Partnerships are more powerful than poverty

Sponsored or not, all kids in the community have access to the resources available at our Delhi learning centers, thanks to Guru Krupa.

Good news rarely makes the headlines. But every child who learns to read, every girl who stays in school, every time a struggling student improves their math scores; each and every time this happens, it is a cause for celebration.

And we have the good fortune of celebrating these kinds of achievements every single day at Children International. While our staff, volunteers and the kids themselves deserve the accolades for the hard work they do, the reason they have the determination and the opportunities to create better lives is due to the phenomenal generosity of our supporters and partners.

In India, for example (one of 10 countries where Children International works), our longtime partnership with the Guru Krupa Foundation has been providing positive educational results for many years. Specifically, thousands of children have had access to eight learning centers at our Delhi agency since this partnership began in 2012.

Children International learning centers often double as libraries and computer labs. In Delhi, these facilities and the resources inside are available to all children in the community, free of charge.

These children and youth have benefited from a wide range of educational resources and opportunities, including material support like textbooks, reading materials and art supplies, as well as tutoring assistance in math, science and language. All of it is helping improve school performance and increase confidence. Kids can also take part in summer camp activities, such as music and dance, in addition to courses in social and financial education.

According to the latest data, the adult literacy rate in India is about 63%. India’s youth (15-24 y.o.) literacy rate is 81%. That nearly 20-percent difference demonstrates a sharp improvement in the right direction in recent decades!

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Firoza, who just turned 12 in October, is one of the many sponsored children taking full advantage of this partnership at her local Children International community center in Delhi. Her growth has truly been transformative.

“When I first came to the library for tutoring,” says Firoza, “I could not read or write well. I was nervous in school and in tutoring class and couldn’t answer questions. Eventually, after receiving tutoring assistance, she adds, “I started reading by myself and started taking my schoolwork home to complete it on my own.”

Another girl, Nargis (also 12), is the eldest of four siblings. The children’s father is in jail. Ruksana, their mother, had no choice but to find work in a nearby factory. When Nargis started to fall behind in school last year, no one was available at home to help with her studies. The girl says she eventually started feeling hopeless and was even on the verge of dropping out of school.

Nargis reads with confidence and no longer worries about having to drop out of school.

Nargis (left), and her mother (center) are grateful for Madam Manju’s (right) tutoring assistance and mentorship.

Alarmed by her daughter’s situation, Ruksana sought help from the only place she knew would do something, if something could be done: Children International’s Guru Krupa learning center. “My mother and I went to the CI library,” recounts Nargis, “and we learned that they tutor children for free. From then on, I started going to the library. At the time, I recognized letters, but I couldn’t really read a book.”

Nargis credits the tutor there, whom she refers to as Madam Manju, for the fact that she isn’t just reading books in Hindi now – she also is learning English. “Madam never gets frustrated with us,” says Nargis, “even after repeated inquiries. She always boosts my confidence!”

Ruksana and Nargis are so impressed with the library and tutoring program that they’ve actually referred eight other children from their neighborhood to the learning resource center. Another of the many great things about our partnership with Guru Krupa is that it allows us to make the center available to any child in the community who needs or wants to benefit from these resources – whether they are a sponsored child or not.

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The proof is in: After attending our tutoring courses, Children International kids increased their math and literacy proficiencies a combined average of 90 percent!

No matter what language you use; no matter how you add it up, teaming up with Guru Krupa means a brighter future for thousands of kids, families and communities.

Learn more about how Children International is empowering kids through education.

A portion of our social & financial education course includes conserving resources like water and electricity. It also stresses the importance of developing earth-friendly habits, like planting trees, bushes, flowers and even food sources.

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