– EVERYBODY DESERVES A SAFE CHILDHOOD AND A QUALIFIED EDUCATION
In April 2016, Aasha School Santoshpur became a reality. The school is built from scratch, and is located in a poor rural area south of Kolkata called Santoshpur. The area is beautiful and green, but it is also worn down, and during the monsoon season there are major problems with floods. Aasha means ‘hope’ in Hindi and it is exactly ‘hope’ we wish to bring into the lives of our children and young kids. They have the right to a safe childhood filled with great memories worth remembering. This is what we fight to achieve through all our projects.
Aasha School Santoshpur is the only school in that area that offers free schooling. Alternatively, the children have to walk many kilometers to attend school, which often results in them being sent out to work instead. 225 students from the local area are enrolled at the school. The school offers one daily vegetarian meal, adult contact and care, one monthly excursion, and teaching which is educational but also about being fun, creative and thinking out of the box. We all learn in different ways, making it essential to use varied teaching methods to ensure that we reach all the children’s needs. Both sewing machines and computers have been donated, which are of great benefit to the children’s education and future opportunities.
English, Mathematics, Hindi, Bengali, General Knowledge and Computer classes are on the schedule at Aasha School Santoshpur. All the teachers at the school have participated in small courses in pedagogy, didactics, and learning through play. This is taught by a Danish volunteer with more than 10 years of experience with teaching. Conversation and attention are equated with educational content because the basic conditions have to be in place before a focus on learning can be achieved. Our goal is to prepare the children for the world they live in, make them aware of their rights and ensure that they receive at least one nutritious meal every day. Our main focus is to give children the opportunity to build up faith in themselves and their abilities, as well as develop tools and skills that can help them in their future.
We believe that education is the way forward and a basic human right, which should be accessible to all children. We, therefore, focus on securing homeless children access to free education so they can develop tools and knowledge which they can use later on in life. We have learned from our social outreach effort that many of the children dream of going to school because they see it as an opportunity to break the pattern and create a brighter future for themselves.
The year of 2018 has been a great success for our Preparatory School as we have observed more than 200 children coming to our school on an average regularly. The people living in the community are also very pleased with our Preparatory School and they have helped us on numerous occasions whenever we called out for their help.
As of September 2019 258 children are enrolled at Aasha School Santoshpur.