May 13, 2019

Embracing the Magic of Education

Radhika with her favourite teacher
Radhika with her favourite teacher

Aasraa aims to bring every vulnerable child under the umbrella of literacy. The first step to this is our Street Smart program in which we provide basic education to all the children that are brought in to our centers by our Outreach team. A baseline survey which assesses a child’s ability and grasping power is our 1st step towards their education.   No child can study well if they are not hearty and healthy, which is why we provide them with adequate nutrition so they can learn to the best of their abilities.

Under the loving guidance of our teachers, the students are made to feel at home so they can be open and develop healthy friendships with their peers.  After the assiduous efforts of the children with guidance from the teachers, we mainstream them into regular schools.

The most exciting among the recent developments at Aasraa is the triumvirate partnership between Aasraa Trust, The Education Alliance and the Government of Uttarakhand. This partnership gives us the opportunity to convert 6 under-performing government schools into centers of quality education. The project, School Quality Enhancement Program(SQEP), has helped us enhance the quality of education for the students already enrolled in these schools, as well as the out of school children that Aasraa has mainstreamed to the school through our Street Smart centers.   

Because of the SQEP program, now we can supervise all facets of their further education and ensure that they are receiving the best possible guidance. With Computer Aided Learning(CAL), the students are able to grasp concepts better.

One such student, who was mainstreamed from Street Smart, Haven to one of our SQEP programs is Radhika. She’s a quiet child but with a cheerful disposition. She is exceling at academics and all the teachers are proud of her relentless progress.                                     

In a family of four brothers and six sisters, the means of livelihood often fall short. Her father is an alcoholic who doesn’t try too hard to provide for the family, leaving them in miserable living conditions. Two of her brother’s ran away from home to get married to their choice of bride. The family lacks bread earners.

Even in such conditions, Radhika continues to study hard and participate in extracurricular activities like drawing and dancing. One of her strongest qualities is her ability to empathize. She has developed a strong attachment to one of her teachers and is always delighted to spend some time with her and learn from her. She has an inclination to help those who seem emotionally troubled.

With help of our benevolent donors, we are able to help children like Radhika and rescue them from the vicious cycle of poverty.  Our heartfelt and grateful thanks to each one of you for joining us in our crusade to educate the underserved.

Radhika studies in second grade
Radhika studies in second grade
Feb 21, 2019

From Despair to Hope: Story of Dipika

Dipika, an 8-year old daughter of a daily wage worker and a house maid servant, is a keen learner. Her determination to study knows no bounds.

Her parents refused to enroll her in school. She had to baby sit her younger brother at home while they were out for work. Her elder siblings have never been to school or have dropped out. Dipika always wanted to study. She tried to convince her parents several times but was left disappointed.

In 2017, she learned about Aasraa and how it was helping children like her to go to school. She wasted no time and asked her parents if she could join Aasraa’s learning program at Welham Boys’ School in the evening. They denied. Our outreach team intervened and finally convinced her parents to send both Dipika and her younger brother to the centre.

She was overjoyed with the thought of studying. Every minute at the centre was a blessing to her. As months passed by, her commitment grew stronger. She wanted to dedicate more time to studies. And this was when Aasraa launched a new mobile learning program at Chuna Bhatta area, close to her home. This was a morning program. Dipika jumped at the opportunity and became a regular student at both morning and evening programs.

Dipika is an ambitious child. She wants to become a doctor and treat poor children for free. She says, “My elder sister is a rebel. My mother forced me to take care of our younger brother and did not send me to school. I want to wear a school uniform. When I will join a school, I will help my brother get admission too.

This year, Aasraa plans to mainstream 230 children from the Street Smart program into formal education; 180 into regular schools and 50 into National Institute of Open Schooling.

Dipika is one of them!

Our mission to fulfill dreams of children like Dipika would not accomplish without you. Your unwavering support strengthens our capacity to hand-hold more marginalized slum and street children. Thank you very much for your kind generosity!

Dipika with her friends
Dipika with her friends
Feb 19, 2019

Annual Examination Time!

Annual examinations are just around the corner. Every student begins to stress out at this time of the year. Course completion and multiple revisions become the utmost priorities. Aasraa children are no different than others. They also reel under the pressure of examination, especially the board class papers.

Every year, we see how our children struggle to cope with the fast-paced learning environment of regular schools. Promoting them to a higher class is not our only objective; we want our children to have a clear understanding of the subject matter. We want to see them growing into confident individuals who dare to dream and are determined to reach greater heights in life.

This is where our after school support program “Wings of Doon” has played a crucial role. The remedial classes have done wonders for our children by adding immense value to their learning abilities. During examinations, these classes help us to reduce the stress that hover around our children’s minds. The education team at Aasraa prepares them to write their papers with full concentration and commitment.

Students are supported to-

  • Make a timetable and allocate sufficient time for each subject
  • Start early revisions so that they can grasp the difficult topics well in time
  • Use flow charts for better retention of concepts
  • Refer to previous years’ question papers for practice

We also counsel and encourage them to stay positive. It is important that they believe in themselves and their potential to perform well in exams.

To keep our students’ passing percentage high, Aasraa has recently introduced the concept of “Rising Stars”. We have created separate sections for students who are lagging behind and need extra attention. Counselling, guidance and motivational talks are the main pillars of this concept. Teachers dedicate special time and efforts to improve the performance of our Rising Stars. The increasing number of students successfully passing the exams every year are portraying our success story.

This year, 1,015 Aasraa students will appear for their annual examination. Thirty and twelve students will write their 10th and 12th board exams respectively.  

We really appreciate your generosity in supporting Aasraa and her children. Your unwavering support strengthens our capacity to hand-hold more marginalized street and slum students.

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