Goonj’s “School to School” initiative is about filling the gaps in basic educational material, often a distant dream for many children in remote parts of the country. An integral part of this initiative is ‘GOONJ School kits’ made of waste cloth. It includes a school bag, a water bottle cover, a pencil pouch, a belt, balls, sitting mats and skipping ropes etc. Here are some glimpses from Bichhia & Mawai block of Mandla district in Madhya Pradesh, where 1000 kids of local Baiga and Gonda tribes, studying in 21 different schools of the region have got it. Do refer
What is it that hampers education ultimately... Is it only teacher-student ratio, infrastructure or policy framework? Even though there are budgets to build infrastructure, pay teacher remuneration, sometimes kids still don’t have the means to get basic educational material, a recurring expense in their lives…
GOONJ’s School to School initiative fills this gap by rewarding children with these important schooling material; stationary, shoes, toys, games, setting up libraries, computer centers; making learning more accessible and fun!!
Aanganwadis spread across the villages of India, are the prime places where the government implements its health and welfare programmes for children but given its bare structure, its hard to get the children stay. GOONJ has converted many Aaanganwadis into colourful spaces; with stuffed toys, games, charts, posters etc. An Aanganwadi worker explains the impact – “Pehley bachcha aata nahi tha, ab bachcha jata nahi” means earlier the kids didn’t come, now they don’t go!!
While building a bridge and creating a bond between two extreme segments, the intangible impact it is bringing in the minds of the kids in the cities is beyond routine classroom teaching. Education within the school corridor is not just enough in the early years of childhood. GOONJ’s Processing centre has become a learning ground for city school kids now. They come there to grasp a new model around waste management. Exposed to a new world of recycling and reusing and knowing that even a tiny pencil can make a world of difference in someone’s life leaves lasting impressions!!
Many schools have now made it a part of their curriculum and make sure that they bring students in batches from different classes to observe what happens to the material they once loved, used or played with. They are explained how these materials are now creating a colorful space in a resource starved village/slum school. Empathy and equality being the cornerstones of their learning experience, the city school kids are made aware about the world in a non judgmental way, giving them the freedom to form their own thoughts & understanding without any historical baggage.
Scarcity of resources a major bottleneck that keeps rural families away from sending their kids to schools. GOONJ’s School to School initiative is not only strengthening bonds between urban and rural kids by supplying under- utilized school material from former, but also turning the family economy and bringing their focus back on education.
Getting essential school supplies, recycled school kits give them an enriching experience, while also making them an important part in changing the environment around them. Happy, confident kids are now eager to spend more time in schools is what we achieve under School to School. Thus, we are also building a strong foundation for innocent minds by giving the basic schooling material as a reward and not merely as a charity.
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