Tucked away behind imposing office buildings in Okhla (Delhi) lies a narrow lane almost invisible to people, leading to a maze of narrow streets, densely packed with houses. Here, resides Sanju Devi along with her family of seven, in a miniscule room on rent. Two people cannot move comfortably without displacing ten other things here.
“The reason why we came to Delhi was to get better education, environment than what one gets in the village. I don’t want my children to become like me; they should study well. They should become something in life and have self-belief/confidence. Children learn better here but I don’t know how we will take care of 5 children in Delhi” (English)
Amidst her daily stresses of storing water, access to a bathroom and cooking meals, being part of Meraki’s program is crucial for her. Her enthusiasm is visible when she volunteers for the different activities conducted in the workshop. She addresses her issues during support visits and engages with our technology on a regular basis, by interacting with our BOT post-workshop. Catch her in action:
“Earlier, I used to be stressed always. I would vent my frustration on my children by scolding them. I wouldn’t talk to them. But change has happened since I’ve started coming to the meeting. I always remember what activity to do and when. I have put in a structure now, a routine, when I sit with my child to do the activities sent by Meraki. This has helped me set a timetable with my children. My children also remember what they have to do when.” (English)
Her active participation during and after the workshops validates the direction of our intervention. Support visits with her challenge us to think deeply about assistance parents like her require beyond just activities. She recently conveyed how she tries to make her own activities after the program gets over by looking through the kits and recalling the knowledge she has received through our workshops. Amazing.
There are 1500 other stories, similar to Sanju didi’s, that Meraki has had the pleasure to work with in the past. Because of your support and the work that we’ve been able to put in, we’ve seen some great impact. Here’s a snippet:
- Meraki parents when compared to non-meraki parents are better aware of their child’s own development (Across cognition, language, socio-emotional aspects)
- Meraki parents are more aware of their role in their child’s development and the steps they need to take to aid that development
- Meraki parents are more confident in their ability as parents.
But we're only at the tip of the iceberg and there are miles to go before we make a big dent in the education universe. To put things into perspective, currently we serve only 0.3 % of target population in Delhi. Our aim is to reach all parents of 2-6 year old children in Delhi by 2022.
In order to do that, this year, we are targeting to reach 3% of target population by working in around 200 pre-schools (Anganwadis) of Delhi. It is a herculean task for our team. But we’ve been blessed by support from the following partners:
1. This year, we got support from Cisco to help build Meraki’s tech for our Margdarshaks and Anganwadi Workers.
2. We are also on-boarding University of Chicago to Meraki’s program who will provide monitoring, evaluation and impact measurement support to us this year.
3. Delhi government has been of great support to us as well as we look to raise our impact by 10x.
Help us get to 10x our past coverage, this year.
Here’s why we think we’re holding up our end of the promise we made to you. A few of our achievements, this year were:
- We were declared: Global Winner, World Changing Ideas in Education by Fast Company
- Selected to represent India at Global Social Venture Competition by UC Berkeley
- 1 of 6 organisations shortlisted, globally, to present at Global Lego Ideas conference, Denmark by Lego Foundation
You can help in multiple ways, two of them are outlined below.
1. Funds: No amount is too small. In order to help you make an informed decision and to select a cause, we have shared with you the breakdown of the costs. In case of any questions/queries please reach out to us here.
To support learning, empowerment of
- 1 parent and 1 child for a year, donate 1500 Rs.
- 10 parents and children for a year, donate 15000 Rs.
- 100 parents and children for an year, donate 150000 Rs
In case you would like to donate on a monthly basis, please write to us here
2. If you believe in what we do, please share our story with your friends and relatives. This is as much an awareness campaign as it is a fundraiser.
If you had to choose between putting food on your table and spending quality time with your infant, which one would you choose? This question, much like their genes, is passed on from one generation to the other in most under-resourced families. Laxmi didi's (a maid and a mother of 3) father faced it, she herself faces it and sadly it is more than likely that Maya, Laxmi didi's daughter, will face that question too.
Yet, hope of a better life keeps her going. “When I saw my child for the first time, I promised to myself that she will be successful in life. I don’t want her to clean other people’s houses like I do” Laxmi Didi and her husband dream of a better life for Maya, a day when all of this struggle would be worth it...
This question, much like their genes, is passed on from one generation to the other in most under-resourced families. Laxmi didi's father faced it, Laxmi didi faces it and it is more than likely that Maya, Laxmi didi's daughter will face it too.
“When I saw my child for the first time, I promised to myself that she will be successful in life. I don’t want her to clean other people’s houses like I do”
Laxmi Didi and her husband dream of a better life for Maya, a day when all of this struggle would be worth it. Sadly, financing this dream keeps them on a gruelling schedule, resulting in:
- Neglect of their children’s physical and emotional needs
- Low literacy levels of children
- Stressful home environment
“I’ve seen other people’s children just roaming around as their parents are at work. These children don’t get appropriate care since their parents don’t have time to look after them” shares Laxmi didi.
According to the UN, lack of care and focus on early childhood education and care results in:
- 250 million children in the world under 5 are at risk of not reaching their full potential
- Poor early stimulation and care results in 25% reduction in average adult earning potential
- Almost 60% children under 5 are anaemic
- 68% grade 3 children are unable to read simple words in English
Here's where Meraki comes in.
Meraki works with low-income families on:
- Building Responsive Parent-Child Relationships
- Development of Core Life-skills in Children
- Stress Reduction in Caregivers
Read more about how we do this here.