Ashraya

"Ashraya" meaning 'shelter', was founded and registered in 1982 and has since then brought hope and love into the lives of many children and adults. Ashraya is committed to alleviate the sufferings of women and children in distress through our various programs.
Jul 3, 2014

Quarterly Update - April to June 2014

Ashraya Neelbagh School - Class room
Ashraya Neelbagh School - Class room

Dear Friends and Supporters of Ashraya,

This quarter has been a time to celebrate, it gives me immense pleasure to share that, Ashraya Neelbagh School, a Kannada medium rural school secured 100% results consecutively for the 6th time and this year with 100% first class, out of 280 schools in Kolar District.

While all 26 students, who appeared for the examination, were successful and secured first class marks, 8 students – Bhargavi. G, Bhavya, Bheemananda, Eshamma, Mallikarjuna Reddy, Manjula, Sundar and Venkatesh have bagged Distinction- out of the 26 students 17 have secured marks in the 80’s, 5 secured in the 70’s and 4 secured in the 60’s.

Most of our students are first generation learners who belong to the most vulnerable groups – migrant construction workers, domestic helpers, daily wagers, single parent, auto drivers, poor farmers and belonging to marginalized communities.

As a result of the excellent results majority of the students from Neelbagh have won various scholarships from the State Government, Individuals, NGO’s and other institutions, to pursue their college studies. All 26 students’ i.e 11 girls and 15 boys are continuing their higher education.

The school hostel reopened for old boarders on 11th May 2014 and the School reopened after the summer break on 12th May 2014.

On June 4th, the new admissions list was finalized - thirty four young ones were admitted to the LKG and 2 new students for senior classes. The school did not discriminate on the basis of caste, religion or ethnic group.

Currently, with the new admissions, the School has 376 students (183 Girls and 193 Boys) from below poverty line families as against 174 (74 Girls and 100 Boys) students in 2003, showing a 147% increase in the number of girl children, over the past few years. Neelbagh school is reaching out to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education and promote gender equality. There are 100 students in Hostel (50 girls and 50 boys).

During LKG admissions, as always, priority was given to children from below poverty line families and the School continues to give impetus to ‘girl child’ education in the rural area. Improved access to education for girl children from most vulnerable groups ensures that children are not exposed to trafficking, sexual abuse or forced into early marriage or child labor.

On June 21st a Drawing competition was organized for all 376 students and on June 23rd cultural programs were performed by 10th grade students, during the morning assembly. The drama ‘Health is Wealth’, folk songs, group dance and Kolata were appreciated by one and all.

This academic year the State Govt has revised the syllabus for Class 10 Secondary School Leaving Certification (SSLC) students; textbooks have been revised based on the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus. This change has created ripples in the student and teacher communities. We at Neelbagh are focusing more on training the teachers especially for Maths, Science and English. Curiosity, a Bangalore based organization working with the aim of promoting creativity in science amongst children, will train Maths and Science Teachers. This training will be instrumental in guiding teachers –instructing and appraising the teachers on how to teach in a more comprehensive and efficient manner.

Communities continue to connect with the program both through outreach activities and through the school management.

On behalf of the entire staff and Board Members of Ashraya I thank you for your support. Your support and positive comments are the fuel that keeps us moving forward to make Ashraya Neelbagh School a sustainable Project.

 

Thanks and Regards,

 

Evalin Christabel

Project Head – Ashraya Neelbagh School

Skype Enabled English Classes
Skype Enabled English Classes
Mid Day Meal
Mid Day Meal
Jul 3, 2014

Quarterly Update - April to June 2014

Dear Friends and Supporters of Ashraya,

Ashraya’s Community and Site Crèches have brought about a significant change in the outlook of the families in the slums, and in the labour colonies. It has imbibed in them a sense of responsibility, awareness regarding health, nutrition and also most importantly, driven the importance of educating their children.

They have been running in an efficient manner. This quarter had a lot of physical and emotional activities involved. The older kids were prepared to move on to a regular school. The teachers were acting counselors, reaching the unreached for the new admissions. By the word of mouth and the work done by these community and site crèches, many needy parents walked in requesting for admissions. These applications were then evaluated to identify the neediest ones and were admitted for the academic year 2014 -2015.

Not just that, unreached, disadvantaged groups and Parents were made aware of RTE provisions and almost 100% of the children at our crèches, when they complete the age of four were moved to regular, formal schools, either English medium or Kannada medium. While around 132 kids bid farewell, the parents expressed their gratitude to teachers for accomplishing a challenging task of educating their children, teaching them good manners and clean habits etc, which laid a strong foundation for their future.

Most women expressed that “Earlier they had a feeling of insecurity while leaving their children at home. But now at Ashraya crèche, their children are safe and that they are tension-free now and can contribute more to their family. They also expressed that the helpers at crèches take utmost care of their children.”

The early June at Crèches was exciting, yet anxious time for the child, parents and teachers. So number of things was suggested to parents/ carers to facilitate their child's smooth transition from home to Crèches and to reduce absenteeism. Separating from family and saying goodbye was difficult for most children and they sobbed all morning. The staff at crèches assured parents that, if their child cries or is upset when they leave them, to remember, that it is a normal response. Gradually, our skilled, caring crèche teachers helped children and their parents learn to separate for the day.

Crèche on construction site, continue to provide a safe place for children during the working hours of parents, also prevents exclusion of girls from educational activities, being the girls often kept at domicile to look after home or younger siblings. Through the staff of kindergartens these girls attend the nursery and in fact continue to live as a "child", not as an adult. 

The Social worker made regular visits in this quarter to monitor and evaluate the functioning and maintenance of the crèches. The doctor also paid monthly visits to the crèches to monitor the general health of the children. Progress in health and nutrition is evaluated and he also advises the teachers on nutritional requirements so that they can inform the families.

On behalf of the entire Ashraya staff and Board Members I would like to thank you for your support. Your support and positive comments are the fuel that keeps us moving forward to make Ashraya Neelbagh School a sustainable Project.

 

Appreciate all your support!

 

Thanks and Regards,

 

Evalin Christabel

Project Head – Ashraya

Apr 8, 2014

Quarterly Update

Activities at the Creches
Activities at the Creches

New Year

January is a very special month for all of us at Ashraya as we celebrate the New Year with all our crèche children and the staff from the 6 creches. This year the New Year party was held on the 17th of January 2014 at Ashraya.

We had 185 children and 17 staff attending the program; vehicles were arranged to ensure that all of them were picked up from and dropped back to their respective crèches.

OWC sponsored the New Year gifts for all our children and Ms. Katia Major from OWC was the Chief Guest.

We had organized different programs such as Magic Show and Jumporee for the children . Lunch was also arranged for the crèche children and the staff.

The children from each crèche put up wonderful performances.     Individual crèche teachers put in a lot of effort to make the children practise for the program and were thrilled to see the tiny tots perform. Overall it was a great program.

In January parents were informed about school admissions and information regarding the process of applying etc was shared with them. Crèche teachers also helped the parents fill the forms. Quite a few children have got admission in regular schools for academic year starting in June 2014. Parents were very grateful to the teachers for their timely guidance and help.

The crèche at Yelahanka , a construction site crèche was closed on the 1st of February 2014 as there were very few children attending.

The teachers explained the significance of an important festival celebrated in March –Ugadi. This is celebrated as New Year in Karnataka and A.P. Special sweets were also made by one or two teachers and distributed among the children.

Health

All the crèches have regular doctor’s visits. The children were advised to take Vitamin A drops, their polio immunisations were updated; the teachers instructed the children on the importance of cleanliness and personal hygiene. The teachers made sure the children and parents understood the importance of washing their hands before eating etc.

The regular health checks of weight and height show that the children are healthy and developmental milestones are normal. If the children are found to be undernourished then the crèche teacher advises the parent to include more nutrition in the food.

Play and study activities.

The teachers at the crèches use innovative play and teaching methods to explain various concepts like different colours, shapes, sizes, numbers, names and nutrition values of vegetables and fruits are all taught to the children; various methods like colouring with particular colours, drawing objects and bringing vegetables and fruit of a specific colour are used. Games and pictures are also used to help the children understand better eg make a circle.

Concepts of opposites- eg - fat thin, tall short etc and different forms of transport- bus, auto etc were explained through pictures and the children were encouraged to draw as well.

Parent Teacher meetings are held at regular intervals- this quarter Ms. Shoba a volunteer used this occasion to explain to parents about “good touch and bad touch and encouraged them to help their children understand the same as this is an important part of growing years for the children.

Sports activities

On 21st of March we celebrated Sports Day at one of the crèches followed by a photo session- group pictures of the children and staff. All the children were beautifully dressed.

All the children participated in the Sports Day. The teacher had organized 4 different sports program- running race, sack race(rug race), musical chairs and object relay race. All the children were energetic and did a great job. It was a pleasure watching them play with such enthusiasm. At the end of the program each child was given individual gifts. The gifts were distributed by the President of Ashraya, Ms. Shanthi Chacko. The teacher had arranged for some snacks for the parents and the children.

Feedback

On the same day we had Parents Teacher meeting. The parents gave good feedback about the teacher and the staff of Ashraya who monitor   the crèche program. The parents were very happy and appreciated the great work . Since most of the children will also be going to a regular school this year, the parents thanked us for helping their children grow in a safe and clean environment, with good values and stimulating education.

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