From grinding poverty to graduation

Mar 8, 2011

Sheetals Story- Educating Girls and Changing Lives


My name is Sheetal. I am 16 years of age. I have 2 brothers and I live in a small dwelling by the main road in Gaya India. My family is very poor and my mother works cleaning houses for about 50 Rupees a day.( Note about $1.10 cents). My father is too ill to work. I was lucky to go a People First School and get an education, but with my brothers being small I also need to help the family.

People First gave me a wonderful chance under the CAPS programme, and because of my situation found a part time work experience and job training opportunity in the People First Office where I am learning bookeeping and accounting. But due to support from the CAP's programme I also want to do do a Basic Diploma in Computing skills.

If it were not for the People First Staff counselling my parents to allow my education to go forward I would probably be married now with no real future .

I want to say these opportunities given by People First to myself and many others are our way out from a life without hope.

Thank you for all your help and I ask you on behalf of all of the students in this fantastic programme, please help us, against the odds, to make our dreams come true.


NOTE  This was translated from Hindi and is unedited.


Dec 17, 2010


Binod goes to School
Binod goes to School

Greetings and best compliments of the season to you all!

The CAPS scheme, designed as it is primarily to assist gifted students gain a college education also offers full time residential education in the community for gifted students, and when funds allow, for street and railway children.

From living on the platform with a bleak future ahead of them, to starting an education which will change their lives, this is indeed a wonderful thing.

Liile Binod shown in the photograph, is one such child. Abandoned on the station, now he is full of smiles and hope.

Thank you all for your fantastic support, and please give what you can, no matter how small the donation, IT ALL HELPS!, and we promise you your money will go directly to children to give them an education . An education perhaps in their wildest dreams they thought they would never have, but which they most certainly deserve.

He has been at school for some months now, passing his exams successfully and talking of becoming a teacher himself.

Again Thank You for all your help.

(name has been changed for child protection reasons)

Oct 4, 2010

Change a Life for a Whole Family

This is copy of a section of a report commissioned by a supporting organization concerning the CAPS scheme. It illustrates the enormous life changing effect of the programme and its inspiring effect for all our students

CAPS programme

We are full of admiration for the student sponsorship programme facilitated by PFECT. Due to the high level of funding required it is inevitable that the number of students it can currently hope to serve is limited. However, in our eyes it serves several key purposes of benefit for the students it serves and the students who are aiming for it: it is a highly aspirational goal for students to aim for; it is highly competitive and thus a strong motivation for students to succeed at lower levels of education; it clearly has the power to genuinely transform lives; and finally, it creates a sense of positive identity between the students and PFECT. In short, it is everything that education should be.

  Although an expensive programme with limited numbers, we feel that wherever possible it should continue. Whilst demanding a high ratio of financial resources , we feel the aspirational example of the CAPs students to current school students, in addition to the life-changing benefits to the CAPs students, is of immeasurable importance.

   As such we think that PFECT could capitalize on the success stories of both current and former CAPs students in a more visible way in the village schools to promote maximum aspiration. Whilst it is unrealistic for every school student to progress to further education, the profile and awareness of the success stories seemed limited within the village schools.

 Investigate possible avenues of targeted fundraising or corporate sponsorship (both in the UK and India) to secure necessary funding for the time length required. For example, produce CAPS-specific literature with a full breakdown of the current monthly costs required to be circulated wherever possible. Additionally, given this requirement for sustained funding, such targeted fundraising should be openly advertised as being for restricted/designated funds over a minimum time-span to ensure a student can complete their full course without jeopardizing other aspects of PFECT’s work.

From October 12th will be matching funds up to 50% on a $1000 donation. Thank you for your support and help, change a child's future and their children's futures for ever.

Sep 2, 2010

Educating Girls in Bihar

This Scholarship scheme is particularly targeted at girls and young women who need financial and other support to complete their education to a far higher level than would otherwise we possible. It’s the old adage, “educate a girl and you educate a whole family” Add to that the low status of women in the villages and lack of any opportunity to study and you have as recipe for ignorance. Help us break through that ignorance by helping us educate a girl child. It gives then options and a status they could otherwise only have dreamed of, a self respect and a new awareness, and brighter future.

The following is written by Pramilla Kumari, a girl aged 18 now and studying computer sciences at a local college. My name is Pramilla. I come from a large family of 12 children. My father is as farmer but we have very little land. Our House is made of Mud with a straw roof. My family did not want me to be educated, in fact at first they did not like me going to the local village school run by People First but I was determined. Both my parents cannot read and write. I persevered. A lady teacher came from the People First office and said my teachers had recommended me for a scholarship to study in further education. I have always loved computers. First my family disagreed but People First bought my family a male and female goat and in return they signed an agreement not to disturb my education. I have already passed my interim examinations. I am determined all my children will be educated; my skills will help me support them after my marriage. My education means everything to me.

Thank you for your support.

Please visit our website for news of our work,

Jun 17, 2010

A chance of a new life

I would like the chance to explain in more detail the scholarship scheme. In the west families do make great sacrifices to give a college education to their children, in the UK students have to take loans and often work as well.

The students we help are from backgrounds so poor they have no land or collateral to secure loans from traditional sources, and therefore are denied the chance of further education even if they have worked so hard to gain the qualifications necessary.

People First presently sponsors 15 students in college or at University, and without our help none of these bright young people would be able to continue their studies. The students themselves undertake to give 10% of their future wages back into the scheme to help others have the same chance that they had. Graduates have found employment in the police , with banks and with the State government on good salaries which helps their whole family finally climb out of abject poverty.

For an example of one student who recently found employment please see the latest updates section of our website, "Sanjay goes to HSBC"

We do try and sponsor girls. Their education will give them important security. We would like to thank you for your help, and if you are interested in individually sponsoring a specific student please contact us at

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Project Leader

Nick Hansen

Project Liason Officer
Dhobi Gaya Rd Bodhgaya, Bihar India

Where is this project located?

Map of From grinding poverty to graduation