Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela
...And often the routes to education are bitter. For us it was bitter but simple, many of our children were growing up on the streets or in brothels with little or no access to any formal primary education. They were more often learning first hand about life's atrocities and survivial then being shown how to read or write, let alone how to believe in themselves and what they can acheive. We formed our school in 2010 our of dire need.
With many schools closing their doors to children who were known to be carrying HIV, or bullying them to the point they could not attend class. We had little option but to form our own school to serve our own 300 children in long term care and to provide a place for all the children outside of formal education that we discovered through our day centres. Our outreach day centres are run in 6 major slum areas in Ahmednagar and were formed to ensure children from those areas who still reside with their families, and are supposed to attend a local school, have a safe and envigilated study place. This place is for homework, support or simply just 'be' at after school hours. However many of these children used the day centres as their primary learning place and we saw we needed to act.
Our school ran it's first class 4 years ago in some of our disused buildings and was given it's own school building through generous donations 14months ago. While we can't pay our teachers what they might earn in government schools we have to abide by a very outmoded and rigid curriculum. Given many of our pupils have no formal education exposure this makes the teachers role very challenging.
We have partnered with Wellandpark Academy a UK Secondary in Leicester and through funding from The British Council under their Connecting Classrooms program alot of support and training is helping our school develop. We recently hosting 3 of our wonderful teachers from our English Medium School in a 3 week UK visit. Please see photos.
The support of you our donors has been fantastic. Many of you may have supported our rescue project to bring women and girls out of prostitution as well as this our education project.
Your support with our school for 300 pupils in long term care or from slum districts is vital. You are helping some of the most vunerable and ignored children on the planet be recognised, nutured and given a real start in life, to be shown they are believed in. An education is a human right and as the big man himself said 'the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world'.
Many thanks for your support to find out more about Snehalaya and it's 15 projects or to ask about volunteering opportunities please visit www.snehalaya.org or watch our latest documentary here
Our teachers at our UK charity shop
Pupil led tour of UK primary school