Education  India Project #18618

Educate street children in rural India

by Snehalaya 'Home of Love'
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Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
Educate street children in rural India
You have changed Puja's life
You have changed Puja's life

Thank you for all your support which is helping our beneficiaries in so many different ways. It’s because of you we are able to help so many people through so many different challenges.

Upon entering Ramwadi, you can immediately tell you are in the most densely populated slum in Ahmednagar. You are greeted by a prominent scrap shop, cupboard factory and paan tapraya, where people grind mawa. Exploring further you are negotiating very narrow paths with a continuous procession of one or two people and their barrows, bags and bikes going about their business. Most of the houses are Rahutya, made of posts and bamboo. Despite such overcrowding, the settlement has that rare thing, social harmony, with people of all castes and religions living side-by-side and participating in each other's festivals with great enthusiasm.

Among the migrant families living there is Ramwadi Paris Balbhavan beneficiary, Pooja. Her father drives his life's cart by working as a wage earner but he is also an alcoholic. The family consists of both parents, two sisters and one brother whose financial condition is very desperate. With money so tight, children's education is a luxury and it is expected that the daughters will start work as a wage laborer or wash dishes with their mother once they complete 10th standard.

However, Puja is a very bright girl who achieved great results in her 10 std exams. She was desperate to continue her studies but her father wanted her to work and bring more income to the family. Our Balbhavan social workers conduct regular home visits of all out students and hearing about Puja’s father’s plans leapt into action. They repeatedly met Pooja's parents, counselling them and convincing them of the importance of Puja continuing her education, offering our support, including financial assistance.

Puja’s mother could see the benefit and after some time her father also agreed to allow her to take admission in Adasul College of Engineering. This was a huge step in giving Puja the chance to stand on her own feet despite the desperate financial situation of the family. We approached the college principal explaining the challenges of the family and they agreed to reduce Puja’s fees and we took continuous follow up to make sure she was making the most of her opportunity with the support of her family.

Meanwhile, her father's health suddenly deteriorated requiring hospitalization and frequent medical bills to pay. Despite this Puja did not falter in her studies and we are proud to announce that Puja has achieved excellent success by securing 82.76%. Her success in the face of such adverse conditions is commendable and remarkable.

On behalf of the Balbhavan family, we would like to wish congratulations to Puja and wish her every success in her future endeavours. We would also like to thank all our supporters for enabling us to change the destinies of young people like Puja, we couldn’t do it without you!

SAVE THE DATE
Giving Tuesday, 29 November, is a fantastic opportunity to stretch your support even further. Thanks to GlobalGiving any donations made that day will earn us our share of US$1 million in match funding. Since 2015 we have raised thousands in bonus funding that helps fund committed students like Puja. Look out for reminders from us nearer the time.

Coming soon #Givingtuesday
Coming soon #Givingtuesday

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Dr Rohit thanks you
Dr Rohit thanks you

Thank you so much for your support of our education projects, it's thanks to you that this year our children celebrated a 100% pass rate of their 10 and 12 standard exams.

When we started our Balbhavan slum schools, our mission was to educate children in the hopes of uplifting their families. Rohit is a former student of our Kshitij Balbhavan in Ramwadi. Here he shares in his own words how your support of our Balbhavan team has helped him in his dreams to become the first doctor from our slum schools.

"I grew up in a very small urban slum in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. These slums -called Ramvadi - are areas without healthcare, education and other necessities. The houses are tiny and poorly maintained, and roads are not appropriately constructed, so public transport doesn't service the area.

"My father migrated to Ramvadi to work as a laborer and my mother is a housewife so our monthly income is significantly low. I have one brother and one sister. Our circumstances are difficult and it is hard to make ends meet and there is a constant struggle for necessities.

"I have completed my first to tenth standard education in Sitaram Sarda School and my higher secondary education in New Arts, Commerce & Science College, Ahmednagar. Me and my siblings were also admitted into Kshitij Balbhavan in Ramwadi. Because many students' parents are uneducated themselves and their financial circumstances are poor, few students are able to get extra tuition, so the Balbhavan teachers gave us extra help. I remember that we used to look up to our teachers for everything. They weren't just educating us; they spent time helping us decide what careers to pursue in the future.

"I had always wanted to be a doctor and I decided to pursue that goal. However, in the back of my mind, I knew that the only way for me would be to get into a government-funded medical school. Privately-funded schools charged a lot, and I knew I wouldn't be able to afford it. But I knew I could work hard; that was in my hands.

"I joined private classes to study for the NEET exam. At that time, Snehalaya was always standing with me with motivation and economic support. For three years, I took a lot of effort to ensure my success in the NEET exam. Finally, I got good marks in NEET and achieved my dream.

I got admission to MBBS in Kakasaheb Mhaske Medical College, Ahmednagar.

"I think two factors have made a massive difference in achieving my dream career. One was the support from my parents, the other was Snehalaya's Balbhavan. Thye provided me with an education and the guidance I needed. The Balbhavan showed me the path I needed to follow, and I kept walking.

"Nothing is impossible. I tell others that there will be circumstances where they will feel it is not working out, but they have to be consistent. Be consistent, hard-working and keep trying."

Every penny you donate counts towards transforming lives of so many vulnerable children, thank you. This July Bonus day those pennies go even further with all donations made on 20 July being matched by GlobalGiving. Any amount you can send will go a long way in empowering and educating more young people like Rohit.

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Kalyani's success hit the local headlines
Kalyani's success hit the local headlines

“I am not afraid of struggle as I have had to struggle since birth”

Originally from Mirajgaon, around 30km south-east of Ahmednagar, 25-year-old Kalyani now lives in Ramwadi slum in our city where she attended our Balbhavan after school classes.

Tragedy hit when Kalyani's father was killed in an accident in her school graduation year. Suddenly her mother, three sisters and a brother lost the security of their father's safety net and the full responsibility of the family fell to Kalyani’s mother. Four children's education and the family expenses on one single woman’s head. As one of our students, we were there to support Kalyani as she completed her BSc Biotech, BCom and MBA while also working part-time to support her family.

While studying for her MBA, she participated in a Women's Day program organized by social activist Chandrakant Kalokhe at the Indian Chamber of Commerce. With the guidance of Milind and Seema Kamble, Kalyani dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. She learned about the Stand Up India scheme and submitted a tender for the LPG transport of Bharat Petroleum Corporation. Her application was approved but she needed to provide around Rs 50 lakh rupees investment. She submitted a business loan proposal to the Bank of Baroda, but they also required a 10% share capital deposit. Undeterred and with great effort, Kalyani managed to secure the loan.

Yashwant Logistics, a transport company was born and Kalyani has enjoyed great success having recently received a Successful Entrepreneur Award.

Kalyani is standing on her own feet today because of your support and the freedom given by her mother and brother. Not only is she highly educated, but her entrepreneurial journey is undoubtedly inspiring for the younger generation and women in poorer sections of society trapped under the yoke of ignorance, superstition and addiction.

We are so grateful that you have chosen to support our children like Kalyani who face struggles every day in normal circumstances and at a time when the whole world came to a stand she rose above the pandemic to suceed in a male-dominated industry. We are so proud of her and all she has achieved and we know she will inspire many others to follow in her footsteps. Thank you! 

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Diwali designs by our children
Diwali designs by our children

Wishing you a very happy Diwali from your Snehalaya family. We are all so happy that the current COVID situation here in Ahmendagar has improved enough that we can enjoy a return to some of the traditional celebrations of the Festival of Light.

That said, our Rehab Center, which is home to over 250 children and women, is still in lockdown and we are entertaining our children with a range of activities, gifts, new clothes, entertainment which will culminate in a party this Sunday. Earlier this week, we were also able to celebrate Diwali with some of our slum children as we reopened their refurbished center in one of our cities most crowded slums. We have also distributed gifts to women and children in our other projects, including a sari distribution to our female sex workers.

None of this would be possible without your support and we are sincerely grateful to you for ensuring we can give our women and children their own family Diwali celebrations.

Are you thinking of donating before the end of the year? If so, 30 November is Giving Tuesday and there is US$1 million in match-funding up for grabs. Save the date to make your donation go even further this giving season.

We wish you a healthy, safe and prosperous festive season and new year.

Light up our children's lives this Diwali
Light up our children's lives this Diwali
Reopening our refurbished center
Reopening our refurbished center
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Simran studied from home
Simran studied from home

Hello

We hope you are doing well and staying safe. We have good news to share which shows the impact your support is having despite the current hardships of the pandemic.

The past two years have been an immense challenge to both our students and their teachers with education severely disrupted by the pandemic and lockdowns. Despite this, we are so proud that our Rehab Center and Balbhavan (slum school) students achieved great results this year.

10 Std pass rate

  • Rehab Center - 100%
  • Balbhavan - 100%

12 Std pass rate

  • Rehab Center - 100%
  • Balbhavan - 93%

This is an amazing accomplishment given that the majority of Indian children, especially those living in shelter homes and slums, have experienced a year severely disrupted by the COVID pandemic and lockdowns in one of the most significant years of their schooling. Throughout, the dilemma of starting schools and keeping our children safe through online education has continued, with schools opening and closing with little notice and adequate time to prepare properly. Despite limited access to technology, our staff continued to provide online classes and homework to around 200 students in our Rehab Center and 700 in our Balbhavan.

Of course, it all comes down to the individual children who overcame the emotional and practical disruptions to remain focused and committed to their learning. Our students stayed buoyant throughout and their perseverance and commitment to learning should be applauded and we are also grateful to our teachers who were under pressure to deliver both offline and online classes which helped our students stay on track.

This is an extra impressive result for Simran, who lives in one of our city slums, as she is the first member of her family to have completed higher secondary education, providing inspiration to them and others. Simran’s family has long struggled with making ends meet. Her father and mother both work as laborers and never seem to have enough money to care for their kids and Simran was only able to complete her education by earning while she learned.

Always a bright girl, her life changed when she was admitted to our Balbhavan where she received additional support in our after-school classes. A topper throughout, Simran was determined to better her score at every step and achieve perfect marks in Class 12, although the COVID pandemic did not make it easy for her.

“Online classes via mobile phones were very tough, especially where I live where the internet connectivity is very bad. But our Balbhavan teachers were patient and helped us throughout, answering our queries on Whatsapp, taking calls to explain the concepts and providing all the extra support we needed. The lack of physical classes was acutely felt and when schools reopened for a short time from February, we all were determined to make the best of the time we had to completely prepare to appear for the exam in May,” she shares.

Her family’s support was also vital, as she explains: “They did not understand much since no one in my family has ever completed their higher education. But they supported my dreams and gave me the space and time to study. They still don’t fully understand what I have achieved but are happy and proud of me.”

Looking forward, Simran has her eyes set on her dream of working in banking so she can help her family.

We are incredibly proud and committed to continuing to support all our graduates in pursuing their dreams and building on their outstanding achievements this year. Also, while some colleges are slowly starting to reopen their doors, many remain closed as do schools, so we are thankful to our staff and children who have risen to the challenge and adapted their learning to help all of our children continue their education in this challenging world we all currently find ourselves living in.

Save the Date: GlobalGiving's Little by Little Campaign takes place September 13-17 with all eligible donations up to $50 matched at 50%.

 

 

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Organization Information

Snehalaya 'Home of Love'

Location: Ahmednagar, Maharashtra - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Snehalaya
Project Leader:
Joyce Connolly
Ahmednagar, Maharashtra India
$46,346 raised of $55,000 goal
 
640 donations
$8,654 to go
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