India Student Updates

With RISE spanning two continents, we want to ensure that you have access to updates of the exciting, provocative and impressive work which we are conducting in West Bengal, India.

RISE are uniquely placed as we not only have a team in London but also we have a team “on the ground” in rural West Bengal.

Meet the RISE India Team:

India Team

(Left to Right) Sujoy Singh Roy, Sona Malo, Soma Hazra, Santu Biswas & Debu Sen

RISE In Krishnagar

The economy of India is very different to the economy here in the UK. In India, the rate of growth of the economy would be considered very slow because people find it hard to crawl their way out of poverty. The cycle of poverty seems to never break because many people in India are not educated enough to join more skilled jobs and many people even underestimate the value of education because many of them are caught up in making as much profit as they can from local manual jobs like farming. As you would expect, the whole family needs to contribute to the job and hence many don’t find the time to actually go and educate themselves. In some rural parts of India the wages and labour conditions are really bad and many of them only earn Rs 945 a day which is about £10.27 a month. So for many workers in India, it a means of working hard to support your family with very little aspirations or hope for the future.

Housing conditions in India are very poor and inadequate for a healthy educational life. Many people balance their houses on bamboo, wood and even scrap material like metal. This can make them even more prone to diseases or lower their aspirations. Essential everyday things like a clean water supply, sanitary equipment and adequate diet is something that parts of rural India struggle with. Obviously with a low income comes the struggle with providing school uniforms and equipment, so all these things add up to as to why about 25% of 10 year olds drop out of school. So because of this many children experience material deprivation and are discouraged to carry on with their education but thankfully RISE is on the grounds with a special social enterprise called Yearn to Learn which raises literacy skills and increases school retention and through this students will achieve higher aspirations and go on to do incredible things in life. Additionally, to tackle material deprivation RISE has a special challenge called Survival Week, in which you give up something for a whole week and the donations will be used to invest in RISE’s special enterprises so that literacy skills will be raised and students get the future they truly deserve.

Krishinagar 2.jpg   Krishinagar

Housing conditions in India are very poor and inadequate for a healthy educational life. Many people balance their houses on bamboo, wood and even scrap material like metal. This can make them even more prone to diseases or lower their aspirations. Essential everyday things like a clean water supply, sanitary equipment and adequate diet is something that parts of rural India struggle with. Obviously with a low income comes the struggle with providing school uniforms and equipment, so all these things add up to as to why about 25% of 10 year olds drop out of school. So because of this many children experience material deprivation and are discouraged to carry on with their education but thankfully RISE is on the grounds with a special social enterprise called Yearn to Learn which raises literacy skills and increases school retention and through this students will achieve higher aspirations and go on to do incredible things in life. Additionally, to tackle material deprivation RISE has a special challenge called Survival Week, in which you give up something for a whole week and the donations will be used to invest in RISE’s special enterprises so that literacy skills will be raised and students get the future they truly deserve.

By Majlinda Veshalli

Two Continents, Two Programmes, Two Sets of Students; the Why Behind the Partnership

 “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” The following quote accentuates our passion for getting students involved in our unique programme as it displays the importance of understanding how to communicate. RISE engages secondary school students in the UK to raise child literacy in rural India through a social enterprise programme. We believe that this programme is an important experience to allow students to have a better understanding of rural India and to develop their communication skills. RISE believes that it’s important for students in both the UK and India to participate in the programme, as it is a great opportunity which has a lot to offer.

The programme offers a variety of activities for students to participate in, such as workshops, showcasing skills developed throughout the programme and planning and running social enterprises. In addition, the programme offers a love for learning and enables students in the UK to interact with the students in India via Skype; Skype calls are just one element of the student communication. Our programme offers a variety of different skills, such as confidence and communication, thus enabling students to use these skills in the future.

RISE is beneficial for students in the UK as it teaches them about a lifestyle that they may not be familiar with, therefore allowing students to have a clearer understanding of what life is like in other areas of the world. The enterprise programme, which started in 2009 encourages students to focus on the fundamentals of creating social enterprises, thus enabling students to develop key life and enterprise skills. 96.4% of previous students now feel that they have a better understanding of the skills and competencies needed to get a job.

RISE is beneficial for students in India as the programme aims to complement their curriculum and enables students to facilitate a love for learning and an understanding of its irrefutable place in the world. The students in India benefit hugely from this programme as they are able to communicate with others and learn more about the lifestyle and education in Britain. The team in India work incredibly hard to provide the most comprehensive and innovative curriculum to their students.

This partnership enables students and teachers in different parts of the world to share their experiences. RISE believe that this is important because students and teachers should to be aware of the different lifestyles and challenges people face in the world. In addition, we believe that it’s important to have the partnership that we hold as it shows schools in the UK that students in India have similar ambitions to us and that encouraging them is very important in order for them to feel more confident and gain vital skills to help them in the future. Puja Majhi is a perfect example, she is a student in India which RISE has been working with since 2014, since participating in the programme Puja has grown into a bright young lady with aspirations to become a doctor. This presents how important and life-changing this programme can be to individuals. To conclude, RISE is a unique programme that supports secondary school students, by developing their skills and broadening their horizon.

By Sanaa Sharif

Monday February 8th, 2016

This year’s classes have begun for RISE’s 130 students on the Yearn To Learn programme in Krishnagar. Much work has gone into revising this year’s curriculum to align with the Bengali school texts whilst also placing a strong emphasis on innovative projects for the students. We aim to compliment their curriculum but also to stretch them, to help facilitate a love for learning and an understanding of its irrefutable place in the world.

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(Above) An example of some of student engagement with our Yearn To Learn students.

RISE’s founder, Sanju Pal, was delighted to be in India to support the first Skype calls of The ROAR Challenge. Here she is with Sujon, Pinky, Sanjoy, Jit, Sumitra and Mousumi after their Skype call with students from Hampton School, London.

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The Skype calls are just one element of the student partnership facilitated between the UK students participating on The ROAR Challenge and the beneficiaries of the programme and attendees of RISE’s Yearn To Learn classes. RISE hopes to create  unique connections which will develop these young people into globally aware citizens. Through the partnership, they will realise the commonalities and differences, the need for support and the immense scope for learning from one another. UK and Indian students are currently creating 1 minute videos for eachother on a topic of their choice, some of the requests we have had from India include; green hills & mountains, Big Ben, London streets and London Zoo.

Our Yearn To Learn students from Dogacchi came together on 23rd January, a national holiday in India, to celebrate the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, recognised as one of India’s greatest freedom fighters.

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In addition to working with students academically, RISE also hopes to facilitate a number of extra events throughout the year to celebrate and have fun with the students.

Presently, the RISE office is getting ready for Saraswati Puja on Saturday 13th February which will be attended by all Yearn To Learn students, teachers and local supporters. This is an annual festival celebrating Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, wisdom and learning! Check back on this page for photos!

Sunday 7th February saw the annual Kolkata Gives event and RISE were honoured to take part in this exhibition, bringing together NGOs and those willing to donate. To find out more about Kolkata Gives, visit their website here. Two of our Yearn To Learn students Puja Majhi and Sujon Sarkar went along to support the RISE stand at the exhibition in the Park Plaza Hotel in Kolkata. Their second time in the capital city gave them the opportunity to be part of West Bengal’s largest philanthropic fair and all delegates they spoke to were very impressed by them!

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The team are working incredibly hard in India to provide the most comprehensive and innovative curriculum to their 130 students on our Yearn To Learn programme.

This page will be updated with more events, photos and information from RISE in West Bengal so check back with us next week!

 

 

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