Basic Literacy and Educational Services for Santhals (BLESS)

Project Brief: The basic literacy program is a major component of Matrichaya?s community development programs. Adult education, vocational training and micro-credit programs help the villagers become economically independent.
Project Type: Alternative Education (description)
Primary Focus: children from slums (description)

Secondary Focus: children of dalits/tribals

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Arizona
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Sonu Munshi
Project Partner(s): Chanchala Mishra
Other Contacts: Archana Mishra
Project Address: , Vedaansh Campus, Harishandra Vihar,Tikli Tola, Ranchi,Jharkand, India,
Tel: 716 568 1064, 716 898 4705 (NY
Stewarding Chapter: Arizona
Apr 2009ArizonaUSD 5635
Jan 2006ArizonaUSD 1950
May 2005ArizonaUSD 1650
Aug 2004ArizonaUSD 3273

Total = $12508

The main objective of Matrichaya is to provide education, self-employment, and healthcare to the under-privileged children and women in Jharkhand. Emphasis is placed on three main areas: 1. Education through Basic Literacy Programs for children and adults, 2. Learn and earn vocational training and microcredit programs leading to economic independence and empowerment of women and 3. Health and hygiene promotion implemented by volunteers in the healthcare field.
Matrichaya was created by Mrs Chanchala Mishra, whose association with the tribal community extends over two decades. Following her husband?s untimely demise in 1984 she dedicated her life to the upliftment of the community. She lived in their midst and was there when the villagers needed her help or advice. The confidence of the tribals in her grew over the years. She used her people skills to motivate like-minded volunteers to help her in her mission. She started a beauty training and fashion designing center where she reserved seats for tribal girls. She also started a line of herbal beauty therapy products and the proceeds were used to start activities in the village. She has acted as the voice of tribals against the forces that try to take undue advantage of them. One of the main reasons why people tried to take advantage of the tribals was their illiteracy.
The most effective way to bring about socioeconomic change was to educate children and women in the community. Despite government schools in the vicinity children continued to be illiterate. Children, especially females, were engaged in taking care of younger siblings or working as domestic help. She started a basic literacy center in Tikli Tola. Two teachers were employed from within the community. They taught part-time and were encouraged to attend college. The classes were conducted in rooms donated by the villagers. She used her own resources and contribution from family and friends to get the basic school supplies and snacks which helped to motivate the children into coming to school initialy. She also started vocational training programs. She used her contacts to encourage physicians to volunteer their time and provide samples of medications in the fortnightly health camps organized by Matrichaya.

2004-2005 UPDATE
Matrichaya was established in 1994 by Chanchala Mishra, a
philanthropist who strongly believes that education is the primary agent for socio-economic change.

Based in the state of Jharkhand, the NGO's primary goal is the upliftment of tribals in the area through 3 key initiatives: Basic education, learn-and-earn vocational training and through health and hygiene promotion.

Towards this effort, Matrichaya has adopted 7 villages in and around the state capital, Ranchi.

With the help of the local Rotary chapter, Matrichaya was able to fund a basic literacy program in two schools. Besides this, the Ranchi Corporation has supported the vocational training program for 30 women, while the State Bank Mahila Samiti has helped organize programs, supplied sewing machine, carpets, slates etc.

Matrichaya has earmarked five other schools which require funding. These schools will also provide services such as regular meals, and uniforms for its students.

The volunteers at Asha Arizona strongly felt that its goal of providing basic education matches that of Matrichaya and the two can work together to make a difference. Asha has therefore approved funding of $9,939 over a period of 3 years towards expenses of the schools run by Matrichaya.

The main objective of this project is to catalyze socioeconomic changes in Jharkhand, especially in the tribal villages of Kanke Block, Ranchi. These objectives shall be met through the education of under privileged children. Matrichaya has adopted seven villages in and around Ranchi: (1) Tikli Toli, (2) Chandave, (3) Chama, (4) Bukuru, (5) Sukurhuttu, (6) Rendo, and (7) Dubalia. It has been working to bring about substantial changes in the deteriorating living conditions of the poor villagers.
This project will operate initially in the aforementioned tribal villages and will provide basic education to vulnerable children, age 6 to 14 years, that are not currently going school. The children would develop traits and attributes that are necessary in succeeding and advancing into the mainstream education system. The schools that are currently operating are limited by the lack of funds. It is hoped that the funding provided by ASHA will help us in sustaining the currently operating schools and providing services such as regular meals, uniforms etc. that would help in maintaining children in these schools and in developing the school going habit.
Matrichaya's Mission .............
To bring about socio-economic changes in India through education of underprivileged children and women.

To build a global network of smart committed philanthropists to achieve above goal.

Date of establishment: 1994 (Registered in 2002 under Society Registration Act No.21/1860 Registration No. 109/2002-03 . FRCA No: 337800119)

The literacy rate for Ranchi is 54.13% as per the 2001 census. However, it is negligible in the tribal villages and the slums that Matrichaya works in. As per the household survey 90% of females are illiterate.