We fund ten after-school education centres, five nights a week in villages in Tamil Nadu.
These evening centres provide the poorest children with extra tuition, support with homework, and basic supplies like good quality school bags and sandals. This is particularly important for children of illiterate parents who otherwise risk falling behind their peers and becoming disengaged from learning.
As well as curricular education the centres provide sex-education, helping children recognise when behaviour is inappropriate or abusive and how to seek help in these situations.
Our work during the Covid-19 pandemic
Government schools in Tamil Nadu have been closed indefinitely during the pandemic. An obvious disruption of education, this has also caused a serious and frightening spike in the serious assault of children.
In response our Indian partner organisation has developed an outreach programme of basic counselling and sexual education, helping children understand their rights and how to help keep themselves safe. This has been supplemented by leaflets distributed to children in the region.
Every Saturday the teachers develop worksheets for the week ahead and distribute these to the ten local Education Centres. Children who usually attend the evening classes now attend the Centres on Monday morning in socially-distanced groups of five to collect notebooks and ask questions, returning the completed worksheets on Friday evening for marking.
At all collection points our Indian partner is distributing masks, sanitizers, soaps and snacks for the children. They are also teaching the children how to wash their hands properly and providing basic supplies like good quality rice and clean water.
This work has been made possible by our generous donors. In the summer of 2020 they raised over £9,000 to purchase and maintain (for several years!) motorbikes which enable our female teachers and staff to travel safely across the region.