- To do our best so that the current generation of underprivileged children living below the poverty line integrate seamlessly into mainstream society.
- To impart quality education, and all round development, including skill building, in order to provide avenues for employment that are suited to every child’s dominant intelligence and strengths.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
To educate and empower underprivileged children and support them till they are gainfully employed.
WHAT WE DO
Every child goes through an all-round development programme at our learning centers to enrich their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing while furthering their education. We impact this through 8 key areas of intervention.
ACT aspires to address the academic need of every child. In addition to paying fees and providing school supplies, we individually assess each child to identify core strengths and build independent study skills through our After school and In-school coaching and mentoring programs.
With the support and assistance of mothers from the community , ACT also ensures that every child receives nutritious snacks and supplements every day. Every Sunday the children are served a special lunch.
ACT provides life skills to children to enable them to effectively handle the demands and challenges commonly encountered in daily life. One on one and Group Counseling are also being provided to ensure emotional well-being and positive mental health of the children.
ACT fosters an environment for each child to participate in leisure and recreation activities so as to encourage creative expression and stimulation. Candle making, decoupage, dance, music are some of the classes organized throughout the year. Children are taken for fun outings and trips.
Professionals from various organizations mentor the senior students at ACT. This enables them to gain self confidence and develop employability skills. The Senior students also mentor the junior children by teaching and engaging them productively.
Physical activity increases self confidence and self esteem in children. Therefore ACT engages the children in activities like Yoga,Karate and Cricket so as to provide a perfect outlet to keep the children stay active and to give them necessary skills to succeed later in their lives.
ACT organises routine health camps and vaccination drives against Typhoid,MMR and Hepatitis B. Every child is provided with protein mix as a dietary supplement regularly. To assess overall improvement, height and weight of each child is recorded at the beginning and end of the academic year.
Financial literacy and independence ensure a strong foundation for building dreams. ACT enables every child and their mother to have and to operate a bank account.
In bangalore, nearly one million people live in slums, and about one third of slum dwellers fall below the poverty line. Most children are first generation literates. Poor quality of education in government schools and rising school fees year after year have led to steep dropouts at primary and secondary levels.
In Bangalore, we are associated with 15 educational institutions. We work closely with the community to identify deserving children and support them through school and college. We sponsor 160 children through our after-school programs and 186 children through our in-school programs.
CREATING YOUNG MANAGERS
We have a Students’ Parliamentary System of administering the Resource Centre. This Student Parliament consists of Head Girl, an Assistant Head Girl, 14 Prefects and Monitors for every class. These Leaders monitor the children’s attendance, discipline, and distribution of snacks, food and other goodies. They make decisions regarding the allotment of duties to juniors, selection of monitors rewards for adaptive behaviour or punishments that will be imposed for maladaptive behaviour.
The Student Parliament checks if the school work has been completed by the children in a neat manner. This has improved the children’s performance in tests and exams and besides their overall behaviour. Our Parliamentary System has empowered the Leaders to mentor a group of youngsters. They learn Assertive skills of giving, receiving and managing Feedback.
They plan their day to accommodate their college assignments, supervise the juniors and their various other responsibilities. This leads to greater Time Management and reduction of Stress in their lives. Since the parliament is “for the children, of the children and by the children” it is the children who elect their leaders for each year thus honing their Decision Making and Problem Solving Skills. The election is followed by an Investiture Ceremony in the presence of some of their Family.
MOTHERS’ EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM
We wanted to empower the mothers of our children with Life skills training as well. Our techniques have gone a long way to remove the customary helplessness and frustration that is ingrained in these women especially when they face debilitating social stressors. Mothers Meetings are held every quarter for all the mothers in the Trust. We sensitize these underprivileged semi-literate women in parenting. Meetings are held to build awareness about exam preparations. Some of the other issues discussed are: sensitive disciplinary measures, felicitating top scorers at the final exams, health care, hygiene etc. We also distribute provisions, towels and bed sheets to each family during these meetings.
OFFICE TRAINING PROGRAM
Begun a year ago, this program has successfully trained 3 mothers who now help us in the administration of the various programs. They have designated portfolios.
- Procurement Officer: Buys and maintains all supplies required for the smooth running of the programs. This also entails maintenance of accounts for the same. Participates in advocacy of the Trust around the neighbourhood and at the schools where the children study.
- Administrative Clerk: Helps in Bank work including depositing and withdrawing money on behalf of the Trust. Helps mothers in depositing money in the Bank and maintaining their passbooks. Attends to phone calls and visitors. Helps in filing work. Reports absenteeism.
- House Mother: Supervises the preparation and distribution of snacks and meals for the children. She also maintains the Resource Centre and Learning Centre.
Ashwini Charitable Trust fondly referred to as “ACT” by all the people who run it – Trustees, Volunteers and Sponsors – is a Non-Governmental Organization that was started in the year 2000 by a group of women to educate and empower underprivileged children of Ulsoor slums in Bangalore. After 15 years it is still run by women with more than 70 dedicated volunteers supporting them.
ACT is registered under:
- Income Tax Department under Section 80-G
- Income Tax Department under 12 A (a)
- FCRA Registration 094421447
- Our Registration No – DOCUMENT No.434 of Book IV 2000-01
Who are the children we sponsor
These children whose parents typically work as house maids, vendors, painters, tailors are from the lower-income group. In most cases, it is a single income family consisting of 4 to 5 children with the parents struggling to educate at least one or two of them. While most children are first generation literates, it is apparent that the parents have neither the time nor the awareness to attend to the children. Most of the time whenever there are financial crises in the family the children are pulled out of school to do proxy work for their parents. This is worse for the girl child whose education stops abruptly when she attains puberty. Moreover, the parents are unable to afford the fee hikes that take place when the children move to higher classes. In such cases the children are withdrawn from school. In such cases ACT steps in to ensure that the child’s education is guaranteed.
How do we select children for sponsorship?
The trust sponsors hardworking and dedicated children from semi-government and government aided private schools. We network with the educational institutions where the medium of instruction is English and that are within a radius of a kilometre from the centre. Every year the heads of these institutions recommend needy and deserving children whom we interview and test before absorbing them into the trust. We are proud to have a long waiting list of children who want to join us, however we deliberately restrict our numbers so that every child of the trust gets more and more interventions. The trust was formed with the sole objective of educating and empowering underprivileged girls. However, when we sponsor a girl this year we take her sibling the next year, irrespective of the gender. Hence the trust now has about 46 boys. We believe that this will uplift an entire family.
What does the name mean?
The Trust was registered on 15th December 2000 in Bangalore, and named after the first child it sponsored– ASHWINI. Our logo has the foot print of a little child to symbolize that all our giant leaps start off with small steps. We also hope that every child’s hesitant step in the initial years metamorphose into confident strides in life.