Prayog’s journey started on June 15th, 2013 and every single day has has been extremely exciting towards bringing new dimensions towards the needs of the children living in the villages. From five children of one village, we are now reaching out to more than five hundred children from 12 villages. From traditional form of learning, we are now engaged in digital form of learning for the kids who have just started their education. And 80% of these services is availed by the ‘poorest’ and voiceless section of the society. These are the children of people who do not own resources, land etc and for whom education is not a solution but only reaching out to schools for something is there for free. They even do not know what all are available for free. Someone aptly said that they are the ‘first generation learners’ and we are proud that we are able to raise curiosity and excitement with each passing day.What makes us dream and work hard are a set of activities that we have been able to do in this brief period of two years, these are mentioned below:
1. Community Library and associated works:
Established at a community site, has more than 500 members
Collection of more than 1000 books
Daily English and Hindi newspapers
A librarian to take care of library
Our model was documented and case study covered in a book released during the 1st India Public Library Conference in New Delhi (March 2015) organized by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation http://iplc.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/BP-Book-2015.pdf(see page 15)
2. Solar lamp initiative
Owing to the irregular supply of electricity, we provided solar study lamps to 200 children during October to December, 2014. We achieved this target and due credits to MILAAP, where we successfully crowd funded for this initiative. A survey was conducted in January 2015 and the results were extremely positive:
•The reach of solar lamps was 4 times and more than 800 children were actually benefitting
•There was an increase in study duration by 2 hours amongst children
3. Curious Learning – a model of self learning
In association with Prajnopaya Foundation, we are implementing a unique model of self learning to inculcate early education to kids between 3-8 years of age through games and modules loaded in tablets.
100 children were identified from 2 villages based on the poor provisions of education: identifying criteria was a balance in gender, maximum number of children belonging to lowest socio economic strata and who cannot have access to the best education facilities. The roll out has already started in June 2015 with 50 tablets and 50 more to start by year end.
We believe in orienting the rural youth and have trained and engaged 3 rural youth facilitators to lead the programme implementation.
4. Creating forward linkages
We are establishing linkages with other institutions and were successful to admit 12 girls between Class 6 – 9th to a unique education initiative of the biggest eye hospital of eastern India, located at Saran district of Bihar. These girls would be trained to become professional footballers from Day 1 and move on to pursue a degree in Optometry that would ensure their future with job when they pass out. More than this, they would emerge out as an empowered woman and becoming role model for village girls who lack confidence and resources to move higher up the ladder.
[1/2] The District Collector, SP and DDC of Gopalganj visited an ongoing library session in one of our intervention schools in Gopalganj. Mesmerized by the collection and activities, the District Collector said "I want to get back to school here"!