Nabadisha Education Project
Location: Kolkata, India
Period : October 2007 to April 2014
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VITAL partnered with HOPE Foundation for the Nabadisha Education project which aims to bring thousands of disadvantaged children an opportunity to gain the necessary literacy and numeracy skills and an all-round education for a brighter future.
The Nabadisha Program is primarily dedicated to the education of street and slum children by providing them with preparatory schooling before mainstreaming them into formal schools. The program is based on a 'bridging course' which incorporates the idea that a 'bridge' needs to be built in order to prepare and support out-of-school children both socially and academically to enter or re-enter the formal education system. The age group of the children is 4-14 years. Children are divided into groups according to their learning levels rather than prospective ages.
Most important to academics, the children are given different activities within the classroom to help to break barriers, create confidence and assist children to manage and protect themselves. For example, teaching yoga and dancing to girls from Muslim communities has helped to break the cultural barriers and change gendered notions among them while creating a physical confidence within them. Other various activities include: sports, drama, stories, poetry, puppetry, music, and art and craft. Free hot lunches help encourage parents to allow their children to attend school as it essentially means 'one less mouth to feed'. Special attention is given to cleanliness, hygiene, discipline and positive work habits so that the children are able to join the societal mainstream in a broader sense. In addition, the program is involved in awareness building and training of police officers and teachers on issues of child rights and juvenile justice.
Whilst we have trained countless numbers of teenagers to obtain work, we have at present two students studying at University for their BCom - these are first generation educated in the family - a major achievement indeed.
Your donation will vastly improve the quality of these childrens lives!
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Bikash's poverty ridden parents pulled him out of school in his hometown in Midnapore, Bengal, and brought him to Kolkata to seek employment. "Lucky" Bikash got a job in a tea factory where he got paid Rs.3/- ($00.05) for every large tea packet he packed. If not for Nabadisha he would have still been there. Bikash joined Nabadisha, and being a quick learner, a dedicated and diligent student, was soon topping his class and is now a full-time student. He attends the Nabadisha centre every morning and then goes to the Corporation school where he has created a record , getting 90% in his annual exam (the highest score attained by any of the school's students in the past 3 years). He excels in art, craft, recitation, acting and sports, and is Class Monitor and even teaches junior classes when the teacher is absent, all thanks to Nabadisha.