|Introduction - AID Prayas Noida|
About AID Prayas
Established in 2005, AID-Prayas is one of the AID India initiatives currently focused on the community at Naya Bans, Sector 16, Noida which is a slum community with a population of around 5000 people.OBJECTIVE:
The project started as an effort to teach a couple of boys in the night who were working during the day time. The initial aim was just to provide basic reading and writing skills to these boys and hence we occupied a small room within the community itself which was used for teaching these kids in the night. Sometime later, it was felt that more children in the age group of 5-15 need to be catered to and interaction with the community people started for the same. In the initial phases, a variety of challenges including the following were faced:
1. Resistance against sending female children for education at our class inside community. Community people agreed to send them only if female teachers teach them.
2. Lack of trust on us. Community people felt that a lot of people with social objectives keep coming and go away soon. We will also go away after some time.
3. Parents not really aware about the benefits of child education and didn’t motivate/support their kids towards education.
Thanks to a good AID volunteer base, out of which a few of our female volunteers came forward to teach those children gradually increasing the number of children. With this new set of children, classes started to happen on weekends on specific timeslots. The program continued in this manner for a year or so. At the same time, twenty other kids were admitted into a Government School after counseling with the kids and their families. By the end of 2007, we realized that we need to set up a clear vision for the entire project. We realized that the children in the community had immense potential but they are not getting the right opportunity and support for progressing on their education. We also realized that we should focus on creating a bridge between these community kids and the opportunities in the external world so that once started they can make continuous progress in their life. To facilitate this, we spoke with a few good schools such as Nai Disha that is a high quality free education school and they agreed to admit the kids from this community if the kids pass their entrance test. Upon this assurance, we decided to choose a small set of kids who will be intensely prepared for the entrance test so that they could start going into a good regular school. The task was arduous as kids hardly have had any education in the past and we had to take them to a level where they are comfortable in Hindi, Basic Maths and can read/write simple English in a period of four months. However, with the sheer commitment from kids and teachers, the classes were held everyday in the night and five of our kids successfully cleared the entrance test for Nai Disha. When the kids started going to Nai Disha, they started studying English, Science, Hindi, Maths and other regular subjects. The effects of the education were suddenly visible to the entire community with improved life-style, behavior and knowledge of these kids. All the issues that were raised earlier were suddenly no more the issues and the community started trusting us immensely. We started to get a lot of interest and queries and the task ahead of us was to keep this trust and ensuring continuous progress for the initiative.
From there on, there has been lot of effort and organizational progress for the initiative and another 25 kids have been admitted into Nai Disha in 2009. Currently, there is a very active communication between our core teams and the community and we are into the process of improving current programs as well as designing new programs to achieve our target of socio-economic upliftment of the community. A new two-room facility has been taken on rent just outside the community so that we can cater to higher population with education as well as additional programs.Current activities
Building upon the past achievements, Prayas is working on an aggressive plan with active participation from the community. The highlights of the current programs at Prayas are as follows:1. Education Program (Non Formal Education): The objective of this program is to impart education to the participants with the view of facilitating long term education in regular schools. The focus is on removing the obstacles that come in between a child and the education opportunities. This year’s target is to orient 60-80 new kids while supporting another 30 kids who are going to Nai Disha currently.2. Library Program: The objective of this program is to put together educational material in an organized manner so that community people who don’t have money can avail of these facilities. A small library is managed by volunteers and has a collection of story books, poems and illustrations.
Some of the new initiatives we are targeting in short-term are:1. Vocational Program: We plan to start livelihood oriented programs for the community people. We are already in discussions for initiating this.2. Health Program: We have conducted health camps for the children of the community in the past. However, we plan to revive this program combined with follow-ups and treatment plans.
We have seen significant changes in the community especially in the kids participating in the project. The pictures below are self-explanatory:
How can you help ?
AID-Prayas is a volunteer based organization which is run by contributions from individual volunteers and organizations.
Individuals can participate in the program by taking up activities such as teaching, activity organization, Fund Raising, Raising Awareness, Surveys, Database Compilation, website management, Logistics etc. Organizations can encourage their employees to participate in the above program activities. Individuals can also make donation through either Meal-a-month program or one time donations. To know more about Meal-a-Month, visit the link in next section. Organizations can also make monetary contributions to support various programs running under the project.
Meal-a-Month program on IBN7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7-vdPXlpuw
AID-Noida Blog: http://aidnoida.blogspot.com/
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