One of our concerns from last week is starting to sort out rather well....it starts off something we have been daydreaming for a while as well and have not known where to start.
But really it is like eating an elephant- how you might ask? One bite at a time.
If we keep that concept in mind..it seems do-able.
How do we feed the poor - one mouth at a time.
How do we educate the poor? One mind at a time.
KISS reasoning really helps - Keep It Simple, Silly!!!
So we have started....and will make it more formal.
When we talked to Mum Soni...she did admit that the 2 months she said Kabita [on the right] might have missed form school was probably a lot longer, so we asked her, and asked the kids do you want to go to school? we think it is important for your future- all beamed and said yes.
We know the local government school would take them, but they are also very crowded and if they don't turn up, don't thrive- OOHHH well.....
So we have enrolled them in a small private school -nothing posh, just you are paying for it, so you can expect the teacher to be IN the classroom, to GIVE lessons, books etc they are supposed to supply, to MONITOR the child's progress.
We got Anil's report from the government school which suggested he was average for a year 5 student, when we looked at some written words ...you would be pretty sure he is illiterate.
Hence our decision.
an accountable school.
it will cost a about $300 a year at this age for them, plus shoes, bag and extra tuition
We already supply the family with groceries each month- they were the ones facing malnutrition before. Mum is good she works as a farm labourer as much as she can get work but it is simply not enough to feed them all properly, let alone any thing else.
The school they attend is just near our workshop, so we have asked they pop in each day...if they need help with homework one of us can help, we'll give them a glass of milk and the expectation of seeing them each day will support them in the idea they need to get up, get ready and go to school EACH and EVERY day.
We have had assistance from concerned souls when the kid's big brother died, which we passed on...there are other people in the area who could also use help...you can see the amounts are not vast...yet such a small amount can change a life.
We have chosen to send both kids to school because educated girls and boys create better futures for all...it improves Kabita's chance of staying at school if the 2 of them go...not the worry of a girl off on her own. EVERY PERSON is important...gender not important.
Ages ago a friend Jen came up with a name from an antique pack of needles she has. So this baby has been called THE HOPE INITIATIVE in our minds for some while [ on my computer is a file carefully documenting all funds received and how they have been dispersed.]
Other kind people, have helped out- Gillian, Jane, Mandie, Claire, Glenys, Julie and more....
We have been dreaming of a library for ages for local kids...if you can read you can learn anything....
Their is a bigger sister Bhiya, the one who was ill- she is 15 and illiterate, too old to pickup at school but we have run the idea past her of tuition and she was keen to learn...looking around just our village there are many more girls 14+ basically illiterate who are out of school and doing field work...wouldn't an hours lessons each evening be sssssoooooo good. Perhaps in time skills based eduction- stitching and how to run their own small business, keep accounts...who knows...
So plans at the moment
to get this baby formally registered [ no hassles for us with government, assurance for others we are serious] and slowly start putting some of these dreams into practice.
I have started contacting a few organizations already operating in India for girls empowerment and education- perhaps we can gain training or send someone from here to gain training- how to go about getting such a thing happening here.
I am aware we are not local- either of us, my Hindi is not good enough to take these things on and whilst Praveen can now get by, he has never been to school and would not be able to cope.
I figure we can raise some money offering some of our stitching to groups who would like to hold a raffle or something - you know local quilt show what ever...
any suggestions, advice, help gratefully accepted
The Universe gives it to you...you just need to catch the energy and run with it.
On the weekend we had a bunch of students visit, 15 from Australia and one young lady who is an India fashion design student. What an inspiration she is, well spoken, at Uni, confident, just landed her first job from a mountain of candidates. She grew up at Udyancare a wonderful organization that fosters better futures for girls in need. yep we want to follow in their footsteps....