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 Education  India Project #18618

Educate 4000 street children in rural India

by Snehalaya 'Home of Love'
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Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Educate 4000 street children in rural India
Artists impression of the development
Artists impression of the development

All through 2019, Snehalaya has been celebrating 30 years of empowering women and children. As 2020 approaches, we would like to share a little more on our work. Having started in 1989 by our founder taking two children away from the red-light areas for a few hours a day we have matured into a well-recognised organisation providing life-changing impact at grassroots level. All 23 of our current projects seek to address the root causes that leave women and children vulnerable to exploitation and your support ensures we reach over 17,000 people each and every year.

Your support of our educate projects funds some of our work in seven of Ahmednagar’s slum communities and we want you to know just how far your valued donation goes. According to Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation, 15% of our city’s total population lives in slums. Since our first Balbhavan was established in a former leprosy colony, Sanjay Nagar in 2003, we have worked with over 10,000 children and their families.

A healthy and happy family makes for happier and healthier children and our work in slums goes beyond the classroom. Our aim is to uplift the communities through healthcare, sanitation and in Sanjay Nagar’s case we are going event further. It is the only slum built on government land, covering 2.09 acres with 209 dwelling units of varying quality but they are primarily crude hand-built homes or corrugated sheet shacks. With a population of 873, it has a unique social structure with nearly 22 different communities living side-by-side but has no health care facilities or storm water drains.

Under a Government of India’s 'Housing for All' scheme, we are working with the community and partners, including an American architecture foundation, to redevelop Sanjay Nagar. We are creating 298 locally-owned homes based on principles including social, economic and environmental sustainability, inclusive process, social cohesion and infrastructure, and solid waste and waste water management. There will also be a new classroom for our after-school clases as well as other community spaces for meetings and celebrations.

The slum-dwellers have embraced the development and are committed to purchasing their new homes at subsidised rates. Already some of their homes have been demolished and we are putting them up in temporary accommodation until they can move into their new homes. By providing cleaner, greener and sustainable living conditions we will be ensuring the children you are supporting will be living in a much healthier environment where they can focus on their educations and futures.

We would like to thank you for supporting and enabling us to be able to take on projects like this to improve the lives of the children we serve and we hope you continue your journey with us to see how this exciting development unfolds. Finally, we would also like to wish you and your families and loved ones a very merry festive season and all the best for 2020.

Maximising the space
Maximising the space
The current housing is cramped
The current housing is cramped
End of Year Giving season is here
End of Year Giving season is here

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Thank you so much for your support in helping to educate the street children in urban communities. You can never over-estimate what a difference you are making.

This year from June we began a new academic year and as mentioned in our earlier report we saw the enthusiasm of our children in our “School Chale Hum” program welcoming the children on the first day of school. We also celebrated the success of our students passing out 10th and 12th Standard with flying colors.

Now we are looking forward to their academic progress as they continue to learn new things each day. Even child residing in the slums has the right to education. This is the core purpose of our ‘After School Slum Education Program’. We have come up with a unique program to develop the interest of these children in education; Scholarship!

This year is the third consecutive year that we have introduced Scholarship program for our students. Each year 140 students from 5th to 10th standard from seven centers in the slums are selected by a preliminary exam. The selected students are mentored for 9 months after which they face a test for 5 important subjects. 7 students scoring the maximum marks gets educational material like books, writing material etc worth Rs 3000. Besides the academic performance the overall behavior, cleanliness, extracurricular participation of the students is also included in the criteria while selecting the winners.

The main aim of the scholarship is to encourage our students to their overall development as it is targeted on four basic areas; curricular, general knowledge, language and behavior. This also serves as a motivation that helps our students to achieve excellence in whatever they do whether its curricular or extra-curricular activities.

It also serves as a warm up for their upcoming future where they are preparing themselves for various Government competitive exams. And as for now it is already helping them to improve their academic performance and personality.

We would like to share the success story of our student who took advantage of this scholarship and has already set a bench mark and has become an inspiration for others. Ashna is one of our regular Balbhavan students. She has always been a sincere child and passionate about education.

 Her mother left their home when Ashna was a child. Her father and Ashna are the only members of the family. Her maternal aunt stays just next door and is always supporting her. Ashna has never had her mother around to share the little things in life but her aunt has been a great support for her. As she is his only daughter, her father was initially reluctant to let her continue her education in higher classes.  But after the Snehalaya counselors conversed with him, he agreed.

Ashna appeared for the SSC exams (10th Std) this year and passed with flying colors. She scored 81% marks and stood first in all the students of our Slum program.

She aims for a career in Science faculty and now she is pursuing her further education in Bhausaheb Firodiya Junior College, a reputed college in the city.

We thank you for your support with the help of which we are reaching a diverse range of children within our slum community schools. While we aspire to encourage and support as many children as possible to break the cycle of poverty by gaining the qualifications they need to make their dreams come true, we also aim to improve the overall quality of life for as many children as possible.

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Celebrating our students' fantastic results
Celebrating our students' fantastic results

Thank you so much for your support in helping to educate the children in our urban slum communities through our Balbhavan (slum schools) project. You can never over estimate what a difference you are making and below are just three of our many recent stories of success.

Last Monday marked the beginning of the new school academic year 2019-20 in India. A few weeks before the school gates opened, we celebrated the success of students who completed their 10th and 12th standard last year. Despite the hardships they endure living in our slums, they have made remarkable progress in their studies due to our after school classes. This helps us in bucking the trend and challenges in our society where 40% of adolescent girls are forced into child marriage and are missing from schools. While around 30% of girls from India’s poorest families never get a chance to go to school we are proud to report 100% school enrollment for the children living in the slums where we work.

We hope you are as proud of our students as we are for focusing on their futures and trying their best to break through the walls of poverty and inequality. Also know that it would not be possible if it was not supporters like you helping our children experience the happiness of being part of a school and receiving a quality education. Thank you!

At the start of each academic year our School Chale Hum celebration encourages students to pack their school bags and join school with a new enthusiasm, confidence and hope for a better future. Our students are excited to get back to the school, meet their friends and teachers and get stuck into the new syllabus. In spite of the adversity they experience and their challenging backgrounds, these students are ready to run the race and successfully cross the finishing line ahead of the pack.

We are hoping that this year’s students repeat last year’s students’ success where 96% passed their 12th Standard exams. Given the inequalities in education, we are proud to let you know that the highest scoring student from our Balbhavan was a girl scoring 81% followed by two other girls scoring 77% and 75% respectively.

Our 10th standard students also gave us a result of 85% for 2018-19, with again a girl student topping the table with 81%. Your support means everyone has an equal right to education regardless of income, living circumstances or gender.

Finally, more good news! Last year we reported that Shubhangi, a former beneficiary and now peer mentor in our slum schools, would be representing India at the Homeless World Cup taking place in Mexico. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control she didn’t make it to the pitch. She also didn’t give up and we are pleased to announce that she has made the team for this year and her tickets are booked for the football competition in Cardiff, UK from 27 July-3 August. She needs your support and encouragement and we are asking those who will be in the UK this summer to go along to Cardiff to cheer her on as she finally achieves her goal. You can follow her schedule and progress on our facebook event and read more about her football journey at the inks below.

Thanks for being part of our team and playing your part in giving our children life-changing opportunities to achieve their goals.

Shubhangi is on her way to the UK
Shubhangi is on her way to the UK
National coverage of Shubhangi's selection
National coverage of Shubhangi's selection

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Our Amazing Malala Peer Educators
Our Amazing Malala Peer Educators

Thank you so much for your support in helping to educate the street children in urban communities. You can never over estimate what a difference you are making.

Last Saturday we hosted four workshops for eighth and ninth standard girls from our city schools in a program led by our Malala peer mentors who you are helping support. Our peer mentors, recruited from our slum schools and shelter home have attended a year-long campaign supported by Malala Fund to end the exploitation of children. The Educate.Empower.Lead. campaign gave them the skills which they were able to use to manage and present over the whole day. They helped nearly 70 local school girls conduct practical exercises to enable them to plan and manage their own awareness and advocacy campaigns to promote girls’ education in their schools and communities. At the end of the day they made a pledge and were inaugurated as our newest Malala peer mentors. They will report back on their progress on 12 July, Malala Day, and we can’t wait to see the impact they make.

As part of the workshop we shared a recent report issued by Malala Fund on the state of education in India. This reports that 25% of boys and girls are unable to read 2nd Standard text, 36% of girls and 38% of boys are unable to read English, a core subject, and 42% of girls and 39% of boys are unable to do basic arithmetic. These shocking statistics show why our work in our slum schools is so vital. Our after-school study classes focus on the basics of reading, writing and maths to ensure that our children can do better in the curriculum taught in their schools. We also supplement this with ad hoc activities in other subjects. For example, last month, our seven slum schools took part in a science exhibition, showcasing experiments and science knowledge to their peers, families and community leaders. You can watch highlights from the science exhibition below.

Joining the children was Aniket. A former beneficiary and now mentor and example to the younger children, he overcame many challenges to enroll in higher education.

Coming from an extremely poor background, he lived in one room with his mother, father and two sisters. His father, fuelled by alcohol, would often be abusive and make life tough for the young Aniket .

He dropped out of school and became a drifter, getting in with bad company and making a meager living selling Vada Pav, the ubiquitous Maharashtrian potato snack. Life seemed pretty aimless for Aniket and he was never far from trouble. That was until one of our Balbhavan education coordinators saw the potential of this young man and helped turn his life around. They spent time mentoring him and gradually involving him in their education projects and counseled and encouraged him to go back to school. Seeing he had a keen interest in football they helped him form a football academy coaching 20 boys from the nearby slums. Many of his team have played at state and national level under his training.

He is a talented and natural host of our Balbhavan Annual Cultural Shows and wins over even the toughest of audiences. His talent is also on display at the regular street plays that we perform in Ahmednagar. He and his fellow performers have won several trophies proving what winners they are.

Nowadays you’d wonder how Aniket finds the time to pack so much into one day. But that he does. As well as studying animation at his local college he provides a helping hand and is a popular figure at a nearby hospital where he works the nightshift. On top of this, he continues with his football coaching, can often be seen climbing poles to fix electrical faults in his community and is a regular volunteer at the slum community halls helping and mentoring children to take the right path.

His real dream is to become an actor, and he can be found practicing in front of the mirror every day to perfect craft. The good news is his dream has already become a reality as has just completed filming his first feature film taking a lead role in a Marathi movie.

 Aniket is just one example of how your support is helping to improve the lives and help give kids access to an education that would otherwise be denied. Thank you!

Making A Difference.
Making A Difference.
Awareness.
Awareness.
Recruited to Educate. Empower. Lead.
Recruited to Educate. Empower. Lead.
Coaching For Success.
Coaching For Success.
Lights, Camera, Action.
Lights, Camera, Action.

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Women earn around US$1-2 a day rolling cigarettes
Women earn around US$1-2 a day rolling cigarettes

Thank you for your support of our project this year. We simply couldn’t do what we do without your backing so on behalf of those whose lives you are improving may we wish you and your loved ones all the best for the new year.

As 2018 draws to a close we would also like to share some of the highlights of the year with you. We have over 20 projects working in rural India to help improve lives through education, rehabilitaiton, health and advoacy.

As you can see from our Review of the Year video below our beneficiaries are as diverse as our projects and you are helping to put the smiles you see on their faces. You are also helping us to advocate for change through our work with global campaigns for gender equality in education and to end trafficking as well as more localised work we do for women and child rights. We won’t stop until every woman and child has the equal right to live a life free from cruelty, discrimination and violence and we hope you stick with us next year and beyond.

Your support this year has ensured that 700 children living in slums have had access to after school tuition which has seen a 400% increase in A and B grades over four years. While we have 7 classrooms in the hearts of the slums, our peer educators also work in outreach identifying and counselling the drop out children and their parents meaning 41 children have been re-enrolled in school so far this year. Also parents are beginning to see the impact and value of educating their children with 37 families enrolling their children into additional tutoring at their own expense. When you consider that most of them work for unreliable daily wages of US$2-3 per day as piece-workers, rickshaw drivers or maids this is massive. We also support and encourage extracurricular activities and our winter sports camp which ended today saw over 300 children participating. All of our work ensures community harmony but has also brought and end to child labour and marriage in the areas we work in. 

We need your continued help to maintain these records and impact and encourage people living in slums to invest in their children's futures. The good news is we are currently taking part in Global Giving’s End of Year campaign and our education project is in the runing for bonus prizes that will help us to continue our good work in 2019. Anything you can give before 31 December will help us to ensure a brighter 2019 for our children.

Thank you once again and Happy New Year from all at Snehalaya.

Our peer educators are from our slum communities
Our peer educators are from our slum communities
Parents understand the value of education
Parents understand the value of education
Everyone knows about our classes & support
Everyone knows about our classes & support

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Organization Information

Snehalaya 'Home of Love'

Location: Ahmednagar, Maharashtra - India
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Twitter: @Snehalaya
Project Leader:
Snehalaya Home of Love
London, Greater London United Kingdom
$19,835 raised of $27,000 goal
 
348 donations
$7,165 to go
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