KOSHISH | कोशिश | EFFORT
Education is the cornerstone of all work to elevate the poor, so our KOSHISH initiative is at the very heart of the work we do. When a child in poverty loses access to quality education, virtually all gateways to a better future slam permanently shut. Through this initiative we aim to ensure that every child understands the importance of their own education, and provide the support needed in order to stay in school.
tuition and enrollement
In the first years of school, a child learns manners, structure, discipline, basic educational principles, and how to work with other children. For a child who grew up in the slums, this could be their first exposure to a structured way of life. School may be the only place that is clean, safe, has working bathrooms, and adult supervision. We seek out children in the community who are not enrolled, and support parents in need with tuition fees.
Getting the child enrolled in school is only the first step. They may be well behind their peers if they enroll at a later age, they may have difficulty understanding if they speak a different language at home, or they may just need a little extra help. We provide whatever extra support is necessary. During the school season, the children come to the centre after school where they do all of their studying. We create an environment where kids can collaborate on their work, and stay focused on their studies without the distractions of home. When a child completes their work it is looked over by our staff teachers, who ensure that no child is falling behind. During the summer break from school, we engage the children in study programs so they can be prepared and caught up when school begins again.
Convincing a parent to let their child come to school is easier in the younger years. At the very least school provides basic childcare. Once the child is old enough to work and doesn't need adult supervision, the tuition fees begin to feel more burdensome. Engaging parents, students, and other members of the community in discussions and seminars about the importance of finishing school is an essential step in our work towards graduation. When we are involved in the communities, we are able to understand the unique difficulties of each family and neighborhood that may pose barriers to a child's success. When a child is absent from school or the the centre many days in a row we reach out to the family to understand why, and intervene however we can.
While all of our children go to school, the local public schools have their limitations. When our children are able to successfully complete their assigned work, we provide additional material that the schools don't have access too. At the centre the kids engage in english learning activities with volunteers from abroad, meet college age students who provide mentorship and peer tutoring, and learn computer skills in our digital learning labs. Despite the financial limitations our children have, they interact with people from across the globe, have role model students from universities in Delhi who are pursuing post-graduate education, and learn essential technological skills for the modern workplace.
From the early years of education onward we emphasize graduation. Talking about future possibilities gives our children a reason to study hard. We offer them a view of what their lives could be like if they are able to graduate and attend a university. Whether our children make it through class 10, 12, or attend university, they are well prepared to take on the world. With the skills to earn a living, our children are far less likely to fall into lives of crime or begging in order to meet their basic human needs.