children's responses help us understand the impact of the books and we are also able to monitor the use of these books in schools.

By now we have a collection of postcards from children all across India. The feedback in this report are from children in Northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh living in villages and small towns. The children from Madhya Pradesh belong to a tribal community and have only recently started going to school and most of the children wrote that the stories motivated them to continue going to school and to complete their education. 

Please see attached pdf for children's reactions.


Attachments:
Dec 7, 2010

Some designed pages from - 'Three Girls Detective and the Case of the Missing Village'

The Research Book: Three Girls’ “Detective” Story

Tara, Aafreen and Razia are sitting in a Geography class and are studying the map on the wall. They realize that their village is not on the map and decide to find out why this is?

Book No. 5 in a series of 50 Be! skills books deals with the entrepreneurial traits of being inquisitive, actively searching for information and the power of observation.


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