|Details of Education programme (s)
Aasraa is an education trust established in 2009. It empowers slum and street children through education, vocational training, nutrition, medical care and provides shelter homes. Our mission is to level the playing field for children who have neither seen books nor stepped into a school. The children we work with come from extremely impoverished backgrounds and are mostly rag pickers, beggars, addicts, runaways and orphans. We presently work with over 2000 slum and street children across 21 projects.
To break the cycle of poverty, the outside intervention is needed. And that outside intervention is education. This is what we do, daily. We reach out to vulnerable children and we provide opportunity, care and attention to them. This is our mission.
Aasraa’s USP is that there is no unreachable or unteachable child.
Our outreach team works with the community to bring children into our programs. Children are then initiated into the first step of our Street Smart education program where we conduct classes within the neighbourhood to foster trust and basic education. Children then move to the next step of the program, at a facility that provides a more structured classroom environment. Here the children learn basic Hindi, English, and Mathematics and are prepared to be mainstreamed into schools.
Aasraa mainstream these children into formal schooling system, government and public schools, sponsors the school fees, uniform, educational material, nutrition and medical care. After mainstreaming, it is mandatory for them to attend our after school support program Wings of Doon for conceptual reinforcement and curriculum support. The children who attend this program take advantage of tutorials in a wide range of subjects to cope with the academic standards at schools. These complementary programs work to provide children access to schooling and the tools and support to later thrive academically.
We launched an Anti Begging Campaign for child beggars in January 2014 in association with the Dehradun District Administration. The goal of the campaign is to discourage child beggary, provide the child beggars with basic literacy, lessons in hygiene, grooming, art therapy, nutrition and medical care. As a part of this project, young adults are provided with vocational training in carpentry, data entry and sewing.
Aasraa Trust is a certified exam and study centre for the National Institute of Open Schooling NIOS Open Basic Education program. Children who cannot join regular schools because of various reasons are enrolled into the NIOS OBE program for classes 3, 5 and 8. These can be working children looking for flexible study timing or children who do not get admission in school as they are not age appropriate for classes. Aasraa has also been approved as a Vocational Training Centre by the NIOS. We have managed to keep adolescent girls in education and vocational training, delaying their marriage by a few years to give their bodies a chance to mature further and give them a sense of confidence and independence as well as a better education and skill set, young women are able to get an education or learn a trade which leaves them less vulnerable to violent factors at home.
Recently, we have also made a huge push in Computer Aided Learning CAL by linking concept and curriculum with web based learning content. The audio, visual interactive nature of CAL has helped enormously in capturing children’s attention. The CAL has a multiplier effect on a child’s learning curve grasp and retention is greater than the traditional methods of rote learning. The impact has been huge.
For children who have nowhere else to go, abandoned, orphaned, abused, single parent, separated parents, parents in jail, Aasraa has four Shelter Homes running three of its own and supporting one government residential facility.