A green future for the Dhara Children Academy
Helping a school to gain access to clean drinking water, electricity and set up environmental education
Power cuts made teaching in 45°C-heat, without lighting and fans, impossible. IT lessons were inconceivable without electricity and water quality worrying. In collaboration with the Child & Family Foundation, we wanted to improve the school's infrastructure so that lessons could run uninterrupted. At the same time, we were able to make the children aware of how to protect the environment in their region.
Insufficient financial investment in the educational system
Even if education is enshrined in the Indian legal syste, not all children have access to a school education and many who are able to go to school end up in schools which are already bursting at the seams and in a terrible state.
Poorer regions are often victims of this, where the lower classes live, such as Thakurdwara, 200 km north-east of Delhi, close to the border with Nepal.
A school for children of all castes in a region defined by poverty
In this region, the charitable organisation "DHARA - The Poor Child Education Support" runs the "Dhara Children Academy" and provides children in need with access to adequate schooling.
The school's children mostly originate from the lowest caste, called 'Dalit' or "untouchables". They are often discriminated against on social and religious grounds as a result. The Dhara Children Academy's goal is to enable these children to have a successful career, thanks to adequate schooling and irrespective of which caste they may belong to.
At the moment, some 80 and 100 children, all of different ages - ranging from nursery-age to Year 5 - are cared for and educated here.
In support of a safe and appropriate educational environment
DHARA has already achieved a great deal thanks to the creation of the "Dhara Children Academy". However, unfortunately, this is dependent on donations and thus not all projects could be run immediately.
The building which they acquired was in a very bad state. The pupils and teachers had to cope with power cuts multiple times a day. This often meant, not only that the classrooms were dark, but also that the school's fridge stopped working so food stocks went off. The computers and fans also didn't work - and at 45 °C, this is a real issue.
The water supply posed a problem. In Summer in particular, the water has often not been treated properly, meaning it was undrinkable.
To provide some relief aid, we teamed up with the Child & Family Foundation and started a project to create a learning environment in which lessons could take place properly: the Child & Family Foundation financed the structural restoration of the building.
Investing in the younger generation
Another important point was the greater focus on education around the topic of environmental protection. When piles of rubbish litter the verges, then it's worth making the local population more aware of this key topic. And this is precisely the starting point for the 'Dhara Children Academy': The introduction of classes teaching children about the importance of the environment and campaigns designed to raise awareness.