It now seems ages ago when we started our scholarship programme in India - when in fact, it has only been a few short years. Why do we feel as if more time has passed? We are simply awe-struck as to the incredible accomplishments of the girls who have benefited so far from being able to go to university.
We are as proud as parents!
You should hear us... when we speak of our greenlight girls in India, we talk about them as if they are our children. We boast about their accomplishments. We talk about their latest grades in their courses. We are truly so proud of what they are doing - so, please allow us to boast a bit more to all of you! Here is some news from just a few our girls:
Sindhu is reaching her last year in university and has already captured the teaching contagion. She just "taught" her first group of small children in her neighbourhood about the subject of physics and had so much fun that she is already planning her next class.
Srilaksmi is off to her first internship! That's right! With the help of one of our greenlight partners in India, she will get the chance to work as an engineer in a local manufacturing plant for a few months to put her studies into practice. She is SO excited!
When we decided to provide this scholarship opportunity, it wasn't only the funds we were seeking to provide. We are also a mentor to these girls - someone to encourage them to keep going and to reach for more possibilities. This is why the idea of continuous learning and education makes us so proud. The fact that Sindhu is already taking her education to educate another future generation makes our heart grow with pride. The incredible opportunity that Srilaksmi has now to start working in her field before she even graduates makes our eyes tear up with the thought of the incredible path she is starting for herself and as a role model for others.
Getting ready for the next events in India
Sindu, Srilaksmi and all our greenlight girls in India will be helping us bring our greenlight for girls activities to a few cities - so these next few months will be our preparation time to gear up for these great moments to-come.
Where are we going? Well, in addition to working with our great educational partners in Bangalore - and previously announced with our new scholarship in Rajasthan - we will also be going to GOA! We will be holding a greenlight for girls day in Goa, India in January 2016.
Our greenlight girls are Ambassadors, they are role models, they are an inspiration to all of us. Congratulations to all of you!
We have learned that inspiration has no limits. Once again, our scholarship girls in India have shared with us their passion for learning and for science - so much, it makes us wish we were university students again too!
In January this year, we had an amazing opportunity with our greenlight children in India....
- greenlight for girls was a part of a multiple school-wide Parikrma Festival of Science with 200 children - bringing forward important societal issues related to science. This year was focused on the issues of water and the children learned by hands-on activities on how to measure the quality and reach of water to their communities. They learned that their city doesn't have enough daily needs for water and we discussed with them what we could all do to make a difference. Parikrma is our partner to help identify potential greenlight scholarships - they are an incredible educational system aimed to help children who live in slums and orphanages around Bangalore.
- we met our scholarship girls to brainstorm our strategy for the upcoming year on how we could involve them as role models to encourage more children to aspire to university education. The girls were so thrilled to give their good news - their latest exam scores (which were incredible!), their plans for their next degree (!!), their desire to get an internship to start learning in the science, engineering and IT fields, and how much they just love to learn. Again - we couldn't help by be inspired by their enthusiasm.
- we had the chance to meet local partners who also work to teach science to children - and look forward to work together to hold greenlight for girls events in the community.
And with all this, we can't wait to tell you our really big news -- we are setting up a new scholarship for a community in Rajasthan and will have the chance to help 31 girls through their formative years to encourage the completion of high school and eventually to start their university studies.
Look to our future news as we will start our greenlight for girls activities in Calcutta & Mumbai!
Thanks for reading more! Yes, big, big news to share! One of our first greenlight girls in India to receive the g4g scholarship to go to university has....just graduated!! And with flying colours!! Congratulations to Sindhu for successfully reaching her Bachelor of Science degree! And the news doesn't end there... she's already applied and been accepted with a scholarship from a university in Banglore to go for her Masters in Computer Science. We couldn't be more proud and excited for her!
Your donations have enabled us to provide scholarships to university for girls in both the Parikrma and Nele schools, both dedicated to helping children living in the slums and on the streets in South India. We continue our work on to Rajasthan where we are focusing on the rural girls to enable scholarships. Our challenge in this area is to find girls pursuing higher education in the villages in Rajasthan. We have selected the Jaipur district and the search is on! We will start with a few students ready to continue their schooling and these selected girls can be a role model for others to follow.
In the office the other day, we were all brainstorming about new science experiments to create and share with girls around the world. A great idea came immediately to mind. Let's try the experiments by Sindu, one of our university scholarship recipients in India! She loves her studes - and she especially LOVES physics. She is one of our great role models who inspires anyone to develop a passion and curiousity about science. This is what our g4g Scholarship project is all about - providing opportunities to our next role models in science - creating the chain of change to keep the inspiration going from person to person, family member to friend, generation to generation.
Our girls in Nele have just started their new school year so we're happy to provide them with their tuition, book fees and medical expenses - all due to the great contributions from all of you. Keep this coming as the next term approaches for our Parikrma girls. We are also hoping to plan a big g4g day in India in January to bring all our girls together to be the workshop leaders for the younger ones.
We have met some special greenlight children in India, many in fact, – but, we specifically have 8 special girls in mind when we are reflecting on this now. These are the first of our scholarship recipients for greenlight for girls - and it is because of all of you that they have the opportunity to pursue their dreams to study at University! Here is the latest report of these special girls...
G4g India Director, Dr Chandana Bhattacharya, and g4g Founder, Melissa Rancourt, met in Bangalore, India in January to meet our g4g Rickshaw team, to dream and plan about our next steps in India and to meet these special scholarship girls to talk about many things… especially Physics Class! First, for all of you who have been watching the adventures of Leslie & Antoine, our awesome Rickshaw team, as they posted their stories on Facebook these past four weeks…. we have news. They made it across the finish line!! This amazing pair decided to take their holiday to venture from the North of India to the South India in an auto-rickshaw (decked out in beautiful “green”-ery decorations) and to try to make it to the finish line in less than 3 weeks. This adventure was to also raise money for our special 8 girls in India to make it possible for this semester’s university tuition to be paid so these girls could continue their education…. and they accomplished this as well! Go team! Take a look on-line for more information about their adventures, their learnings – and then finally the special moment when they had the chance to meet the girls they were helping.
January is a great time for dreaming, for planning for the future. Chandana and Melissa did just this during their time together in India. Look for news about our upcoming Science Festival with Parikrma in Bangalore, bringing g4g and our scholarship girls into the classroom of younger students, our work with children from the rural areas of Rajasthan and our plans to work in Calcutta. Would you like to be a part of our work in India? Just let us know!
It’s amazing what can happen in only one year. Chandana and Melissa had this incredible opportunity to experience a transformation in a few special children we know. Just one year ago, they remember interviewing the potential greenlight for girls scholarship recipients. These very shy girls spoke very quietly about their dreams and aspirations. For some of them, they were just learning to speak English so the words were difficult to find – but we could see a special spark in their eyes. Fast forward the clock to one year later and we almost didn’t recognise them! Where was the shyness, the hesitation to speak in English? Almost completely gone! Our g4g scholarship winners were bubbling with enthusiasm and spoke to us non-stop about their studies, what it was like to be in university, being in class with other young women and men, and tackling these STEM subjects head-on. We encouraged lots of conversation about the challenges with the coursework and plans (and uncertainty) for the future. One of our conversations centered around physics class (so, you see, this is just like conversations we have all over the world!). One of the girls spoke about how she didn’t quite like Physics… and another immediately said, “then, you haven’t found the fun yet!” And with that, she reached in her backpack and pulled out everyday objects that people were throwing away – some string, a paper cup, an unused balloon and so on – and she immediately demonstrated Newton’s and Boyle’s Laws with the items in hand. She made the theory come alive and she made it very practical. This was most definitely a greenlight girl.
As with every opportunity we have in our work with greenlight for girls, we were awestruck, inspired and full of energy for more great ideas ahead.
Thank you for your incredible support!!!
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