For many thousands of children growing up in India's slums, just getting a foothold on the bottom rung of the educational ladder is difficult. But with that vital first step into learning and a lot of hard work, slum children can hope to realise their dream of a better life in India's rapidly changing society. In South West Delhi, the Saakshar non-formal education centre for slum children is helping hundreds of children onto the learning ladder.
I first heard about Vigyan Vijay Foundation's 'Saakshar' ('Literate') project in 2003 and since then I and others (at Christ Church and beyond) have supported their work. After my first visit in 2009 generous gifts enabled us to buy Saakshar's children a minivan and further donations were used to develop Saakshar's work with slum children. We registered 'Saakshar School Appeal' as a charity in the UK in 2010, enabling us to reclaim tax on donations through Gift Aid.
I have been privileged to visit Saakshar several times and I am always deeply moved by the joy and optimism of these children and their families, and overwhelmed to see the difference which Saakshar is making to their lives. I will be visiting again at the end of March 2014 and will bring back news of the latest developments at VVF's Saakshar project.
We are the major funder for Saakshar's work and our financial support is of vital importance for the children in the four small communities they serve. For more information please see the other pages here and the newsletter below.
Thank you to all who have supported Saakshar School Appeal in so many ways.
Saakshar 2 Children during Ralph's visit in March 2013.
Photo: Ralph Williamson