“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they have the heart” -Elizabeth Andrew
With a mission in our hearts, sense of purpose in our minds and undying persistence in our souls, we are on an incredible journey of visscitude to basing our aspirations on the strength of our will.
“Everyone is important”, is a charitable trust, which was conceived as a dream by two Gandhi Fellows, viz. Kashif Khan and Upasana Negi that has now turned into a veritable reality. The organization aims to deliver hope and dream among the students who come from humble backgrounds of Surat, Gujarat.
This startup has seen resounding success as evident from its ever growing list of volunteers. While we are reaching more and more school kids, our robust social media program has seen us connect to a myriad personnel. A special organisation, it was founded by special people.
About the founders
“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it” – Dennis P. Kimbrough
A mechanical engineering alumnus from BIT-Durg, Chhattisgarh, Kashif Khan’s journey entails considerable interest. A regular aimless student in college, his epiphanic moment came in 3rd year when he joined an NGO named ARPAN as volunteer where he used to visit orphanages, old-age homes, the disabled and organise social events. Really impressed with the work and culture of social sector, he had found his calling. At Gandhi fellowship in Surat, he was endowed with the responsibility of 5 government Gujarati schools. For 6 months he worked with 5 principals, 120 teachers and more than 3000 kids. During this time he observed some challenges like absenteeism, labour job, high dropout, early marriage etc. Along with co-founder Upasana Negi he decided to form an NGO to assimilate and address these problems.
Upasana Negi prides herself in being an agent of social change.She holds a graduation degree in Psychology from Calcutta University (2013) and a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University (2015). She has liaison with various stakeholders’ like- students, community members, parents, teachers and government bodies. Since past two years she has intervened in the slums and created a better environment for schools and community to function better for children’s growth.
About the NGO
“Be the change you want to see in the world”- MK Gandhi
The organization took birth among the debris of broken dreams and dead aspirations of these students. The organisation, with its propensity for change, aims to revitalize those hopes and dreams, thus trying to secure the future of these children.
According to the government reports 40% of the population is driven by children, i.e. 176 million, who are in need of a helping hand.After doing substantial research at a community in Surat India areas such as Gopipura, Surat, Gujarat, we observed that students from low socio-economic backgrounds are at much higher peril of dropping out due to pointed reasons such as uneducated parents, inability to afford the educational outgoings, pressures to augment family income and very few role models in their area of residence. We faced problems galore.
A grave threat
“Being unwanted, unloved,
uncared for, forgotten by
everybody; I think that is a much
greater hunger, a much greater
poverty than the person who has
nothing to eat.”- Mother Teresa
A few facts about children attending schools that are heart breaking.
The school dropout scenario in the country is “extremely high”. Among progressive states, Gujarat fared the worst. For a country that aspires to become the 3rd largest economy in the world, these morbid stats are shackles that bind us down.
To make concise interventions, we have a focused approach where we target children between age group 9-13 years attending the government schools of Surat, Gujarat, India.
Develop capabilities and further the aspirations of urban poor children by connecting them to mentors, who will help them define and achieve their personal, academic and career goals.
Thereby, to assist in efforts towards urban poverty reduction.
Student Mentorship Program
“A student is a fire to be lit, not a vase to be filled”- Francois Rabelias
It has been noticed since the ancient Greek time that the power of correct mentoring of a student can bring in sea changes.
The students will be provided with a one on one mentor to fill in the gaps in learning and career possibility of future life.
English for Everyone
“The English language is nobody’s special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself.”- Derek Walcott
Another aspect that the charitable trust wishes to touch upon is English. This particular endeavour is to enhance students of urban Indian slums with the basics of English language and to enable them to use the language at a global standard.
Fruition of our efforts
The goals are:
1. Mentees have a better attitude towards school, more positive interactions with peers, and an improved self-image and self-esteem.
2. Expose the children to educational career options.
3. Identify future goals and understand importance of goal setting.
Our efforts may be small, but they are concise; our spirits may be naive, but they are indomitable; our will may be young but it is strong. Our wings may be small but the sky is infinite. Our reverberating motivation is that 10 years from now, if a mentee looks back upon her time, she says I had a mentor, and that has made all the difference.
To see the magic unfold before your eyes, join us in our session.