School is back and we are all relieved and delighted
For the past 2 weeks our 9 education centres across three states in Northern India have resumed their full delivery of classes, along with a daily meal for each child, 5 days a week. COVID has not stopped the kids from coming to school, in fact we have more students than ever! Another 100 students have started at our 2 centres in Punjab bringing our current total enrolments across the 9 centres to 542 students.
18 months of continuous lockdown for most children
With the exception of a few short weeks last week, our centres have not been fully ‘open’ since March 2020. We honour our teachers, project officers and the leadership team who despite the most difficult of circumstances have worked tirelessly to continue to care for our students and their families - feeding them when hungry, supporting mental health issues, checking in on their physical safety, not to mention providing for their ongoing learning with the delivery of worksheets and lessons when possible to their homes.
The children are smiling and great happiness fills the classrooms. Isn’t this what it’s all about! When I reflect on the core purpose of Project Help India, it starts with the kids. The COVID lockdown and the challenges that we have and will continue to face remind me of why I am so passionately dedicated to the cause of education. Globally, we must get children back to school safely and quickly. Whether it’s in Australia, or in one the remotest parts of the planet in Northern India... schools worldwide, are places of hope, health, happiness …and magic!
When I think of hope I think of children learning - equipping them with the skills for their success both for their present life circumstances as well as giving them a sense of purpose, confidence and optimism for a bright future. Hope is found where parents work hard for their family, contributing to the good of others and the strength of the community for generations to come.
When I think of health I think of children’s safety - their physical and emotional health and wellbeing, their nutrition and not going hungry. Health is found in an inclusive community where all children, regardless of their gender, creed, abilities or disabilities have equal access to the resources required for them to live and to learn well.
When I think of happiness, I think of the joy and wonder of childhood, the friendship, fun games, sports, and having a second family at school where they are loved, valued, are ‘known’ and belong. Happiness is found in a place filled with culture, art, dancing, music and curiosity – discovering and nurturing the talents and gifts of each remarkable individual child. Happiness is found in a community where children laugh with joy, bringing smiles and fond memories to the elderly who sit and watch nearby.
It’s at school where the magic happens
Please help www.projecthelpindia.co to make the magic happen. If you can, we would value your generous donation to resource our schools. We can’t wait to share some of the stories about our schools and students over the weeks to come.