Education  India Project #13852

Support U&I at the World 10K Run

by U&I
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Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run
Support U&I at the World 10K Run

While the whole world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, India also faced a heart-breaking humanitarian crisis – our migrant workers (those who travel from other small villages to urban areas for work as daily wage earners) found themselves in a desperate situation with no money, no food, and no shelter. Thousands were attempting to walk endless miles under the blazing summer sun in threadbare chappals to reach their villages. Hundreds waited endlessly on the platforms of railway stations. Dozens were crammed into trucks that promised to take them home – but often left them stranded. Men, women, children, babies are battling starvation, many unwell, all of them desperate to simply get home – because there is no other choice.

During this crisis, U&I partnered with five other non-profit organizations across India to reach these displaced migrant communities with food supplies and help. In addition to helping our Learning Centers with resources, we also reached out to this community with dry food supplies and helped arrange for safe transport. Along with these organizations, we also arranged for meals for the hundreds waiting outside police stations for their token numbers to be called up so they could get the paperwork and tickets to travel back to their villages. 

The pandemic sometimes brought out the worst in humanity with hoarding and angry outbursts at grocery stores. But it also brought out the best - when ordinary people banded together under the leadership of organizations like U&I to help the hurting and the hopeless.  

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When U&I volunteers ask their students about their dreams and goals, they get varied answers. Some want to be teachers (just like their volunteers). Others want to be pilots. Some want to be doctors and give back to the community. Some want to be dancers and artists and authors.

While all those dreams are heartwarming, we don't see too many children with dreams as specific as Aditya's, a student from one of our Learning Centers in Ahmedabad. When his volunteer teacher asked him what he aspires to become, the answer was very clear: Aditya wants to be an astronomer.

Why, we asked him. His answer inspired his volunteers. “The sky always makes me smile and I want to know more about the space," replied the 8th grader. This determined young boy doesn't just have a big dream. He also has a clear game plan on how to get there. From his junior high school from St. Xavier’s College to his Master’s Degree from London School of Astronomy, Aditya has all the details mapped out.

It's children like Aditya who you are supporting. Children with big dreams. Children with a vision. Children with passion and determination. What they lack, however, are the resources to get where they want to go. But through U&I, their future opportunities are no longer just pipe dreams.

Thank you for helping kids like Aditya. One day when you read about a famous astronomer from a shelter home in Ahmedabad you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped make that dream a reality.

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With the start of the new academic year, all U&I's Learning Centers have been actively meeting their goals for the semester. But we are having fun doing it - because we know that's hands down the best way to teach children!

After being exposed to nothing but rote learning at school, U&I gives our students the chance to experience their learning through practical activities wherever possible.

Just a couple of days, for instance, while studying the parts of a plant, students at a Bangalore Learning Centers took time out to plant saplings and sow seeds. While these students are accustomed to memorization at their low-income or government schools, hands-on activities get them excited about learning and help them understand concepts much better.

U&I reaches 2000 students in 54 Learning Centers across India. We are changing lives, one child at a time, one practical lesson at a time, one affirmation at a time. 

Maybe ten years down the line, these students won't remember exactly what the volunteer teachers taught them. But they sure will remember how these U&I teachers made them feel!

Today about 2000 young people in college or working professionally devote 2.5 hours of their time every single week to build the community, one child at a time.

A simple gardening activity - something these children would never otherwise have the chance to do - builds the teacher-student relationship, ensuring learning for a lifetime.

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The academic year has drawn to a close - and itt's end-of-year party time at U&I classrooms across India. Our Learning Centers have been hubs of celebration as we handed out medals and certificates to hundreds of excited students. Many centers were decorated with balloons and streamers. The children participated in dance and music performances.

One of the most unique parts of our end-of-year parties are the cards of affirmation that each volunteer makes for their student. It's a keepsake that the student cherishes as it affirms them for their talents and their hard work. It's a personal endorsement - something that many of these children have not had in the past!

Thank you for supporting the students in their journey. The last academic year posed challenges, but we have wached the students persevere and come out as winners.

This year, U&I staff will once again lace up their running shoes to participate at the World 10K Run in Bangalore. For several the run helped us raise funds for children. And this year, we plan to just keep on putting one step in front of another so we are able to give more children a quality education in 2019-2020.

Thank you for coming alongside us to make all of this possible.

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When Priyal started as a volunteer with U&I, she was apprehensive. She was assigned to teach English to 9-year-old Vijay, at an orphanage in Mumbai. She wasn't quite sure what to expect. 

The spark in his eye said that Vijay was a keen learner. Yet, Vijay struggled with self confidence. He wasn't sure he could learn to read as he hadn't been able to, thus far.

But, gradually, Priyal was able to help Vijay overcome his fears. Within a few months of one-on-one classes with Vijay, he was able to read his story books with ease. His confidence started to soar, not just with his reading ability, but in every area of his life.

Vijay soon became a role model to the other children in the orphanage. In fact, he soon began to help the other boys, who were struggling with English, with their reading.

It was truly fulfilling when Priyal had the chance to watch her student become the teacher as Vijay helped his friends to read.

Through our volunteers like Priyal, U&I helps 1750 children across India grow in their academic abilities and their levels of confidence. We invest one-on-one time with them, so our volunteers are not merely their tutors but also their mentors who help these kids believe in their dreams.

U&I is showing these first-generation learners that education is a way out of poverty. 

Thank you for investing in the lives of underprivileged children and changing the course of their lives!

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Organization Information


Location: Bangalore, Karnataka - India
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @uandi_tweet
Ajit Sivaram
Project Leader:
Ajit Sivaram
Bangalore , Karnataka India

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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