Lavanya sows a sapling during her U&I class
“Akka, can I tell you a joke?” she asks, pulling out a neatly-folded newspaper from her backpack.
“Okay, sure,” her tutor responds.
“What do you call security guards outside a Samsung store?” she continues eagerly.
“Hmm… I don’t know. What?”
“Guardians of the Galaxy!” comes her answer.
Lavanya, all of 10 years old, with bright eyes and a pixie haircut that perfectly fits her slight frame, continues to read from the newspaper. It’s time for another joke. Jokes that she doesn’t always get.
Lavanya is one of 23 girls at one of U&I’s Learning Centers in Bangalore. She lives in a Home for rescued girls - a two-bedroom house with chirpy posters and plastic chairs, couple old cupboards and shelves weighed down by 23 heavy backpacks. She’s probably never seen a Samsung Galaxy S6. She’s probably never heard of the latest blockbuster. But whether she gets the joke or not, Lavanya is keen to share a few laughs with her U&I tutor. This is their time together.
Every Tuesday and Saturday afternoon, U&I tutors become Lavanya’s community. Their two-and-a-half hours together may technically be about Science or Math, but in fact, it’s so much more. It’s about building a relationship, it’s helping her gain confidence, it’s helping grow her world and understanding – and it’s helping grow the tutors’ worlds too. Community is not always about finding your kind of people. It’s also about including those unlike you.
It’s building someone else’s world. And letting them build yours.
U&I does just that at our 21 Learning Centers across India. Thank you for coming alongside us!