The Heritage River Journeys team believes in sharing and community service in the regions where we live and work. We seek out important and localised projects in the areas of education, environment and the arts, evaluate them carefully and support them with funding and more.
Here are the projects we are supporting in 2017-18.
In India, 50% of class 5 children still cannot read a class 2 reading book, and the same is true for numeracy also. While this statistic is representative of the country as a whole, for children coming into Calcutta Rescue, this figure could be even worse due to the fact that these children are the most vulnerable and underprivileged in society. In order to combat this inequality, Calcutta Rescue runs two schools, which provide supplementary education to ensure that the poorest of poor children can attend formal school and can continue and complete their education. Their programme aims to support children throughout their studies, by giving them an appropriate environment for learning. Since many children are from single parent homes and/or live in environments where alcohol, drugs and physical abuse are commonplace, their guardians request Calcutta Rescue to admit them into boarding schools. This is so that their children have a safe learning environment to allow them to pursue their education free from the hardship and adversity of their broken family homes.
Calcutta Rescue works closely with a good boarding school in Kolkata called J. N. Ray Boarding School. As and when difficult situations like those mentioned above appear in the child’s life and at the request of the parent, Calcutta Rescue transfers the child to boarding school and pays for the fees. Calcutta Rescue continues to monitor the children’s learning outcomes and actively liaises with J. N. Ray to ensure the child’s education is moving in the best possible direction.
Tiljala SHED will run a pilot project over 18 months for 25 vulnerable children of ragpicker families. The project’s objective is to keep 25 vulnerable class 6 – 8 children, both boys and girls, from the Topsia squatter community of Kolkata in education by providing 18 months of after-school coaching in sports, arts and sciences. Tiljala SHED’s experienced staff believes that this intervention will significantly improve the life chances of these 25 beneficiaries. The aim of this pilot project is to test and refine their approach to the educational development of these youngsters.
This year, 25 students in class 5-6 are approaching the critical point at which they are at risk of dropping out of school. Tiljala SHED proposes to set up dedicated coaching sessions for these older children, appointing subject specific teachers to support the children in both arts and science subjects. A sports teacher will also be engaged to offer physical education for this group. All the staff will counsel the youngsters and their parents who will be made aware of the alternative life chances of those with a better education. To ensure that the families can support themselves without putting their school age children to work, Tiljala SHED will link them with their livelihood program.
Small Change connects organisations and individuals to causes that are relevant to them. The NGO believes in working in small and large ways to bring about long-term change in India. Small Change identifies NGOs, tracks donations, evaluates their work and performs due diligence. In a developing country such as India, organisations such as Small Change do yeomen service in promoting a culture of philanthropy.