Aalayam Reach Cheyyar School Visit
Aalayam Reach Cheyyar School Visit

Aalayam volunteers visited couple of schools in Cheyyar to interact with students and teachers to better understand their expectations and how Aalayam can assist them to shape their future. We started from Chennai and it was two and a half hours drive. We went to one government aided school and one government school.

Most of the students are from low income family but they are so happy and very interested in learning. The photos below are taken from the government school.

The parents of these schools tend to send their children to SIPCOT to support their family financial needs. Lot of students parents were daily wages.

The government school head master and teacher’s are working tirelessly to help the students and continuously providing better education for the students.

During our visit on Saturday, the school was preparing for their lunch and dinner for the 10 standard students to support their special classes to help them clear the exams. This initiative is funded by Parent Teachers Association fund’s interest payment.

The Tamil teacher who attended this meet up told the students that MORALITY is important than EDUCATION and that is the thought process of the school and her focus as well. Once MORAL Behavior is there then EDUCATION comes easy for the students.

We left with good memories and gave us the hope that WE ARE ALONE on this JOURNEY.

Let’s JOIN HANDS for a BRIGHT FUTURE for our next generation of STUDENTS.

My visit to Dr. G. Nammalvar ayya’s Vanagam

I visited Vanagam, located at Surumanpatti, Kadavur in Karur district on November 27th to work with them to plant 28 trees, as part of our commitment to plant one tree for every successful completion of a student’s cause. So far in total we have plated 40 trees.

vanagam

Aalayam’s commitment for Ecological sustainability moved us to join hands with Vanagam, NGO created by Dr. G. Nammalvar Ayya.

Vanagam has 40-45 acres of land. They provide Organic farming training for interested people every month with a small marginal fee which is used to plant new trees, to build and maintain the infrastructure. We have requested to dedicate some area with in Vanagam to plant trees sponsored by Aalayam. When you get a chance, please do visit Vanagam and the plants supported by Aalayam.

Nammalvar
Aalayam

Aalayam help financially deprived students to fulfill their longing to study and obtain knowledge and with that the students will also become a better individual in the society and attain financial independence.

Planting a tree is a gesture to show that Ecological Sustainability is an important component which has to go hand in hand with other societal and economic growths.

The source of energy for this human life is given by nature. It’s a natural instinct in us to protect and save it for our next generation.

Let’s give back in the form of planting the trees along with assisting financial deprived students..

G Nammalvar (or Nammazhwar) தமிழில் : நம்மாழ்வார் (1938 – 2013) was an Indian organic farming expert, Green Crusader. Recognising his extensive work in the field of agriculture, the Gandhi Gram Rural University, Dindugal honoured Nammazhwar with a Doctorate of Science degree in 2007.

One of Nammalvar’s sayings was: “Farming is not a way of producing crops to make money. It is a way of living that is possible even in the 21st century.” He trained hundreds of farm youths as trainers and helped many farmers to be master trainers.

He never pushed ideas down anyone’s throat. Each farm is unique according to the farmers’ understanding and the conditions, Nammalvar would say.

He would keep experimenting with what he learned from the farmers, refined this knowledge and then gave it back to them.

More can be learned about vanagam and Dr. G. Nammalvar from the below links.

http://vanagam.co.in/

Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt_c69ii4vI

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._Nammalvar
Preparing Students for a Successful Future – Team Work

          Preparing Students for a Successful Future

  • Teamwork was increasingly becoming the hard skills of today’s work force and in social engagements.
  • It’s just not enough to be highly trained in technical skills, without developing the softer, interpersonal and relationship-building skills that help people to communicate and collaborate as a team effectively.
  • Teamwork, leadership, and communication are underpinned by soft skills development. Since each is an essential element for organizational and personal success, developing these skills is very important and does matter… a lot!
Our education system should focus on doing work as a team rather than INDIVIDUALS.

WHAT?

  • Teach the Importance of team work at this elementary level education.
  • Any corporate work culture demands team players.
  • Teams produce more results than individuals.

More Info: http://www.ed.gov/blog/2015/01/teamwork-data-big-gains-at-jones-elementary-school/

WHY?

  • In today’s ever changing, complex world, jobs are becoming more and more specialized, and the need to bring specialists together to form a team becomes even more important.
  • Its also important to come together for SOCIETAL development and close linkage with the society.
  • It will help to get a JOB and perform well globally and to improve personally.
  • It’s a fact that companies provides soft skill training more than technical training.
  • Students can’t compete and provide results if they doesn’t have these skillsets.

HOW?

  • Teachers and Parents to Challenge, Excite students to learn. Parents to educate their kids about the importance of teamwork, leadership and communication skills.
  • Teachers and Parents to guide students on the social process of learning, and help student to realize they are important contributors for the society and make them accountability to learn.
  • Make students THINK! with other learners.
  • Conduct team Building games.

     References:

http://www.ed.gov/blog/2015/01/teamwork-data-big-gains-at-jones-elementary-school/
http://www.teachmeteamwork.com/teachmeteamwork/files/Teambuilding_on_a_Shoestring_sml.pdf

Ken Robinson – Ted Talks

Team Building Games

http://PBSKids.org
http://Code.Org
http://www.tvokids.com/games/alphabetgoop
http://www.tvokids.com/watch

All the above game online and can be simulated and can be played

How Aalayam is contributing to reduce Child Marriage?

Education increases girls’ socioeconomic status and earning potential. Education stokes girls’ imaginations and leads them to develop personal and professional aspirations. It also gives them the skills to negotiate whom and when they will marry. It can provide one of the few places outside the home where girls are allowed to interact with their peers.

Statistics around Child Marriage

142 MILLION: If we do nothing, by the end of the decade an estimated 142 million girls will be married as children.   1 in 3 Girls: In the developing world are said to be married before 18.   700 Million: Over 700 million women alive today were married as children.

Statistics in India

India has the highest number of child brides in the world.   It is estimated that 47%of girls in India are married before their 18th birthday.   While fewer Indian girls are marrying before the age of 15, rates of marriage have increased for girls aged between 15 to 18.

Education is one of the most powerful tools to delay the age at which girls marry as school attendance helps shift norms around child marriage.

Improving girls’ access to schooling will increase girls’ chances of gaining a secondary education and helps to delay marriage.

When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries on average four years later.

Aalayam contributes in this space by providing education for the financially deprived students and increasing the possibility for a girl student to continue her education in whatever the the little way we can.We should be confident that this little Initiative Aalayam is started will spread and the day is far away where there dropout rate and child marriage will be eliminated. “The Journey of thousand miles start with one step in the Right Direction” Aalayam has taken its first STEP!References:http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/how-can-we-end-child-marriage/http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/341/education.htmlhttps://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/343644-education-and-the-significance-of-life

How Aalayam is contributing to reduce national dropout rate?

National dropout rate is 47.4 percent from class 1 to 10. This is a national problem and every problem has a solution.

Aalayam Foundation provides a platform to fill this GAP.

ReducedropoutRate

Aalayam visits school administration and asks o refer students who couldn’t continue their education because of economical reasons. As school head masters, teachers know the ground reality, they refer the students and then we will do a review and finally make their cause online to collect funds. Students were referred as well be the volunteers and some students apply online.

Aalayam Foundation is serving as a BRIDGE to students in need to the donors who are willing to help.Aalayam provides a platform where Beneficiary and Donors come together to fill the dropout rate.

Drop out rate of students & the reasons in India

Drop out rate of students and Drop out Reasons in India   According to the statistics from Ministry of Human Resources and Development Bureau of Planning, Monitoring and Statistics, the drop out rate is 47.4 in the year 2013-14 from class 1 to 10th.   Based on studies from government and NGOs in different states, economic reasons was cited as one of the biggest reason for not sending student to school by parents.   “School dropout rate amongst adolescent girls in India is as high as 63.5% (Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation – MoSPI, 2012)”   Drop out Rate is the percentage of students who drop out from a given grade or cycle or level of education in a given school year.  

Where our contribution makes a difference as a Volunteer \ Donor?   “Our contribution as a Volunteer and Donor will make a difference by making sure the students are not dropped out of school because of economical reasons and also will contribute in reducing the national drop out rate.”     References:http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/statistics/EAG2014.pdfhttp://planningcommission.gov.in/reports/sereport/ser/stdy_ecdo.pdfhttp://schooldropoutprevention.com/country-data-activities/india/

Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF) – My Experience

One of Aalayam’s volunteer and also Vazhai organization’s volunteer Mrs.Thamarai Selvi informed Aalayam about the “Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF)” gathering which had happened in Chennai on September  21st.

Since I was in Chennai that day I had an opportunity to participated on behalf of Aalayam Foundation.

It was a wonderful experience.

Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF) conducted the programs from morning to evening that day.

Lot of wonderful people have participated in the event and the energy was high till the evening sessions.

Hats off to all the members of Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF) and other volunteers.

They gave us an opportunity to speak about Aalayam.

In Summary I had talked about What Aalayam does and How do we operate.

After the meeting I spoke with a school headmaster gave our information and also talked to an employee of child labor prevention welfare organization who are doing a wonderful job is that space also given our information so that we both can work together towards the common goals of providing education for the people who are not fortunate as we are.

End of the day this meet once again stresses the importance of NGO’s working together so that each others mission’s can be achieved with support from one another.

Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF): http://www.tnsfchennai.com

Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chennaitnsf

Compiled some thoughts on Education

Provide safety for the Kids. For example, Look at how many kids are being kidnapped, travel to schools in unsafe environment, etc.,   The enrollments will go up if parents know that their kids are safe. Revolutionize the education system from Linear, conformity, Industrial model to Organic or Agricultural model by providing the right kind of environment so that students can blossom according to their capabilities. Everyone has their own time to blossom. – Quotes from “Ken Robinson – Ted Talk”   Survey the public find out the top 10 issues by district & State and address them. One size may not fit all.   Execute the existing schemes without corruption.   TV content regulations. Too much violence, non suitable contents for kids delivered through Television. Programs in the evening to be censored to suit children. Teach Soft skills in school curriculum.   Include more sports, Quiet time (Know yourself).

Train the Teachers to encourage students for creativity & Innovation. Train the teachers frequently.

Creativity is as important as Literacy – Designing the syllabus based on this theme will help students to know their full potential. Education should not be a competition. School ranking system needs to be overhauled. Students come to school first time joyfully, the system divides them says only top 5 or 10 are fit for the society. What about the rest?

Ken Robinson – Ted Talkshttp://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativityhttp://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution#t-1045545Jiddu Krishnamurtihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LS_ajJffPI

Protect the Identity and give pride to our Beneficiaries
Aalayam is committed to protect the identity and give pride to our beneficiaries with all of your support.

It’s important that we respect the privacy of the beneficiary by not disclosing their personal identifiable information on the public website.

Aalayam does the review of all personal information of the beneficiary in very detail to find the genuinity of the cause.

We don’t want to publicize the situation of our beneficiaries and raise funds.

We all know that the beneficiaries have not chosen to live in the conditions and their inabilities to pay the fees. They are not responsible for the conditions in which they are in now.

We all also know that these conditions are temporary in nature and they will be in a very good positions once they have completed their education and grown up.

As a transparent organization we are committed to provide all the relevant information by providing you with the evidence by emailing the copy of the cheques given to institutions and or beneficiaries.

Also as an registered organization we also maintain and submit documents to the government for auditing.

Thanks a lot Donor’s and everyone for your deep understanding on this and the support you are providing.
How are we able to give 100 percent to beneficiary

Few people asked us this question and we thought to explain the way it works today.

It’s Simple Though!

The goal of our organization is to identify deserving students and use crowdfunding to raise funds from supporters. Beneficiary approach us directly or referred to us for financial help to continue or purse school or college education. Our review committee investigate the cause to know the complete background. Once the cause is approved we share the cause to supporters through our website, facebook, email etc. Supporters with generously donate to the cause.

It is very important that whatever donation we receive from the supporters should go to the beneficiary 100%. Once the goal is reached, we are directly pay it to the educational institute or service provider and ask for receipts. We DO NOT write cheque or demand draft to the beneficiary or parents.

As any organization we do have monthly operating cost and we try to keep it very minimal as possible, so that we can serve many student. Our monthly cost includes office rent, phone bill, stationary, web hosting etc. Our champions are contributing in many ways as website development, graphics design, cause review, user support, accounting, tax filing etc.

Currently we have three core members pledge monthly and that covers our operating cost. In near future we are planning to integrate payment gateway, so that supporters can donate seamlessly. There is a service charge (2-5%) given to the payment processing company and we would like to observe that cost with our monthly operating cost. To cover this service charge we will increase the number of monthly pledge amount.

At any cost we WILL NOT take any single amount from the cause donation and give 100% donations to the beneficiary’s cause which makes us different!

100percent