Who We Are?An excommunicated widow who is now a successful business owner. A dropout youth who became a high scorer and a proud graduate. A 10-year old girl who persuaded her abusive, alcoholic father to go into rehab. A girl in our eighth grade class who dreams of going back to her home town and changing it from the ground up.
VIDYA makes stories like this happen. We're a 30-year old NGO based in India that believes in social change through empowering the most vulnerable members of underprivileged communities: the women, youth, and children.
We create peerless programs with our approach of holistic, practical education and vocational training.
Where We Work?A now common approach to empowering first-generation learners is a combination of basic state-level education for children and improving basic welfare. But education needs context and applicability to harness individuality and diversity, without which it may simply contribute to more disillusionment within underprivileged communities.
Moreover, VIDYA believes that education should involve not just the child, but the family and community, as well. Educating mothers is the cornerstone of our method, as the mother is usually the main caretaker of the family, and has the most influence over her children.
Our multi-tiered approach to literacy addresses the needs of men, women, youth and children at every level of an underprivileged community. This involves:
- Everyday Literacy: We work to improve analytical skills in their mother tongue and in English, basic computer skills, and teach them about managing bank accounts, money, government forms etc.
- Academic Achievement: We facilitate degrees and certifications in STEM subjects and Arts, and the VIDYA School and other school programs provide quality holistic education for children/
- Vocational Training : We train them in a vocation which is always in economic demand, and can either be used as a stepping stone to that line of work or as an opportunity for entrepreneurship/
- Awareness and Exposure: We build capacity to make sense of current events, political intentions and local/global issues.
- Life Skills : We build capacity for being able to question ideas intelligently, maintain intellectual rigour, lead initiatives and mentor others.
Who We Help
There’s more to educating a child than academic knowledge. What a child can do with good education is limited only by opportunity, attitude and exposure.
There are many successful initiatives in India that aim to increase school attendance in less privileged communities, but very few that enable children to discover where they can go from there. VIDYA works to fill this need.
Our flagship program, the VIDYA School in Gurgaon, was founded on the principle that true education requires head, heart and hand, and that less-privileged children should receive the same exposure and facilities available at the country’s best schools. It is accredited to the CBSE syllabus, and our students achieve grades that compete with some of the best schools in India. We expose them to ideas that make them think about the world around them, and many of our students here have dreams of social change and entrepreneurship. We use creative methods in our classrooms, and incorporate a system of learning values and spreading knowledge to family members and their communities. The Bal Vihar School, our first project, continues to enrich the community it resides in. The children look forward to each day of learning, and no teacher has left since the schools’ inception.
Other programs for children include the Bhavishya-yaan and Beyond School programs, where we augment the syllabus taught at government schools with classes on computer skills, life skills and spoken English. We believe these are pragmatic skills that increase a child’s ability to communicate confidently, focus on tasks and take initiative in finding information– and it continues to help them once they’ve finished school.
The purpose is to up grade scholastic and co-scholastic areas of students. We will use the funds to set up English language lab at Vidya School, Gurgaon.