WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
The children from the Save The Children, India come from low-income communities around Kurla and Dharavi. Their community face problems such as:
- how to gain access to wholesome, nutritious affordable food
- how to gain employment while being differently able
- how to collect and purify water to ensure they have water all year long, especially the drought months.
HOW WILL A LIVING LAB HELP?
A LivingLab is more than a garden. Over the last 3 years, AES has honed our skills in education and garden design to create spaces where the garden transforms into a student -led outdoor lab.
These physical spaces become a treasure trove for our students, where they can experiment and ideate solutions to major sustainability challenges that they face daily.
Using maths, science, art & engineering, and AES’s experiential, hands on entrepreneurial curricula, we engage our learners to look at the problems in a holistic way – seeing how they can connect real world applications to theory in the classroom and eventually connect those ideas to livelihood education.
In simpler words, equipping learners with skills to understand how they themselves can improve their access to food, education & generate income with whatever resources they already have at their disposal.
We also use our LivingLab space to host programs and workshop for other students. We connect our students to international schools and together, students find common ground trying to solve shared challenges that affect us all – building bridges with each other along the way.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF OUR PROGRAM
- Better grades
- Everything from arts, science, math to engineering gets covered and we have seen a remarkable improvement in the academics of the students we engage
- Better self-confidence
- Our LivingLabs are student-led and constantly evolving which means that the students are in charge of their learning and their own development, building a sense of self responsibility and care.
- Connecting Communities
- When students from different backgrounds have a common challenge to solve together, we find that it is easier to build bridges and connections and understand how and why we must work together - changing the dynamic of ’charity‘- building bridges between communities
- Better Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving & Innovative Skills
- When students are focused on developing solutions; experimenting, learning, ideating and developing low tech solutions, we find that they become better at solving problems and becoming solution focused!
- Better Leadership
- The experience of problem solving issues in their communities, partaking workshops, and seeing ideas come to life with a fixed time frame are invaluable for our students as they emerge into confident young leaders
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
We meet with each of our communities once a week at zero cost to them.
We need your help to create a solid foundation and base for Save The Children to get their living lab project off the ground so that they can feed and educate their kids.
Your donation will be spent in the following ways:
- Waterproofing the Terrace (POP, sealant, paints, mesh for traps)
- Classroom Furniture (whiteboards, chalkboards, stationary)
- Basic Lab Equipment (microscopes, trays, precision tools)
- Basic Garden Equipment (containers, starter soil, tools)
- Study Guides & Books (translation into different languages)
THE COMPOST STORYAn example of our methods
At VOICE, our other Living Lab site, the students were challenged by the growing food waste problems in their orphanage. Our children decided they wanted to tackle this head on and experimented with different low resources ways of setting up a composting facilities by using discarded waste products from their kitchen to build worm farms, tumblers and smaller scale solutions.
This was a simple solution but effective and easy for them to make at home with no cost whatsoever. The compost then also fed their terrace food garden, conserving all those precious resources.
Through this exercise, they went through the scientific process - tracking their progress, collecting evidence, seeing which systems were more effective and learning how to think critically. Along the way, they also became a better team and learned how to share responsibilities effectively.
Through this whole process, we also kept bringing the students back to their relevant science-related subjects from their science curricula: things like life cycles, soil sciences, and agriculture.
We hope to raise enough funds in the first month to start developing the infrastructure, and work with our STCI students on several exciting project based initiatives.
We will have detailed monthly updates of how your money is being spent, including photos, and videos from our kids and the transformation of our space!
We Thank You for taking the time to read our proposal and hope to hear from you soon! If you feel strongly about our work, Please do share this with friends - we appreciate all the support!