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Big Ideas Have Small Beginnings

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Today I'd like to share with you what can happen when one person zeroes in on a need. In this story, the person is Anjali Sharma, a member of our Compassionate India team. A year ago, Anjali contacted me about a project to help young girls continue their education during, and hopefully beyond, the pandemic. She thought we should join forces with Saajha, an Indian NGO located in New Delhi that works with parents to transform schools and to bring about systemic changes. Their wish is audacious, to build a network of 10 million parents that would serve as a community learning platform to share their knowledge and expertise. Through some on-line conversations and a joint proposal, Saajha and Compassionate India set to work. The goal was to collect as many smartphones as possible to digitally empower the less privileged girls in Delhi government schools and enable them to continue learning during this unprecedented time of COVID.

Today this joint campaign of Saajha and the Charter, has been able to help girls in the Delhi area as well as in the state of Maharashtra. In addition, a mentoring program has been set up across academics and soft skill areas. Eighty families have been supported with regular counseling sessions. Students have experienced more than 20 workshops on communication and life skills and there have been monthly interactions with professionals across diverse backgrounds. Finally, a digital library will be opened later this year and a new target of reaching 5000 girls has been set for 2022.

The Saajha/Charter for Compassion Project has collected hundreds of smartphones and has grown partnerships with other organizations such as the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi International School, Heart Valve Bank, Zemyna Foundation among others. One good idea can touch the lives of thousands of young girls and change their lives forever. We believe that every girl's right to education and aspiration needs to be respected and preserved.

Read some of the testimonies from girls and their parents participating in the program:

When I did not have a mobile, I didn't know what was being sent from school….Now with the mobile, I can study online. I can now understand everything being sent by the teachers. And also, I can now study with the Mindspark app and thanks to this, all my notebook work is also completed.
~Ekra Rahim, Municipal Corporation School, Bhiwandi, Maharashtra

My self-confidence has increased through the interactions in classes which I can attend because of my smartphone. My teacher, Anjali ma'am teaches us about career and confidence. I have learned English speaking, writing and a lot about communicating.
~Laxmi, Delhi Govt Girls school, Kalkaji

Anjali ma'am regularly makes us meet big people from various backgrounds. I enjoy the workshops on the smartphone because ma'am does a lot of activities. I enjoy classes and have grown in confidence. We could learn the English syllabus with Sonia ma'am also.
~Anshi, Delhi Government Girls School, Vikas Puri

I hope my girl is given such guidance and support for many more years. It is so assuring to have someone who is helping my girl so that she is able to do something in life. Please keep guiding her.
~Soniyaji, Riya's mother, Delhi Government Girls school, Kalkaji

Just think what multiple ideas from one community can do to transform the future.


With warm regards,

Marilyn


This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 07/25/2021 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu, in the newsletter section enter your email address and click on subscribe.

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Monday, 29 November 2021

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