India is one of the most beautiful, dynamic and alive places on the planet. From the vibrant streets of Jaipur to the tranquil river canals in Kerala, you can’t help but fall in love with the people, sights, and sounds. However, with a population over 1.3 billion, the world’s second largest country struggles with poverty and childhood education. A staggering 1 in 5 people in India – including 100 million children – cannot read or write.
Throughout the world, there are many great organizations working hard to address the issues that developing nations like India, face. But in reality, it’s not always easy to determine which ones are the most trustworthy in terms of implementing dollars received or which affect the most impactful change to those who need it the most. For that reason, it’s an honor for us to share with you one organization that stands out as a model for the rest – Pratham.
“Every child has a right to quality education.” That was the principle on which Pratham, the renowned education nonprofit, was formed in 1994. The founders, Dr. Madhav Chavan and Farida Lambay, initially set out to rupture the endless pattern of poverty within the slums of Mumbai. Not an easy task. Now one of India’s largest nongovernment organizations, Pratham operates in 20 of India’s 29 states and has reached millions of children.
On our recent trip to in India, we visited two of Pratham’s sites within the Kherwadi slums of Mumbai’s Bandra neighborhood. Here, they had set up month long education programs for the children of the area to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. After a few weeks, Pratham would return and have a follow up program to reaffirm the skills learned. Working with so many children in impoverished areas, Pratham has to be nimble and resourceful in order to be truly effective. They bring portable libraries to each program site and work closely with the members of the communities in which they work. The second site we visited on our trip was located deep in the heart of the Kherwadi slum. After walking several hundred yards down a narrow alleyway consisting of homes on top of homes, we climbed a ladder into an 8X10 room lit with the smiles of 12 grinning children and one teacher. This was the teacher’s own home. She had kindly and generously offered to host the Pratham program in her house to assist with the education of children in her community.
To change the world, you have to start with children. Pratham is a leader in childhood education and we’re honored to shed any small bit of light we can on such an amazing organization.
In addition to Literacy & Learning, Pratham focuses on Girl’s Education, Vocational Training, Research & Advocacy, and many other much needed areas. We encourage you to learn more about Pratham’s work in India, as well as their presence in the United States. Pratham USA has consistently been identified as the top 5% of all nonprofit charities by Charity Navigator. Get involved by joining a local chapter, donating, starting a campaign, or volunteering.
Pratham USA: http://prathamusa.org/
New favorite finds....
A Photo Safari through India's Ranthambore National Park
Ancient forts, majestic palaces and enchanting temples speckle the countryside of India's most romantic region,