I am raising money to fund resources for my return visit in July 2018. Two areas of education that can radically improve the chance of a good occupation for Dalits is English & Computing.
Last year I set up a computer room with printer and internet access in the school, trained the teachers,, wrote a curriculum and delivered two terms of lessons.
It was very successful and the children having never touched a computer in their lives, learnt at an exponential rate.
This year I will return to see how the year has gone since I left. Where I can offer more support, training and develop the curriculum.
I will also set up a second computer room in a sister school, which supports a very poor coomunity of Dalit's who are living in very basic conditions in Machilli Patnam.
Dalits – or Untouchables – have been positioned at the bottom of India’s society and are subject to the most aggressive and dehumanising abuse. They are born into a culture that devalues them from birth with society considering them lower than animals. The term ‘Dalit’ literally translates to downtrodden or oppressed and there are 250 million Dalits who are exposed to this injustice.
The schools are funded by Life Association, a British charity (www.lifeassociation.org ). However, they just about manage to cover the basic costs for the buildings, teachers and bills. They have few resources left to develop the teaching.
Thats where I come in.
We will be using the money for the following:
· 2 more computers from the UK
· A printer bought out in India
· Tables and benches for the computer room (to be made by locals)
· A dongle
· Extension leads
· White board and pens
· Video projector
I have already covered my own personal costs for the trip and also have bought four brand new laptops.
You may be thinking that every school would love to have the resources that i am intending to provide at these schools. I agree. The main difference here is that these children are born into a caste that controls their future occupations, which in turn prevent them from rising out of the poverty trap.
By providing a good education they can move past the restraints of their caste, particularly in cities where there is a more liberal stance.
Both Jen and I have a huge heart for children in the UK and around the world who our suffering through neglect and poverty.
We continue to work in education in Bristol, working with children who are disadvantaged through disability and illness.
We have a shared passion to use our skills to help children in the developing world and have increasingly felt drawn to help Dalit children who often have a very poor living standard and propspects. They are also a target for exploitation.
We are incredibly thankful for anyone who feels able to give to us so that we can work with these amazing children and support the staff that work fulltime with them in India.
Please feel free to contact us for more details.
David & Jen Cheeseman
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