Children's Project Trust

Project Brief: Residential School for Young Children from Tent Villages
Project Type: Residential School (description)
Primary Focus: children who are working (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Stanford
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Harendra Guturu
Project Partner(s): Seth Galligan
Other Contacts: Nilima Abrams
Project Address: , House #121,,,Maragodu Post,Kathelekad Vill.,
Stewarding Chapter: Stanford
Feb 2012StanfordUSD 8000
Jul 2011StanfordUSD 6000
Oct 2010StanfordUSD 3000
Oct 2010Work an HourUSD 6000
Jan 2010Work an HourUSD 6750
Feb 2008StanfordUSD 3000

Total = $32750

We serve boys and girls from the ages of 4 to 15. Most of our children come from what are known in India as Tent Villages (the few children we have in our care who did not come from a tent village were on the streets surrounding the tent villages). These are places, usually within the grounds of garbage dumps, where homeless and impoverished people have erected small tents made from tree branches and tarps. These enclaves are quintessentially impoverished. Few family units are intact, drug and alcohol abuse runs rampant, unemployment is the norm and there is no access to clean water, safe schools or healthcare. The rate of sexual abuse experienced in these environments among our female students is nearly 100%. Most of our children spent their days begging, working in the fields or collecting garbage to sell. Any money they earned was taken by the adults in their lives and usually used for the purchase of alcohol. A few of our students were able to attend schools prior coming to us but in each case the reports of the school reflect an education in how to take blows from a stick and evade the sexually abusive staff members. All of our children were also malnourished and, at the time of their arrival, were experiencing many of the health issues which result from this state.

We operate out of a small cluster of buildings on land recently acquired by our Trust. These buildings comprise our classrooms, work areas and sleeping quarters. Each building has electricity and running water. We use gas stoves for cooking. We have wireless phone and internet connections. We have one pick-up truck and one motorcycle for our transportation needs. We have a core staff of six people who cover administrative and teaching responsibilities as well as the day to day care of the children (i.e. grocery shopping, visits to the doctor, etc.).
Our curriculum is designed to open doors for our students. We want them to be able to attend the best Universities if that is their wish, but we also want them to have the skills necessary to join the work force earlier if that is a more appropriate path. We make sure that our students are competent in all the topics covered by the standardized tests in India. In addition to this we also offer classes in yoga, dance, music and sports. General health education classes are included as well, and are especially important in India where lack of proper sanitation leads to many avoidable diseases. Regardless of the subject, we make great efforts to imbue all of our lessons with basic human values. We feel that with good values at the root of our educational system, our students will be successful in any field they choose.
Our current student/teacher ratio is 10/1. These small class sizes are a major asset to us as many of our children require lots of personal attention in order to help them assimilate with their classmates.
Our students are registered with the National Indian Open School system (NIOS). This status gives our students access to all the standardized testing required by institutions of higher learning and also allows us to have complete control over our curriculum. Our nature as an NIOS institution also means that a diploma from our school will be officially recognized as proof of an adequate pre-requisite education by Indian and International Colleges and Universities.
Our short term goal is to provide a safe, healthy and enriching atmosphere for our students. Our long term goal is to foster their development in such a way that empowers them to become productive members of society, working to improve the conditions of those in need of help. We also hope to be an example of an effective model for change which our brothers and sisters in India and around the world can look to.
The Children's Project Trust is registered under that name in both India and the United States. Its mandate is to provide the best possible education and values training possible and the target population is the so-called "uneducable" student, i.e. those children who either have been abandoned by their families, whose families survive on the streets, or who come from the lowest socio-economic and caste sectors in the country.
Seth Galligan
Public Relations Coordinator, CPT