India - Gnyan Sampada Residential School
Gnyan Sampada Residential School (formerly Ankoor Children’s Home) was established in 2002 as a home for children from an extremely poor forest region of Maharashtra State. Literacy amongst this tribal group is only 2%, so education is highly prized. The main source of income is from farm labourers or people collecting and selling firewood in the local markets, generating an income of approximately $1 a day. Poverty forces small children to start working to support families and often they face starvation. The people live in very remote villages where there are few or no schools for the children. Some of the village schools only go to Grade 4.
Sixty-five children now live in the home, and the school in its grounds educates 100 children including 35 from the local area. The school teaches Nursery to Grade VI, and hopes to add a grade each year. With help from GMP new classrooms have been built to the plinth level. When completed these will allow the school to educate more children in more grade levels. 50% of places are reserved for female students - an important commitment in a state where girls have limited opportunities.
Annual parents' conferences provide opportunities for parents to learn new skills in areas like health, sanitation and care of domestic animals, and share their own skills with the staff and children.