“A model project in terms of its strategy to prepare young people for participation in community life, as well as facing a very competitive work market in Mumbai.”
Big Lottery Fund, 2005 evaluation
In 2001, KINOE secured a five-year grant from the Big Lottery Fund for The Akanksha Foundation to support their work in the supplementary educational centres. The evaluation the Big Lottery Fund conducted commended Akanksha’s success in the project.
In 2007, economists from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Dr Pramila Krishnan and Sofya Krutikov, conducted an extensive evaluation of the supplementary educational centres. They found that despite living in conditions of the greatest hardship, students who had attended the centres compared very favourably with their peers who had not attended them, on a number of important dimensions including occupational success, self-esteem and aspirations. The economists concluded that the high achievements of these students did not seem to be related to other schooling they might have received, nor to their upbringing, making it highly likely that attending these educational centres “had an impact on many aspects of their lives, more than compensating for the disadvantages of their environment.”
Seema is a first generation learner from a single parent home. Her mother works as a domestic helper and cleaner in a school in Worli. Seema started off as an extremely irregular student at an educational centre. In her years here, she developed self-esteem and drive. After graduating, she completed her B.Com. in 2007. She is computer literate and is a HR executive.
I am 22 years old and studied for eight years in a centre. I was born and brought up in Mumbai. There are four members in my family, my mother, my two brothers and myself. My father left us when I was small. We tried to find him a lot, but still don’t know where he is. My mother is the only one who worked very hard, and because of her we are here.
I was a very shy girl and never used to speak in front of others. But now I have changed a lot. I have learned so many things from the centre that it is difficult to list. I have learned to be courageous, confident, to believe in yourself and never give up.
My dream is to get a good job in the field of public relations and to get a new house for my family.
Please visit www.akanksha.org for more information about our Indian partner.
To see the stories of two Akanksha alumni, Varsha and Sumeet, below.
Raju attended the supplementary educational centres for several years and is now studying art full time at Art College. He specialises in beautifully detailed drawings, as illustrated here. Raju knows that without the help and support he received at the educational centre, he would never have considered going to art school.