Most of us want to make a difference but get stuck on the ‘how’ part. We’ve analysed some of the most successful initiatives in education to come up with a idea list that you can start using right now!
A Quick Guide To Start Making A Difference
Here is a quick guide that gets you started with 5 easy ways to start educating the less-fortunate children around your neighbourhood.
Important Note: Before you embark on any of these ideas, please ensure that you have a longer-term curriculum in place and get it validated by a qualified and certified school teacher/principal.
1. Rent a small van/mini-bus and start a weekend mobile-school
All you need is a couple of volunteers, a balanced curriculum of academics and engaging activities, and a small van that can double up as a classroom when parked. Identify an area which has high concentration of poor children (usually slums in your city) and take your mobile-school to that area every weekend. Initial traction may be tough, but if you remain persistent and make the classes enjoyable, the kids are sure to turn up every time they hear your van approaching!
Case Study: Mukti Gupta has started a successful mobile-school in Kolkata. Read her story to get ideas on how you could start your own mobile-school too!
2. Start a classroom right inside your living room!
If you work from home or return from office early enough, you could get the lesser-privileged children from around your neighbourhood right inside your living room and conduct classes right there. You don’t need a lot of resources, just your home and the right curriculum will be enough to give these children quality education for free. You could also get your neighbours to join-in and help out with different subjects and activities. One of the ways you can spread the word around is by talking to your own domestic helps such as maids etc and asking them to send their children to you (in case they don’t go to a school).
You can also do this as a weekend activity, supplementing the learning that these children get in their local schools. Make a difference today by starting your own living room school!
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- Ritu Abbhi runs a school in her own living room to teach those children who cannot continue school due to financial constraints.
- Domestic helpers are being taught to read and write by their employers.
3. Start a library with old books
Collect old books from your neighbours, friends, family, colleagues – anyone who is keen to contribute to your cause. Put up a facebook post or a tweet asking for books. Go to the nearby locality where there are many underprivileged children. Identify a place (perhaps a tea stall?) where you can put these books up and get the children to come and browse through. Instill a sense of ownership by having a log book at the venue. Any child picking up a book should enter his/her details and the book’s title in that log book so that they get to manage the library on their own. Frequently check with the children on what they like and don’t like about this new library. Replenish the books once every month.
Case Study: Provision stores and tea stalls became the new hangouts for the children of Bangalore’s slums
4. Setup a small training unit to teach skills to children
If you are good at any specific vocational skills (such as basket weaving, or stitching etc), start a small unit in your locality where children can come and learn these skills from you. Ensure that the skill you are teaching is appropriate to the child’s age. Teaching a computer-based skill can be extremely handy to these children if they are exposed to it in the long-run.
Case Study: Pranjal Dubey started a college for rural youth to impart life skills & quality education
5. Organize an outdoor sport every weekend with the children
They will not only enjoy the game, they will also pick up many life-skills in the process. Education is not always delivered through academic curriculum. Sports such as football, cricket, hockey help children come out of their shells and become better team players. Identify a ground near your community (perhaps a ground of a school/college?) which you can make use of on weekends. Get the parents and teachers of these children involved too – that way you can build a great sense of camaraderie amidst the children and their guardians.
Case Study: Vikas Plakkot started ‘Just For Kicks’ that uses football to bring a positive change in the students of government schools
Have other ideas? Leave them as comments below or write to us!