The situation of education in rural areas is bizarre. Some villages don't have schools; some have schools but no student is enrolled; some have school and students but the teachers are absent most of the times; and some have schools, students and teachers but lack the infrastructure and basic facilities. ALFA opened its own school to fill the gap in providing quality education to rural children. The school, Village Spirit Academy, has been established in Karawara village on 1st July, 2016 and due to the organization's reputation among the village people, 105 students got enrolled in the first batch of the school. It is a primary school which has employed 5 teachers. We are raising funds through crowd funding to construct a building of the school as it is currently operating in a rented house.
At one of the youth resource centres of ALFA in the Ghati village, local young volunteers of the organization are conducting Hindi and English classes on the regular basis. In total, 55 students including children and young people are currently enrolled in these classes. The classes include interactive style of teaching through different games and activities which focuses on the qualitative education. The students follow ' learning by doing' approach. The classes had left a huge impact on the community as it has changed the mentality and the mindset of the parents and the community members and they have understood and realized the importance of education. The classes provides equal opportunity to both, boys and girls of the community and surprisingly, in this language program there are more girls enrolled than male members and it is also seen through different observations by the staff members of the organization that the percentage of attendance of girls is higher than that of boys. Also, local young volunteers through this program are engaged indirectly with parents convincing them to send their girl child to the Youth resource centre and participate in the language classes. The language program has been going amazingly well and the organization will be expanding it to other youth resource centres in the future.
3 youth started the computer literacy program at our Youth resource center in Karawara village. These youth received the full-time one month training on the Microsoft Office, basic computer skills and other internet applications. In total, they run two batches in which total of 30 youth are attending the classes regularly. The classes involve students from different communities with different caste and religion, interests and backgrounds. This program is not only helping students get a working knowledge of computers but is also creating a platform for the young people to gather at one place where they can freely share their opinions and thoughts. The classes are going very well as it involves a lot of interaction between the participants and it helps in developing relationships with each other. The classes are currently going on at only one centre but ALFA is looking forward to expand this program at other two Youth resource centres in order to reach out to more young members of the community.
The Youth Advocacy and Fellowship Program aims to increase female education in the community by encouraging them to enrol in schools, colleges and universities. Through ALFA five fellows worked and successfully secured 300 girls a place in local schools and 50 women in colleges and universities in the Phase I of the fellowship program (November 2014- October 2015). This program is currently being expanded into Phase II and will have a great impact on the society, bringing a significant social change.
ALFA is currently running a “Youth Advocacy Fellowship” program in which ALFA is training young women/fellows from underprivileged Adivasi backgrounds to become education and women’s rights advocates in the Kherwara block. These fellows are receiving training from ALFA to increase their self-confidence, leadership, and managerial capacities to enable them to solve social problems in their communities. These fellows spend the majority of their time convincing families to enrol their primary-aged girls in school and young women in universities. Fellows will also mentor young women from underprivileged Adivasi backgrounds and help place them in universities, colleges, and/or skill-based training programs. Upon completing of this 1-year program, fellows will have the knowledge and skills necessary to enact lasting change in their local communities.
Under this program, the organization has identified 72 students from our working areas who don’t have their parents and are not able to fulfil their basic needs related to the education. They lack in having enough resources such as uniforms, notebooks, bags, pens, pencils and textbooks required for having a good quality education. ALFA conduct a meeting with all students and their relatives two times annually, see the progress of these students and to ensure that they do not dropouts from the school just due to the lack of resources.