The mission of The Dragonfly Schools Foundation is to create life-changing educational opportunities for children and adolescents living in Rajasthan, Northern India. We provide free education and vocational training for those children living in Pushkar, Rajasthan, Northern India, who receive no education due to poverty, neglect, learning difficulties, disability, low caste status or the absence of family or carers. There are large numbers of children living around Pushkar and Ajmer in tented communities, in the most basic of homes or without a home of any kind. They are poor, neglected, marginalised and vulnerable. Some are without parents or carers. Some are abused. Many beg and some self... read more The mission of The Dragonfly Schools Foundation is to create life-changing educational opportunities for children and adolescents living in Rajasthan, Northern India. We provide free education and vocational training for those children living in Pushkar, Rajasthan, Northern India, who receive no education due to poverty, neglect, learning difficulties, disability, low caste status or the absence of family or carers. There are large numbers of children living around Pushkar and Ajmer in tented communities, in the most basic of homes or without a home of any kind. They are poor, neglected, marginalised and vulnerable. Some are without parents or carers. Some are abused. Many beg and some self-harm in the hope of arousing greater sympathy. Others are drawn into petty street crime. All are excluded from education by low caste status and poverty and, without help, are destined to remain trapped within - and to perpetuate - this cycle of disadvantage, deprivation and unfulfilled potential. The Co-founders have met, and talked to, large numbers of these children, during regular visits to this part of Rajasthan. We have spoken with many of their families living in poverty, often beneath makeshift shelters or out in the open, who desperately want an education for their children. The children themselves tell us repeatedly that they want to go to school more than anything else. Much local concern is regularly expressed about these children, but little is done to provide them with an education. Our mission is fourfold: 1. We work in partnership with free schools for our chosen beneficiaries, by nurturing and sustaining these small, locally-led but under-resourced education projects. We support them to deliver Literacy, Numeracy and Arts programmes which promote equality, empowerment and wellbeing. We also support the provision of specialist teachers or therapists for children with special needs and we help to provide the children with nutritious food, transportation, a school uniform, school books and writing materials, all free of charge. We assist in supporting free pre-school health, sight and hearing assessments and provide free glasses or hearing aids where needed. Our partnership schools provide education and care for up to 150 students between the ages of four and sixteen years of age. We have put in place robust strategies to ensure an effective Child Protection policy in order to protect these vulnerable children. The children are nurtured in an environment where there is an ethos of positive behaviour management and where self-confidence and self-belief are valued and promoted. 2. We provide sponsorship funding to individual children who are confident and academically able to transfer to mainstream school and can rise to the challenges of a more formal education. The schools chosen provide a broad and balanced curriculum and the opportunity for the children to study for nationally recognised qualifications. The Co-founders visit these mainstream schools twice per year to assess the children's educational development and well-being, attend school meetings and receive children's progress reports. The children continue to receive free school uniforms and shoes, all books, equipment and resources, school meals and personal and social support to ensure that they settle into their new school happily and successfully. 3. We provide vocational training to young people, in partnership with local employers and craftsmen. We create, deliver, monitor and evaluate vocational training programmes that teach the skills required to gain future employment. The courses can be full-time or part-time, depending on a young person's circumstances, but all courses provide the skills, recognised accreditation and relevant qualifications to apply for jobs in the future. The Co-founders assess the training programmes provided and they receive quarterly reports from employers and trainees. We also ensure that, where required, clothing, equipment and tools are provided and there is assistance with transport to and from the placement, where necessary. We firmly believe in supporting our trainees, not only to ensure their health and safety but also for their general wellbeing. 4. We help to provide daily part-time classes, held in the local vicinity of Pushkar at times best suited to the learners' needs and availability. The education in these part-time classes includes: Literacy, Numeracy, IT and English, offering the following provision free of all charge to all children unable to attend school on a full-time basis because they must contribute to their family's income or care. This provision includes a nutritious meal, all educational books, equipment and resources, appropriate levels of support for children with special needs, the assessment of vision, hearing and general health and provision of glasses and hearing aids where required, good and competent teaching staff who will nurture confidence and a love of learning.
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