Do you want to do charity but are not sure where to put your time or money in? If you were going to do some charity in 2016, I urge you to do it in Emmanuel public school.
Founded in 2013. The aim of Emmanuel public school is to uplift the neighborhood children through education. You won’t believe their story!
I heard it first when was welcomed to the Marg Family Church in 2015. I saw how selflessly the Kharadi branch family, volunteers at Emmanuel public school. They take turns, plan the curriculum and teach these kids every week. Marg also provides a little financial support to the school. What a joy to be a blessing for someone else!
Where is this school?
Located on the outskirts of Pune city, this little school has a big heart. The area is Lohegaon, near Wagholi. The neighborhood is where you’d find blue collar workers living there. It’s the maids, the drivers, the daily wage earners. They earn with less than 12,000 rupees ($200) income per month.
These people earn just enough to pay rent, buy the week’s worth of groceries, or send some money back home. Besides, they also have their addictions to tobacco and alcohol. They don’t have enough left for a birthday cake for their children.
Then, where is the room for education?
Paying an unimaginable sum of money for an English medium school is the last thing on their mind. Don’t their children deserve a chance to break into the mainstream, like we did?
Who runs the school?
A local church saw the need. Emmanuel public school was not initiated by some multimillionaire. It initiated by the people who live there. They thought to themselves, why wait for the big shots, when we could start a school ourselves? In the early days, church members sacrificed their time in the evenings. Selling extra things like bhel to earn money for the school or coming in the evening to clean the school.
Some members have even quit their jobs to work full-time at the school. When there is a special event, many of the church youth come to help. It’s a true community project, by the people, for the people.
Challenges of the school
94 children (as of Oct 2016)
4 full-time teachers
Running a school is not easy. Obviously. The children’s mother tongue is Marathi, Hindi etc. They have a learning curve to study their subjects in English. Additionally, many parents have not been raised to value education, so sometimes the kids don’t attend regularly. The school also spends time talking with and investing in the parents.
There are also a lot of financial needs. Especially as the school continues to grow. They started with Nursery- Standard 1 and have been adding a class every year. The needs include:
To pay rent
Pay Teachers salary
Provide the essential textbooks, workbooks, and notebooks
Give Bags and Uniforms to the children
When I went there a couple of times last year, the children sat on the floor. Praise God! a few classes have tables and chairs now. But there is still a long way to go. Emmanuel public school needs your support for their basic needs.
Here’s What You can do to help
This is the most obvious thing you can do to help. You could pool in money from your coworkers, friends, and family and give it to these guys. With enough bank balance, the full-time teachers will get their salaries on time, at least. That’s the biggest challenge for now.
Currently, Emmanuel public school is getting the license for tax receipts. They had to pay 30k to apply for it! It should come within the next 6 months. That means you would not get an 80G tax receipt to get a tax deduction on your funds given to this school right now. But give anyway.
Here’s your chance to teach! Even if you don’t have the passion for teaching, then come. The volunteers and the full-time teachers here always need an extra helping hand to take care of their class. You can give a couple of hours during the week or the weekend, won’t you? What a noble way to spend your time.
Donate Your Old Storybooks or New Stationery
They don’t want your junk, ok? Ha ha, no really. Please give books that are in good, readable condition. Not books with torn pages or those with missing pages. You can get pencils, color pencils, crayons, paints, glue, books and the list is endless. Contact the school and check with them about the supplies they need to make sure your money is for good use.
Ask your HR to organize a “Joy of Giving” drive
In my previous corporate life (in HR) employee engagement was a big role. Every year, we organized donation drives. Everyone faithfully handed over food, clothes, money, stationery and the like to trusted NGOs. You can appeal to your HR folks. They can organize it all for you, and provide to Emmanuel public school.
Celebrate Festivals, Birthdays
These kids may not get a birthday cake every year. They probably don’t even have birthday parties. You can go there and give them a party. It’ll be fun and of course, some delicious festive food is always welcomed!
Share this Post with Friends, Family and Work Folks!
Spread the word. Talk about the needs at Emmanuel so more people are aware. This way more people can help out if they feel led to.
Abhijeet on the Emmanuel public school’s Facebook page. Check with him about the appropriate time to volunteer or funds required. Use your time and money more effectively for the sake of these children.
Photo Credits: Kessi from Keloc Photography