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Oct 1, 2019

Please help these two to continue their education

Papiya
Papiya

You’ll read below reports from Kolkata about two of our students who are on the brink of completing their school education and who want to continue their studies. This is a huge challenge for them and their very poor families. Financial pressure drives youngsters to give up on education and start work.  Both Papiya and Gopal have disabled fathers and mothers who have been forced to become maidservants in order to make ends meet.  This is a distressingly common scenario. Illiterate men take on labouring jobs which eventually leave them crippled, and their illiterate wives end up as domestic helpers for tiny and unreliable salaries. Papia and Gopal desperately need your help so that they can support their families and avoid the fate of their parents.

PAPIYA is 18 and lives resides in a single room with her family. Her father works as a labourer but as he is handicapped he is not paid proper wages. Her mother works as a maidservant, very exploitative low paid work. She has one brother who dropped out of studies after completing his year 10 examinations. He now works as a labourer for an entrepreneur who rents out sound boxes and mike.

Papiya will be sitting her Class XII examinations next year but desperately needs educational support to continue with her studies.  This is a vulnerable moment for her: many girls complete school and then end up married off without continuing to higher education. With a degree she will truly be able to lift herself and her family out of poverty.

 

GOPAL is also 18. His father is disabled and cannot work properly. His mother works as a maid servant. He has two brothers and one sister.

Gopal is studying in class XII and will be appearing for examinations. His brother and sisters are all studying this puts a lot of financial pressure on the family finances . Gopal works in a catering company to augment family income. The money he earns is spent on his education .If he receives any support this will go a long way towards mitigating financial pressure .He is very keen to continue with his studies  and is also very ambitious.

The families in these two case studies are truly in need, as you’ll read.  But despite this they are determined that the children will stay in education.  This project provides the necessary support to ensure children from Kindergarten upwards are encouraged to stay in education. Every day we run after school classes in our Community Centres where the children come for remedial help with schoolwork. They have computer classes, singing lessons, homework support, sport, drama, nutritious snacks, occasional excursions and health care.  The parents are engaged too: they are almost all illiterate themselves but they understand the importance of education and are encouraged to see the big picture and not to marry their daughters off early or withdraw their sons from school to send them to work.  

Just £11 a month keeps a child like Papiya or Gopal in education.

Gopal
Gopal
Sep 23, 2019

Zainab's Expanding Horizons

Zainab
Zainab

Zainab was one of the first girls to be sponsored under this programme back in 2016. She’s from a desperately poor family, living in a single room and surviving on her father’s tiny salary of Rs4000 (about £45) a month. Zainab is a hard-working student and loves knowing that she has a sponsor, Jean, who lives far away in England.

Jean’s generosity provides Zainab everything she needs to ensure she can benefit best from her education: uniform, shoes, a school bag, books, stationery, the cost of travel, extra tuition, nutritional supplements and so on.

But being a sponsored girl means so much more than that. Zainab is also a member of the Gyan Azhar library, a girls-only facility where she can study, borrow books and use the computers. There are also frequent invitations to the library for opportunities to learn beyond the school curriculum. This summer there have been awareness sessions covering good nutrition, personal health and hygiene. They learned how to spot and how to prevent tuberculosis. They had a session on menstrual hygiene. On Earth Day, the girls learned about environmental issues discussing the problems of plastic waste: they had a go at making their own paper bags out of newspaper. Young volunteers from local schools organised a drawing competition, dance, singing and fashion events for our girls.  

So, for Zainab, being part of the sponsorship programme is more than the school kit and other educational expenses: it is also about widening her horizons, expanding her understanding of how to stay healthy, enjoying new cultural experiences and meeting other young people from around the city.  Zainab can aspire to life beyond the tiny room in the slum, a life beyond illiteracy, drudgery and child-bearing. 

Thank you for giving Zainab and all the other girls a vision and hope of a better future. 

A healthy body
A healthy body
We made paper bags!
We made paper bags!
Ayesha receives basic computer course certificate
Ayesha receives basic computer course certificate
Jul 26, 2019

Food Rations - the First Step to Empowerment

Sonali and daughter Suhana
Sonali and daughter Suhana

Food rations have been distributed to a number of extremely vulnerable families, thanks to your generosity.  With food in their stomachs, the children can concentrate at school and their mothers have more energy to help themselves out of their terrible situations.  Tiljala SHED also supports these families through the education programme and through the Livelihood Microfinance Programme. Our aim is to empower these women to change their own lives, but sometimes the basics like food rations have to come first

Anwari resides beside the canal-sewage in Narakeldanga with her family consisting of four members. Her husband died some years back and she had to support their family single-handedly through rag picking. She lives under extreme poverty. She earns around Rs 100 (less than 2 US$) daily. She works 8 to 10 hours daily. Age is catching up and she is finding it very difficult to continue with her work. She is malnourished and needs proper food as she has to go empty on many days when there is no sufficient income. She has 5 family members.  With this monthly ration she can sleep with full stomach and would not have to starve.

Afroza’s husband was a drug addict and prone to domestic violence. Afroz would often fight with her husband over trivial matters. Her children were also not attending school. Her husband later abandoned the family. Afroz has set up a small grocers shop and earns between Rs 1500 to Rs 2000 per month. Her neighbour sometimes helps her with some food and money. Struggling to stay alive with limited means, this ration support means a lot to Afroza and her family. This emergency food support is a ray of light in their darkness.

Nazma is very weak due to lack of nutrition. Her husband does not care for the family and spends his income on liquor. They have three children who do not get sufficient food. All are malnourished. Nazma is severely malnourished and they are 5 family members.

Moijan is married to a drunkard who very often abuses her both physically and verbally and does not give any money for the upkeep of the family. The burden of looking after the family has fallen on Moijan shoulders and she has been struggling since then. She has 6 members in the family.  Since her husband is good for nothing, she has taken charge of her household. This ration will enable the family to survive as they are now going through a very tough time.

Sonali lives with her daughter and mother in a small house measuring about 70 sq.ft small tiny room. She works as a maid servant and earns Rs.1500 in a month.  Her husband married with other women and has moved away and deserted the family.

He doesn’t give money to run the family as a result the family is struggling to make ends meet. Sometimes, Sonali brings food donated by neighbours or relatives to feed the family but this are not regular hence she cannot depend on it. She really needs regular ration support to sustain the family.

Parveen, aged 28, is a widow and has to take care of her large family all by herself. With five hungry children to feed with limited income. Her children are all victims of malnourishment. Parveen needs all the help available. She is a rag picker. Her husband was an alcoholic and a drug addict who passed away more than 6 months ago.  

Salma lives with her family of six members. She along with her husband are involved in rag picking but lately both have health issues hence they cannot work long hours. This has had an adverse effect on their family finances. Now they are finding it very difficult to meet ends. She lives in Tangra along the canal side. This ration will be a great help to this family as they will not have to stave now. Thanks to this project.

Salma
Salma
Anwar
Anwar
Afroza
Afroza
 
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