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

Meet Nikita

Our teachers understand how hard it has been to find and bring our students to school so going that extra mile to put a smile on our students faces is something they love to do. Listen to Nikita's story.

Nikita was just 3 when our Childline Team found at a railway station. Now 10 Nikita joins in but from a distance and has difficulty listening to her teachers. Reshma one of Nikita’s teacher won her trust and build a bond describing how she too had lost her mother at an early. She gently gave her tips on her behaviour that she could interpret in her own way and Nikita started interacting with her classmates. The difference is pronounced, Nikita’s confidence is grown, she follows the school rules, and has improved her marks. She recently gave a presentation to 300 students and teachers! 

Thank you for supporting girls like Nikita 


Girls Education

Primary education has undergone immense progress in the last 15yrs to be almost universally available. The state of secondary education in India, particularly for girls remains troublesome. Our school doors and slum drop in centres centres now provide free education to over 4000 children with girl education a priority focus. 

A local government scheme Bhagyashree Yojana provides all girls free education up to 12th Standard (A-Level/SAT equivalent) however still only 2% of girls in India complete secondary education, only 47% even start it.  Often these girls are from deprived, isolated and minority sections of society, such as nomadic tribes and scheduled castes, who are far removed from education. Reasons include child marriages, child labour, sex trafficking and health issues and early pregnancies.

Laying the groundwork is vital - making spaces and opportunities to discuss girls’ education directly in the communities where girls are at high risk is key. Last month we launched our Stand #WithMalala Roadshow going all over our district to spread the word about how important educating girls is in creating an equal and progressive society. Not only are we screening Malala’s movie in Hindi in makeshift cinemas we are organising street plays, rallies and debates on the issues girls face in getting mainstream secondary education. The response has been overwhelming with community leaders, children and their parents turning up to commit to keep their girls in education. Read more about how we plan to reach 30,000 girls in the next 2 months here


Recent Progress

  • It is inspiring how seriously our students take their personal development and education. Studiously revising for the State Board exams. To encourage them we turned to technology using Skype to connect to an educational counsellor, guest lecturers and exceptional local teachers across their 9 study subjects.
  • We offer homework clubs and mock examinations with Smart Education to give our students invaluable insights into exam conditions to build their confidence ahead of the exam period.
  • We are growing our teacher and school international partnerships with Connecting Classrooms – a British Council initiative (see our blog
  • Our teachers also enjoyed a one week intensive teacher training course locally with a monthly follow up session to monitor their progress.
  • Last month a huge recruitment initiative for the next academic year was a great success with nearly 200 new students expressing an interest in joining our school. This helps securing future funding and continues to build our network of education forward citizens.


Giving Education is the BEST GIFT

Education is vital in breaking the crippling cycles of poverty and empowers self belief that is unsurpassable. A regular donation of £22/month can ensure a child is enrolled mainstream school and provided with all the resources needed to study.

In India a teachers monthly salary is £70. Just £70 to teach a whole classroom of children for a month. 

Please consider if a regular donation of any amount is possible. We will do the rest!

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passionate students performance for girls ed
passionate students performance for girls ed

2016 looks set to be our best yet for education.  Our projects are doing well and we have even branched out into Ladies only Driving Lessons.  A little round up of news from our IT centre, our school, in our slum educational projects....

Developments In Our Projects

  • Gearing up for adolescents – school extended to teaching 6th Standard
  • Raising survivors to be leaders – a focus on moving past horrifying histories

World Class

  • Snehalaya invited to work for Girls Education with Malala in India
  • School Principal is published in Times Educational Supplement twice! and brings her teachers to train in UK schools

Innovative Education through PLAY

  • Pre-schoolers world’s first Interactive Language Learning playground to launches at Snehalaya
  • Grackle app supports self taught language for 7000 6-12year olds
  • Toybank expands to 9 slums – Play for all

Upcoming Schemes

  • Texas teams up 20 educationalists to spend a month in our projects


This report is jam packed with good news.  So much we reckon you should get the kettle on and come back with a biscuit or two, ready for a good round up!...Sitting comfortably?


Raising survivors to be leaders – a focus on moving past horrifying histories - More then anything when working with high-risk children from tribal, slum, low income and health burdened backgrounds we have to be informed and sensitive to the case histories of our children.  We cannot shy away from where they have come from and our approach to education is on personal development more then results and attainment.  We listen, counsel and support children to heal.  Take Durga – she witnessed her mother be set on fire and die in front of her, by her father.  With nurturing and one on one support Durga is re-learning trust and that she can be loved here.  She is getting there and shows clear aptitude and ability in her studies.  She is succeeding in her own personal development and the grades we are certain will follow.


Snehalaya brings Malala and Girls Education to India - Who doesn’t love Malala and all she stands for?  Our tribute #gala4malala event at Mumbai Uni in November was packed out with politicians, NGO heads, students, activists, & girls.  All kinds of girls from all walks of life came together in to speak about their lives and the need for access to secondary education to a crowd of over 1800 people.  The Snehalaya run event was splashed all over the news – internationally.  We also held numerous special free screenings across Maharashtra without a spare seat in the house! Next is to take Hindi version of Malala’s movie in road show across our district to slum communities, schools and remote villages to open a debate directly with girls in their communities where it counts. Sabah Ali is our Indian Malala, she fought hard to be educated and with our Slum education programs is now in higher education studying engineering, she is one of only 2% of the girls that complete high school in India.  47% never in make secondary education.  Sabah spoke and inspired the crowd at the Mumbai event talking of her difficulties in convincing people she should study because she was a girl and because she was a Muslim.  For all the Sabah’s we are delighted to be bringing the important message of every girls right to education right in the communities and villages where the conversation needs to happen. 


Principal published in Times Educational Supplement, brings her teachers to UK third year running – with the support of the British Council connecting classrooms scheme and a strong drive for social change, principle Pratiba Khengre has become an unstoppable force for our English School.  She was published last month in the TES and during her three year reign she has actively recruited specific pupils and teachers to build an inclusive school community free from the usual prejudice and stigma surrounding HIV and sex workers. A unique school needs a unique approach and Pratiba places sex ed firmly on the agenda saying


‘I have children with parents that are either dead from AIDS or progressive thinking enough to let their children learn along side children from orphanages, low incomes and with inherited HIV.  There is no space to skirt around the subject with curious teenagers…curious teenagers with HIV, quite plainly, they need the facts of life here and now’.

Pratiba is somewhat of an anomaly herself, her husband a successful vet moved to support her career desire to work in this sector and is often seen serving the food to guests and other ‘non male’ roles by Indian standards.  

'It is hard to get middle-income families to agree to have their children taught with HIV children.  It is harder to get teachers keen to progress their career to work with us, so being able to offer international opportunities and to pilot innovative learning schemes is great at drawing the progressive staff this school needs to recruit.  Partnering with International schools to give my teachers their own learning support networks is a great incentive for then'. 

This year Pratiba will partner with 20 Texan teaching students and 3 professors from A&M University in Texas USA to give her staff and students one to one conversational English practise and to develop a world view from their visitors. 


Toybank expands to 9 slums – Play for all – after piloting this Mumbai’s scheme in our school we are delighted to be taking a toy library to our more rural regions.  Toybank offers a great moderated play scheme - teaching street kids how to respect possessions through access to educational toys in our toy library.  Children can learn to play together without worrying over ‘ownership’ and can even loan items to take home.


Pre-schoolers interactive AV playground launches at Snehalaya - Under 5’s learn best through play and movement in amongst their peers navigating the world.  Attention spans for static desk-work are not developed and we all know boredom kills learning potential.  We are thrilled to have teamed up with Child Tuition (Holland) to unveil and showcase the much-awaited Nicotopia – An innovative educational playground that has been stringently developed in Holland in a 5 year R&D program seeks to give 2-6 year olds conversational English while they play! This fully interactive, unassisted play zone does not require teachers or adults in anyway. Targeting to 2-6 year olds, this playground has 4 stations and many physical challenges that mean in playing 30 children can, fully unaided, learn English and social navigational skills, irrespective of sharing the same mother tongue.  We can’t say much more until the unveil in Autumn, it with 1500 words, 2000 sentences and 20 songs it is a language game-changer set to become a great teaching aid.


 Grackle app supports self taught language for 7000 6-12year olds – Another Child Tuition developed piece of kit is already doing well at our school.  This screen-based game allows children to find their own way into learning English through 166 games designed specifically for Indian children.  Grackle is popping up in ‘hole in the wall’ kiosks and in school computer labs across India.  Snehalaya are delighted to use it as a learning aid, especially as it is intuitive – meaning our teachers can enjoy a study break themselves while the kids get to have fun playing and learning at a screen.





Girls, girls, girls - audience watch Malala movie
Girls, girls, girls - audience watch Malala movie
Sabah Ali -Fight to be counted in education, I did
Sabah Ali -Fight to be counted in education, I did
Our school, inclusive, progressive impressive
Our school, inclusive, progressive impressive
Principal Pratiba leading a new type of education
Principal Pratiba leading a new type of education


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Abhishek Posing Proudly
Abhishek Posing Proudly

We at Snehalaya uphold the basic human right for education for all and we continue to provide it to those members of society that are impoverished and disenfranchised. Article 26 of the Human Rights Declaration by the United Nation states that:

‘Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.’

Not only does Snehalaya lead the way for education for all, yet Snehalaya School and slum projects are also ambassadors of other Human Rights that are often overlooked, especially, when the spotlight is so often highlighting the need for life necessities, such as food, shelter and equality.

One of the most remarkable features of school life at our educational projects is the shared positive ethos of beneficiaries and staff towards national identity. Teachers and care workers work together to provide beneficiaries with a sense of identity and with that in mind a national identity and belonging. We recognize the importance of nationality and nurture of a sense of belonging to a culture and race. Without this, individuals are lost and are outsiders, not playing a particular role in the upholding of culture and national values.

When visiting the educational projects at the beginning of a day, you will be spellbound by the beautiful recital of the Indian pledge and national anthem. This lead by one of the elder children demonstrates a key focus and supports Article 15 of the Human Rights Declaration:

‘Everyone has the right to a nationality.’

This practice fosters a feeling of community and family spirit. Abhishek a student from the 6th standard at Snehalaya English Medium School is a prime example of a student that relishes in his nationality and demonstrates a true love and admiration for his country and fellow Indians. Abhishek is one of the elder students that lead assemblies and the national pledge, helping his peers and younger children to develop the same sense of nationality and a belonging to India that he has learnt to develop through these daily routines.

Over the academic year, Snehalaya education provides its beneficiaries with countless opportunities to celebrate India’s diverse culture and values. Abhishekhas also been deeply involved in many other functions and ceremonies during the year that enable the children to embed and celebrate their nationalities. One of these opportunities is an annual event August the 15th when all stakeholders celebrate India’s National Day of Independence. Not only does this date mark the National Day of India but it also shares the birthdays of so many beneficiaries that have no official record of their birth. Abhishek led the national pledge on the 15th of August 2015 and was a symbol of the importance of nationalism. Here you can see him with a post card to send to his peer in his partner school, Welland Park Academy in England.

In addition we have celebrated this year; Ganpati, Christmas, National Independence, Ede, Holi, Ganesh Festival just to name a few. All children attending educational training with our projects are learning an understanding of their personal identity and thus learning how to flourish as an Indian citizen. This type of education is inclusive and shows that all of the children under the umbrella of education at Snehalaya belong and that every child matters.

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Ajam enjoying an English lesson with friends
Ajam enjoying an English lesson with friends

It's been 18months since we moved into our brand new building at Snehalaya English Medium School. With the partnership with British Council's connecting classrooms scheme in full force we have undergone some radical changes and we are striving towards education for all.

For us Education for All means just that and actually uniting all children under one roof: HIV positive, slum children (54), orphans (87), mainstream children (49) learning together a remarkable acheivement and one we are proud of. Shoulder to shoulder and mind to mind, these extraordinary children demonstrate, that for all walks of life, education doesn't just give children basic knowledge and skills, it replaces an empty mind with an open mind.

We have fostered an environment where children are content and happy to work happily together and collaborate. Before, destitute children could not access education easily; however S.E.M.S provides a learning environment, where racial and social prejudices are non-existent and future full of hope and ambition prevails. At the beginning of this academic school year, we opened our doors for the first time to paying mainstream children. Teachers, volunteers and project leaders have been leading a ground breaking campaign to raise awareness for the importance of education. They have taken to the streets going door to door and talking to parents across seven different slum communities asking questions and encouraging a debate over the importance of education. This has resulted in subscription of a brilliant mix of children from different economic, social and health backgrounds to unite in our school.

Ajam, a 14 year old boy from Kashmir, is just one of the hundreds of children benefiting from Snehalaya's education program and being supported through the generousity of supporters like yourself. After being orphaned in Kashmir, he was directed to Snehalaya in January by a government organisation. Ajam was one of a group of 5 boys that were homed in Snehalaya's long term shelter known as the 'rehabilitation centre'.

Intially shy, Ajam didn't often contribute in lessons, care workers and teachers were concerned he would not be able to access the school work through the English medium. However as the weeks and months passed, teachers continued to support him and slowly Ajam found a new sense of confidence, he began to make new friends. He is really been welcomed and accepted by all members of the loving community at Snehalaya at a difficult point in his young life. Now, just 6 months on Ajam is flying high, he is one of the highest achieving students in the 5th standard class, and his command of the English language is something to admire. What a super-star, only two weeks ago he was proud to tell everyone about his 19/20 pass mark in an English vocabulary test! Good luck Ajam with your future studies.

In addition to learning success, continued professional development (CPD) has been a key theme of the Connecting Classrooms project in place with British Council and Welland Park Academy in Leicester.  With links to other schools in the region and further afield in England, sharing good practise has resulted in many new ideas being implemented and monitored. Each subject in the school now has a specific classroom dedicated to that subject and teachers that are specialised in certain areas of the curriculum are teaching their specialism. A huge behaviour and classroom management initiative has been launched, and this is having positive ongoing effects.  Bearing in mind when we opened the school behavioural disruption was a serious issue, we are making great progress.

We have continued to strengthen and develop links with Cathedral & John Connon Infant School, Welland Park Academy, Toybank and Leeds Rag & Leeds Beckett. The continuous support of these institutions put us on the front line with international links in our City. Looking forward to the future, we have our third teacher visit to Welland Park Academy in the winter term and many mentoring opportunities from local schools. Watch this space as Snehalaya English Medium School continues to be a lead in education for under privileged children.

Thank you for your ongoing support.  We hope you feel it is being spent well and we welcome your comments and suggestions. Please think about making a regular donation to this or one of our other 3 other projects.  Even a small regular donation of just £5 a month means over the year you will cover a qualified teachers salary for an entire month.

£5/month to EDUCATE the next generation 

£5/month to RESCUE a child from bonded labour

£5/month to offer FARM training and living for a family with HIV

£5/month to run ADOPTION rescue facilities for abandoned infants


Thank you!


Sarah Kenning,

Language Teacher - Welland Park Academy, Leiceister UK

Past International Volunteer 2009

Mentor and participating lead teacher in the Connecting Classrooms Scheme with The British Council 2013, 2014, 2015

Snehalaya English Medium School Intake July 2015
Snehalaya English Medium School Intake July 2015
Ajam participating in a Kabadi competition
Ajam participating in a Kabadi competition
Thinking big after craft workshop with Leeds Rag
Thinking big after craft workshop with Leeds Rag


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Smiles on hearing Toybank is coming to town
Smiles on hearing Toybank is coming to town

When our Snehalaya English Medium School formed in 2010 to get our slum children and children from our long term care centre simply into ANY form of primary education, we didn't know how things would shape up, we didn't even have a school building or more then one teacher.  

Now four years on we are redefiining our goals and believe The Power of Play is vital to our children’s development harnessing their resiliance into empowerment and allowing their potential to be leaders for social change to emerge.  

We are so grateful to be connected to four amazing educational institutions here in Maharashtra and in the UK and partnered with two great charities.  We also have numerous kind benefactors offering donations in kind to build our resource library.  We have not only proved we just may be able to offer a brighter future for our children, but that this is something we could even strive at.  Thank you for staying with us in these formative years.


This year a great many partnerships were formed:

 -Over 3500 books were added to our library from Cathedral & John Connon Infant School, Mumbai & Give A Little Shop, UK and The Idea Foundation, Pune.

  -Wellandpark Academy, UK secured a third year of British Council ‘Connecting Classrooms’ funding allowing both UK and our our teachers to run exchange programmes with great opportunities for our teachers & children to learn about their cultural, economic differences along with realizing the similarities children share. 

-Toybank is an amazing charity in Mumbai that believes play can give back the right to childhood and we are thrilled to be involved in implementing a toy library for our 6 slum districts and at our school. In our communities were possession discipline is low and toys are in their scarcity this invigilated toy library is such an egalitarian and sustainable approach to gifting children what we all remember most from our own. The abandonment and exploration of play!

 -Leeds Rag (Raise & Give Society) not only raised a substantial donation to be used across our education projects, their group of 12 volunteers who visited for 2 weeks in March ran excellent workshops with our school creating beautiful solar system posters titled ‘You Are A Child of The Universe’ a thing of powerful resonance and beauty making our children feel included and counted.


Thank you for your on going support.  We hope you feel it is being spent well and we welcome your comments and suggestions.  Please feel free to Kathleen Smith:

Please think about making a regular donation to this or one of our other 3 other projects.  Even a small regular donation of just £5 a month means over the year you will cover a qualified teachers salary for an entire month.



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Organization Information

Snehalaya 'Home of Love'

Location: Ahmednagar, Maharashtra - India
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Snehalaya
Project Leader:
Joyce Connolly
Ahmednagar, Maharashtra India
$43,635 raised of $55,000 goal
604 donations
$11,365 to go
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