Match-funding available today
We first partnered with Malala Fund in 2015 and continue to celebrate the Nobel Laureate’s birthday using it to promote equality in education. Your support of our children ensures they are able to access their rights to education but you are also supporting our work in our local communities to tackle issues such as child marriage, child labour and trafficking to reduce the estimated 4 million girls missing from Indian classrooms. As today is also GlobalGiving’s July Bonus Day your support can go a little further as any donations over US$100 will be matched by up to 50%.
I know the difference one person can make. As a young child, I would take a short cut between tutoring classes through a few small Ahmednagar lanes. I was too young to understand what was happening in those lanes (one of my city’s red light areas) but I did question why the children I saw there weren’t coming to school with me. As I grew older and began to realise what these lanes represented, I thought: “What if this was my sister, my mother, my grandmother?”
As a college student, I returned to the area to ask how I could help. The women were resistant, taunting and mocking me for wasting my time, until a 19-year-old revealed that it was too late for her, her life was over, but I could help her children. I started taking those two children to the park for a few hours a day, sharing stories and teaching them to ride bicycles. Within four months I had 70 children joining my daily excursions. It was 1989 and Snehalaya was born!
My parents were teachers so I grew up knowing the value of education. When schools refused to admit our Snehalaya children, we opened our own school, now shortlisted in the top ten of the World’s Best School Prizes. We remain focused on breaking the crippling cycles of exploitation and poverty through empowering the children of marginalized communities in the classroom.
Our children are amazing, overcoming many challenges in their young lives but with the strength and resilience to do us and themselves proud. Four batches of students have now completed their 10th standard with 100% pass rates every year in our Snehalaya English Medium School. Our first topper was HIV positive, proving that with the right support all children can succeed. Our slum schools also celebrated a 100% pass rate in 10 std this year.
I believe today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders and many of our students are inspired by our work to help others in society. Many are already on the path to great careers where they will be able to support their families and communities. We are currently completing admission processes for our students who completed their 10 and 12 std this year. I am pleased to see that our children dream big and are pursuing future careers in a diverse range of professions including social work, software engineering, mechanical engineering, sports coaching, hotel management, photography, graphic design, furniture design, fashion and nursing.
You are already making a difference to so many, for which I am sincerely grateful. I wanted to let you know that if you are able, today is a great day to contribute to another child’s education. If you are unable to donate there are many other ways to support us, help us. You can help spread the word, via social media or word of mouth, that every child, no matter their background, has an equal right to education and the future they dream of. We #StandwithMalala which is only possible because you stand with us, thank you.
We believe in equality in education