Sep 8, 2021

Marching on with Malala

Congratulations to our 10 and 12th standard students who delivered some fantastic results this year!

The past two years have been an immense challenge to both our students and their teachers with education severely disrupted by the pandemic and lockdowns. Despite this, we are so proud that our Rehab Center and Balbhavan (slum school) students achieved great results this year.

10 Std pass rate

Rehab Center - 100%

Balbhavan - 100%

12 Std pass rate

Rehab Center - 100%

Balbhavan - 93%

This is an amazing accomplishment given that the majority of Indian children, especially those living in shelter homes and slums, have experienced a year severely disrupted by the COVID pandemic and lockdowns in one of the most significant years of their schooling. Throughout, the dilemma of starting schools and keeping our children safe through online education has continued, with schools opening and closing with little notice and adequate time to prepare properly. Despite limited access to technology, our staff continued to provide online classes and homework to around 200 students in our Rehab Center and 700 in our Balbhavan.

Of course, it all comes down to the individual children who overcame the emotional and practical disruptions to remain focused and committed to their learning. Our students stayed buoyant throughout and their perseverance and commitment to learning should be applauded and we are also grateful to our teachers who were under pressure to deliver both offline and online classes which helped our students stay on track.

We are also trying to continue our normal calendar of events and celebrations while we remain living with restrictions. lockdown we came up with a new approach to our annual Malala Day celebrations.

In 2015, we joined hands with Malala Fund to reach over 30,000 children, their families and teachers and key stakeholders and influencers to promote equality in education. Since then we have recruited peer mentors, girls aged between 13 and 17 and older role models, who are the children of sex workers, living with HIV/AIDS and/or slum dwellers. As well as involving them in the delivery of our workshops and presentations, they promote girls’ education, the issues they face as girls and their solutions to redress the balance in education. They also celebrate Malala Day, 12 July, the Nobel Laureate’s birthday, with activities and awareness-raising.

This year, they were joined by 20 interns from UPES Dehradun who worked with them to create a series of activities for the children ‘locked in’ in or Balbhavan and Rehab centers. Together they created two packed weeks of workshops amd activities, including a music quiz, open to all. They also shared self-defence videos, interviews and speeches from our girls.

Thank you for empowering these girls who are paying it forward in their roles as peer mentors. They couldn’t do it without your belief and support!

Save the Date: GlobalGiving's Little by Little Campaign takes place September 13-17 with all eligible donations up to $50 matched at 50%.

Coming soon...
Coming soon...

Links:

Sep 1, 2021

COVID can't stop our kids

Simran studied from home
Simran studied from home

Hello

We hope you are doing well and staying safe. We have good news to share which shows the impact your support is having despite the current hardships of the pandemic.

The past two years have been an immense challenge to both our students and their teachers with education severely disrupted by the pandemic and lockdowns. Despite this, we are so proud that our Rehab Center and Balbhavan (slum school) students achieved great results this year.

10 Std pass rate

  • Rehab Center - 100%
  • Balbhavan - 100%

12 Std pass rate

  • Rehab Center - 100%
  • Balbhavan - 93%

This is an amazing accomplishment given that the majority of Indian children, especially those living in shelter homes and slums, have experienced a year severely disrupted by the COVID pandemic and lockdowns in one of the most significant years of their schooling. Throughout, the dilemma of starting schools and keeping our children safe through online education has continued, with schools opening and closing with little notice and adequate time to prepare properly. Despite limited access to technology, our staff continued to provide online classes and homework to around 200 students in our Rehab Center and 700 in our Balbhavan.

Of course, it all comes down to the individual children who overcame the emotional and practical disruptions to remain focused and committed to their learning. Our students stayed buoyant throughout and their perseverance and commitment to learning should be applauded and we are also grateful to our teachers who were under pressure to deliver both offline and online classes which helped our students stay on track.

This is an extra impressive result for Simran, who lives in one of our city slums, as she is the first member of her family to have completed higher secondary education, providing inspiration to them and others. Simran’s family has long struggled with making ends meet. Her father and mother both work as laborers and never seem to have enough money to care for their kids and Simran was only able to complete her education by earning while she learned.

Always a bright girl, her life changed when she was admitted to our Balbhavan where she received additional support in our after-school classes. A topper throughout, Simran was determined to better her score at every step and achieve perfect marks in Class 12, although the COVID pandemic did not make it easy for her.

“Online classes via mobile phones were very tough, especially where I live where the internet connectivity is very bad. But our Balbhavan teachers were patient and helped us throughout, answering our queries on Whatsapp, taking calls to explain the concepts and providing all the extra support we needed. The lack of physical classes was acutely felt and when schools reopened for a short time from February, we all were determined to make the best of the time we had to completely prepare to appear for the exam in May,” she shares.

Her family’s support was also vital, as she explains: “They did not understand much since no one in my family has ever completed their higher education. But they supported my dreams and gave me the space and time to study. They still don’t fully understand what I have achieved but are happy and proud of me.”

Looking forward, Simran has her eyes set on her dream of working in banking so she can help her family.

We are incredibly proud and committed to continuing to support all our graduates in pursuing their dreams and building on their outstanding achievements this year. Also, while some colleges are slowly starting to reopen their doors, many remain closed as do schools, so we are thankful to our staff and children who have risen to the challenge and adapted their learning to help all of our children continue their education in this challenging world we all currently find ourselves living in.

Save the Date: GlobalGiving's Little by Little Campaign takes place September 13-17 with all eligible donations up to $50 matched at 50%.

 

 

Save the date
Save the date

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Aug 30, 2021

Water, water, everywhere...

We are happy to report that for now the COVID situation in India has stabilized after the devastating second wave earlier this year. While there are still cases being reported, and some restrictions remain in place many are being vaccinated and the pressure on the health systems is manageable. As we are sure it is for you, life has no means returned to normal and we remain concerned about a third wave but the improved situation is a welcome relief to all. We are so grateful for your support, it makes a world of difference when crises like these hit, thank you.

With over 30 years of experience, Snehalaya has always responded to natural calamities and their victims by participating in relief work. While we are used to responding to disasters, the last year and a half have presented extraordinary challenges. We are proud of our Mission Rahat team who has been at the frontline providing relief, support, and a friendly smile to those worst hit.

In July, large areas of Maharashtra, including the Konkan region, already drowning from the second wave of COVID, faced the worst floods in four decades which further washed away the hard-earned belongings and homes of people. As Ahmednagar was not directly affected, we leaped into action and on 27 July, dispatched staff and volunteer teams to Chiplun-Khed-Mahad, where water levels have risen as high as the first floors of buildings.

Roads and trail tracks had been washed away further isolating the region, already in lockdown, from the rest of the state. Electricity and phone connections had been cut off due to damage to poles and electricity generating plants. With no immediate help available and no monetary support forthcoming, the lowest income families, already drowning in debt, were worst affected.

With a huge death toll, we provided emergency supplies - 750 kits of household items and 2500 grocery kits - helping with the clean-up operations, often arriving on the scene before the government agencies. Together, our teams cleaned and helped clear over 100 houses and other buildings flooded with dirt, mud, water and the odd aquatic animal. This included restoring a 100-bed COVID hospital, where 10 patients and life-saving equipment were swept away in a flash flood, and Chiplun’s tehsil office and Rural District Hospital.

The recent challenges have been tough but with your support, we are able to provide immediate support and relief to everyone in need. Thank you, by adding your donation, you are literally working alongside us to save lives. We couldn't do it without you and we are extremely grateful and encouraged by your actions to ensure our health and safety, please do stay safe yourself.

 

Save the Date: GlobalGiving's Little by Little Campaign takes place September 13-17 with all eligible donations up to $50 matched at 50%, meaning for every US$ you donate we receive US$1.50.

Save the date
Save the date

Links:

 
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