Rewards Trust is a volunteer-run, zero-overhead organization that works on creating a strong government school system in rural Tamil Nadu. This is accomplished by adding qualified and well-trained teachers to the government classrooms and providing continuous teacher training. Several of their teachers have received commendations from the government for their stellar teaching performances. Rewards Trust serves close to 8,000 students in 25 villages across a number of different government schools with smaller class sizes and better-trained teachers. Hundreds more students are graduating high school and continue on to pursue higher education.
Sakhi‘s mission is to create quality learning spaces at the community level, so that every girl in the slums of Mumbai, India, will get an opportunity to continue her education with confidence. “Sakhi” means a female friend of girls who inspires, guides, and supports other girls for a good cause. Since 2008, Aarti Naik, a slum-based young girl “Changemaker”, has been building basic educational capacities for other slum girls through a community-based after-school program.
Sakhi’s major objective is to provide a girls’ learning space, aimed specifically at those girls who are living and learning in difficult situations, so that they have an opportunity to receive quality education in a secure environment.
Mera Sahara is an education center run by the joint women’s programme in the city of Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The main demographic that this project serves are the children of day laborers. Mera Sahara serves as a day shelter for these children and provides access to basic education in hopes to prepare them for government schools. The project aims to empower these youth to pursue higher learning and partake in after-school vocational training for adults.
Jamghat is a registered NGO that works to create a safe environment for street children in Old Delhi, by providing them with a secure space as well as access to quality education. Jamghat runs three facilities to help the vulnerable youth in Delhi: a 24-hour boy’s shelter (Aman), a 24-hour girl’s shelter (Anchal), and a co-ed day shelter.
For the past two years, Asha for Education, Berkeley has paid the educational costs for all 15 children residing in the Aman shelter. This includes tuition expenses, as well as the costs of books, uniforms, and tutors. Over the last five years, Jamghat has seen over 40 children mature and graduate as young adults positively impacted by education, vocational skills, and a safe and supportive community.
Avantika Vidhya Bhavan is a K-12 school in Madhya run by Arpan Society, an NGO that has been working for the last 8 years to educate almost 430 children from 13 villages. The children are from impoverished families and include children of migrant farmers and day laborers. Local government schools in the area are in poor conditions and the families cannot afford private schools. The school provides a supportive atmosphere with qualified and caring teachers, free school lunch to all students, free transportation to and from the school, and medical care. The curriculum includes sports, handicrafts, and computer literacy.
Little Stars School provides free education for over 600 children from underprivileged homes in Nagwa, Varanasi. It is the only school of its kind in Varanasi providing quality education to children from poor families from pre-nursery through 10th grade. The school depends completely on private donations and sponsorships, as it is not funded by the government or big agencies. The demand for this kind of education is growing, so LSS is working to expand the school on a plot very close to the present building specifically for grades 6 through 12. Their students are now able to access a complete education and even have the opportunity to attend university.
Tihar Jail is a project within the Samarpan Foundation, at India’s highest security facility and prison complex. The project works to bring education to incarcerated individuals, providing an alternative to the life of poverty and crime that most prisoners turn to after being released. Samarpan Foundation hopes to motivate prisoners to educate their children and provide support for their families. Tihar Jail is Asha for Education, Berkeley’s newest project, and began receiving funding in May 2015.