It was in December of 2017 when we adopted a community school belonging to one of the most impoverished localities of Lucknow. The school belongs to a community where child labour runs rampant and jobs like manual scavenging are forced upon the children at a very young age. The school provides education to over 300 underprivileged children belonging to the same community and has been doing so for over a decade but despite the noble cause, the school fails to deliver the basic necessities required for a change.
In the month of March, we started a crowdfunding campaign which ran for a duration of 2 months and ended on May 7th. With an end-goal of 10 lakhs, the funds generated were a little over 30 thousand. By all means, this is not a monumental success, of course, miles away from the goal. But personally, despite what others believe, for me, this was not a defeat. With over 200 shares and 33 donations, we gained hundreds, if not thousands of supporters. This meant a lot to us.
The primary reason behind our crowd-funding campaign wasn’t only bringing a financial stability to the school. A revolution is not a one-man task. A change isn’t brought by a group of a few, but a parade of people, who may have different reasons, but the same vision. To see so many people support us is instrumental to success. Of course, we did qualify the first criteria, ‘To gain the support of masses’ 🙂
Of course, similar words were spoken by Goonj’s founder, Mr. Anshu Gupta at Goonj’s Annual Meet earlier this year. To support a community school, you need the basic ingredients, and the foundation is not ready without the most obvious of all, ‘community’. A community school cannot thrive unless the people within the community are willing to take up responsibility.
For the school which receives roughly $20 a month, this amount can help the school sustain itself for months. Although this amount is not enough to make infrastructural reforms, this is more than enough to support the school in different aspects.
During our crowd-funding campaign, we partnered with Goonj to build a library for the children, and so far, the library has been extremely beneficial in creating a sense of autonomy among and supporting the learning of the children. With a projector we bought for the school, e-books and educational movies have become a part of the pedagogy, and therefore, essentially introducing e-learning to the children who have never been exposed to the internet or even computers. This has also helped learning become more interactive and interesting. To engage the community and the parents, we have implemented basic report card systems and parent-teacher meetings, with in-depth analysis of every student. The teachers and students alike at the school are enthusiastic about the new changes around them.
Our vision is not to make a self-sustainable school but build a self-sustainable entity, with the community and the children realizing their role and responsibility in the same. Our mission is not limited to saving the school, but also the children.
We’d like to thank you for joining us on this mission. It is our duty. We’ve been blessed with privileges and comforts these children don’t have, or will ever do so unless we intervene. These seeds need water to prosper, because a tree only reaches its potential when nurtured. Help us water and nurture these little seedlings.