Maitri - Shaala

Project Brief: Maitri Shaala supplements education of the tribal children of Melghat through activity based learning program. It is based on the principal of active participation of tribal community.
Project Type: Non-Formal Educational Centers (description)
Primary Focus: children of dalits/tribals (description)

Secondary Focus: creating resources

Area: Urban
Supporting Chapter Contact: Silicon Valley
Status: current / ongoing
Project Steward: Medha Joshi
Project Partner(s): Ashwini Dharmadhikari
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , Kalyan, 32, Natraj Society,Karve Nagar,Pune,
MAHARASHTRA  411038
Tel: 011 91 2025450882
Stewarding Chapter: Silicon Valley
Nov 2019Silicon ValleyUSD 4959

Total = $4959

Maitri Shaala is activity based learning program for tribal children of Melghat Region.

Maitri Shaala works with three key elements : non local “Project coordinators”, local tribal “Coordinators” and local tribal “Executors”. Non local project coordinators train local coordinators and executors or “Gav Mitra” (“Friends of Village”) through various workshops and training camps. Responsibilities of local coordinators and executors is 1. Execute vision and program of the project coordinators 2. Counsel parents, spread awareness, participation in School Management Committees 3. Motivate children by songs, stories, bilingual (Korku-Marathi) language games, activity based programs 4. Help with their homework : basic reading, writing, science and mathematical skills. It is also involved in efforts to make government ZP schools more efficient, accountable. There is active and ongoing dialogue with ZP school administrators, principal, teachers. Since 2018, there is formation of School Management Committee (SMC) in one village with representation from school, village head (“Sarpanch”), Maitri non local coordinator, local coordinators, and parents. Because of local representation understands specific needs and problems.

Using funding from Asha for Education, Maitri Shaala plans to 1) Develop Chilati which is base village for Maitri Shaala, as a model center for Training/ workshops 2) Digitally equipped center – Projector, Laptop, Desktop, Printers 3) Create a good library for all in Chilati and other villages 4) To demonstrate BALA ( Building As Learning Aid) and keep a model in front of Village School Committee and people. 5) Before school opens, have 1-2 hours of help (various activity based programs, help in science math, language skills) supplementing government schools
Maitri is committed to bring long term and sustainable social change in tribal community of Melghat with objectives of : 1) Improving primary and secondary education quality 2) Supplementing government aid and systems such that they are more accountable and effective 3) Empowerment of the tribal community using foundation of the education 4) Upliftment and improving quality of life resulting in better health in severely malnourished tribal community
Maitri started working in Melghat mainly for eradication of prevalent problem of malnourishment especially in children and young adults. Soon it realized that health issue is due to lack of resources which is because of extreme poverty. Extreme poverty is because of limited opportunities which is due to lack of education and isolation from the outside world. Other issues identified were lack of awareness regarding hygiene, sanitation along with local problem of geographical location, severe weather conditions, primitive farming methods, limited crop yield. Social issues like girls in poor health getting married as early as ages 13 to 16 and having children contributed to the problem. Maitri decided to take a holistic approach. To eradicate the malnourishment from the root, a consistent and long term approach was required. Education and empowerment through Education is identified as long term solution. Thus, sister project Maitri Shaala was started.