Education  India Project #18237

Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India

by Teach For India
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Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Students meeting people of the community
Students meeting people of the community

Khushboo is a Teach For India Fellow (2015-17) in Ahmedabad. She teaches in a low-income school in the midst of chawls where migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan live and work as painters, factory workers, carpenters and other wage laborers. There are very tiny houses in chawls, where her students live on rent and they are very used to witnessing violence in their homes, seeing their fathers beating their mothers. They are also the witnesses of violence in their community where people who don’t get jobs get involved in inhuman activities like stealing, eve teasing, threatening, hurting and killing other people.

Khushboo talks about her experience - 

"I realized that there is a lack of leadership in the community. People feel hopeless and afraid to take any step towards a positive change in the community and people with whom I am in direct contact with are my tiny little hopes, my students. I signed up for MAYA - Ahmedabad, a Teach For India’s initiative for Student Leadership. During this process they learned about their strengths, weaknesses, values and purposes and how can they connect all of these aspects in their daily lives through reflecting upon their behavior. They learned deeply about their community through numerous community walks, surveys and understanding the bright spots as well as problems of their community that they can understand the problems and can play the role of catalysts of change. Now, students are practicing rigorously to showcase the problems of the community through Forum Theatre in front of around 300 people. They want to show that even a small change matters and children can do anything. Along with these students are trying different small things to change their community."

Shalini, who used to be very shy to speak in class a year ago, now tries to resolve the fights in her community by entering in between and cracking a joke loudly.

Ranjani, who used to be very fierce, now teaches English to two grade 7 students in her community as she recognized that her strengths are grit and helping.

Annu, who started teaching values, feelings and importance of reflection to her parents which has decreased domestic violence in her house to a level where parents are more focused on investing in their children rather than making small issues bigger and arguing upon them. She has empowered her mother with her words of wisdom, now her mother is hopeful about her daughter’s future despite her father’s short temper.

Similarly, every child has incredible stories that they share with Khushboo on a daily basis where they changed something in the community using their values- courage, compassion, and wisdom.

Interviewing and understanding their lives
Interviewing and understanding their lives
Khushboo with her students
Khushboo with her students
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From each and everyone at Teach for India, we wish you a very happy new year! Thank you for being part of our family in 2016. We have valued your contributions, encouragement, support and enthusiasm more than we can ever say. We are all set to embark on the next phase of our journey to reach one million children by 2022! Much work lies ahead this year and we are counting on your support to help us make a difference. 

Amit and Hrishikesh are teaching to a class of 3rd Grade students who are not just students but leaders! They are strong change makers, with brilliant ideas which they have already started materializing to improve their community.

Brighton English School is a low-income private school located in Ahmedabad. The community around the school has a diversified population of approximately 100,000 inhabitants coming mainly from three states - West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The community is facing a dreadful lack of basic human necessities. The area has been a dumping ground for the city's waste for many years now and this huge garbage dump yard, which the kids perceive as a hill, emit pungent gas. There is no hospital around the community. There is no Government school neither secondary English medium school in the community. Most of the students suffer from malnutrition, respiratory problems and skin diseases. Most of the students don't know about their potential.

The purpose of education that Amit and Hrishikesh saw was to create change-makers who could drive a change in making the community a better place to live.

Suzanna who is 10 years old, identified eve-teasing as a concerning issue and is ferociously working to eliminate it. Jannat and Rukhsana are asking questions to the Maulana of the mosque related to equality of rights for women and involving him in creating a safe society for women. Rukhsar and Shoeb teach younger girls self-defense. Soyeb takes care of 8 students after school, revising every day’s lessons and is also working in creating resources on iPad such as phonic books, for kids in the community who cannot go to school.

The entire classroom made cloth bags out of waste cloth and distributed them to the people inside the community in order to create awareness on hygiene and minimal use of plastics. The students also took steps to transform the school toilets making them pleasant and training the other students on how to use them and keep them clean.

Some of the projects are so promising they got awarded the I CAN Award 2015. How wonderful it is to see empowered kids using the design thinking framework and driving change in the society, impacting hundreds of life! These change-makers have big dreams and we should encourage them to achieve it, creating a better society and the India of our dreams.

Superheroes of Britton English School
Superheroes of Britton English School
Our student leaders on stage
Our student leaders on stage
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Dark shadows attack Maya on her journey
Dark shadows attack Maya on her journey

MY MAYA WILL ACT

Amid the labyrinth of lanes in the area of Bombay Hotel, right next to the place where the garbage of the whole city is dumped, there is a little school called the Brighton Primary English School. During the Academic Year 2015-2016, thirty kids from a third grade Teach for India classroom in that school were a part of Maya 2.0 Project. 

Teach For India Fellow (2014-16), Rishabh talks about his students' experience -

"Maya is a princess who takes a journey, lifts three curses and restores light in her kingdom. Everybody has a Maya inside them. Just like Maya, through the last ten months, my students and I have embarked on a beautiful journey. This focused on the children realizing their potential as leaders, developing a deeper understanding of what their community is, identifying three problems that are dear to them and solve them using forum theatre (A form of theatre derived from the Theatre of Oppressed)."

The students worked on understanding the challenges in the community and came up with challenges like “domestic violence”, “street violence” and “garbage littering” as the big problems they want to solve. One day, the class was brainstorming on solutions for violence. The kids came up to their Teacher with a solution. They said that the people in the community are not aware of operating with values like compassion and hence, all these problems.

Aabira proposed, “We should teach them values!”. First day, Aabira, Ramina and Sabeena got together, gathered the kids around their houses who go to different schools, requested one of their neighbors to let them use the empty space and started teaching values to the children. Every day they would come back to their teacher and share their reflections.

The three girls gathered about twenty girls and conducted a sharing circle everyday. No one would have ever imagined nine year olds to have the capacity to inspire someone else and try to make them partners in change that they wish to create. These were student leaders inspiring change in small ways. This was an example of how children can do things beyond our imagination.

Imagine the potential every kid with a right opportunity can have! They might create movements that will redraw the routes to a brighter tomorrow and redefine the future of the world in ways our minds cannot fathom! We would love to thank you for being a part of Teach For India's journey towards helping students attain excellent education!

*Names of beneficiaries changed to protect their identity

Students getting ready!
Students getting ready!
Sabeena explaining the details of her community
Sabeena explaining the details of her community
Gallery walk that showcased all the art work
Gallery walk that showcased all the art work
Teach For India Fellow with the students on stage
Teach For India Fellow with the students on stage
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#2 Parvaarish Play: Student performing on stage
#2 Parvaarish Play: Student performing on stage

#1 STORY OF A SUPERHERO IN KUBERNAGAR, AHMEDABAD

She was her students’ first subject as they wrote about “My Favorite Superhero”. She is a Teach For India Fellow teaching in Kuber Nagar English School No. 4 Ahmedabad, a dilapidated government school in a community of illegal alcohol brewers, auto-rickshaw drivers and food cart owners. Amidst an innumerable number of challenges, she made immense amount of effort to bring her kids to where they are today. It is with a lot of passion and a lot of love that she taught them. Now Anjali, a mere 6 year old, has started to teach her mother at home and 7 year old Avchal instructs big boys and girls on how to keep their classroom clean. She says, “Initially, it was difficult to balance work and self and to also keep up with the pace at which everything was happening. It was a lot more difficult to create and grade assessments until midnight whilst still waking up at 6 AM to go to the school, open the lock and clean the facility all by myself. Gradually, I began to see happy faces coming to school and my dream for student leadership coming to life.”

#2 SAY YES TO A HAPPY CHILDHOOD!

Teach For India Fellows witness the hardships and the struggles of their kids and their families on daily basis. During home visits and observations, they connect various aspects of their children's lives to their own childhood experiences. Children who show disruptive behaviour in the classroom, or who suffer from low self-esteem, are often compared with other children at home, ignored, physically beaten and made to feel small with words. To the new human being still learning to navigate the world, it spells layers of psychological baggage that, perhaps, even as an adult, they will be unable to understand or cope with.

A team of 9 Teach For India Fellows came up with an idea to showcase the issue in the simplest form, and to promote "Positive Home Environment". Parvarish - Seechon Bachpan Pyar Se, is a theatrical stage performance, put forward by the students and Fellows of Teach for India, Ahmedabad. The show spreads awareness of the fact that in daily life there exists a lot of unintentional behaviour carried by the parents/elders which creates a huge impact on child’s mind. We never know which child gets impacted to what level but there have been scenarios where these stack of emotional abuses met by the child in their childhood days lead to serious concerns when they grow as an adult. The Parvarish team has tried to address some of most pressing issues like ignorance, negligence, physical ill treatment and use of harsh words through the show.

It was an event attended by over 700 parents of our students, which was held on 3rd April 2016 at Thakorbhai Desai Hall. All aspects of the event were managed by the Fellows and students. One Parent said that he used to hit his wife, but Parvarish has opened his eyes. He has never noticed the impact of his actions on kids emotions ever before. He promised that he will make their home a positive environment for the happy childhood days of his kids.

#3 STORY OF A NEW BEGINNING – ON THE PATH

This year, 600 more Fellows embarked on their journey to fight for educational equity for all children and for a better, brighter India. “Institute is awesome. The atmosphere around is so charged up that sleep seems too distant a possibility”, says an exhilarated Fellow from the new cohort of 2016. The Summer Institute is the first step in the Fellowship program. It is a five-week training process that comprises the Fellows’ induction in their classrooms and their long-term leadership journey.

Well, the path has just begun for them and it continues. The enigma of this path is that it never ends. Not until each one of our children receives the excellent education they truly deserve. We offer our heartfelt appreciation for your continuous support to help bring every child closer to a new way of life - a life of opportunity, of choice, and attaining dreams!

#1 - She means the world. TFI Fellow & her student
#1 - She means the world. TFI Fellow & her student
#2 Students peforming in the Parvaarish play
#2 Students peforming in the Parvaarish play
#2 Parvaarish Play: Student performing on stage
#2 Parvaarish Play: Student performing on stage

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On behalf of Teach For India, I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge your overwhelming support this past year. Due to your generosity, we consistently witness the ripples of impact being created within the education sector in India.

Alok is a Fellow teaching a grade 2 class in Bright English School, Ahmedabad.

"I have 26 kids in my class coming from various areas of nearby like Kevdawadi, Jamfalwadi, Khanwadi, Ramol, CTM, Shalimar ki chali and Matrubhakti.

These communities consists of people migrated from majorly from Bihar about 48% and 27% from Uttar Pradesh and rest from Bengal, Orrisa, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. They arrived to Ahmedabad in search of labor and jobs to serve their families. With time passed by, they have wonderfully accepted the Gujarati culture and evolved accordingly.

The places where they live are void of good sanitation, sewage system, cleanliness and roads. These kids, in every monsoon, face lot of diseases and sufferings due to mosquitoes and cloaking of water in those areas.

One of the boys in my class, Rahul*, who always used to do mischief in class and hits kids around. He was energetic, smart and disobedient in the beginning of my fellowship. Now with gradual change, he has shown a drastic change and now he has became a discipline monitor in class. It was him who was not able to read even 3 lettered words in June at the time of beginning of the year assessments. Now with proper training and method of learning, he has started reading story books and also involves his family members in reading books. Not only in reading, Rahul* has performed extremely well in Math and Reading comprehension too. He has now transformed into a boy who understands why not to hit anyone and he is now a person who teaches not to hit anyone. He has created a sense of possibility."

Rahul* and many other such students across Ahmedabad are redefining possibilities for themselves. 

We’re also happy to announce that in 2015 alone Teach For India received 5 awards recognizing the impactful work that we do every single day. We’re so grateful for the consistent support, it has enabled us to build Teach For India into the institution it is today.

*Name of beneficiaries changed to protect their identity.

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Teach For India

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra - India
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Merlyn Fernandes
Mumbai, Maharashtra India
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