Asha Back to school Program
Asha Back to School program is meant for children of single mothers who were pulled out of their school due to their father’s death in a road accident or due to a sickness. Having lost their husband single mothers finds it hard to take care of all their expenses such as food, rent, medical and educational expenses of their children. Not being able to pay school fees, children are pulled out of their schools and most of them have lost anywhere between one month to a year of their schooling. Asha Back to School Program identifies such children and helps them to get back to school by helping them with their fees
Parvathi with her two daughters
June 2008 a Parvathi with two of her daughters aged between 6 & 8 walked into Asha Jyothi. She had lost her husband a few months ago in a road accident. Her husband used to work at a Medical shop and was earning well and they had a happy family life. Once the husband died, the in laws asked Parvathi and two of her daughters to move out of their home because they felt that their son died because of the curse Parvathi had brought upon them.
Parvathi had completed her 12th grade but had no employable skill and thus after being on the road for three days she found a hut to live in and started working as a domestic help in three different homes and she had a desire to educate both of her daughters. Not being able to pay their school fees, she brought them to Asha Jyothi and requested if we can help her with the education of her two daughters. At that time Asha Jyothi had only a small orphanage with 16 children and had no funds for any other activities. So, we told her that unfortunately we do not have any programme that can help her nor do we have the funds for it.
However because she was desperate, she would not leave Asha Jyothi campus and stayed near the gate for three hours crying for help. Seeing the situation Saji & Cynthia decided to help her with their own funding and took her along with her two daughters to a nearby school and got them admitted back into school on that day. Coming back from the school we thought why we don’t start something that would help children of single mothers. So what began with those two girls has grown to 465 children today.
Stories from Asha Back To School Program
Reena and her elder sister Sheila lost their father in October 2010. Not being able to pay the fees they were removed from school for one whole year. Their economic conditions forced them to work as daily wage workers in a small garment shop. Asha Back to School Program was able to help them to get back to school in late 2011. Sheila completed her tenth grade last year with flying colours and is now in her 11th grade. Reena is in her 9th grade now. They along with their mother and two other sisters live in one small room. Sheila and Reena are so grateful for their opportunity to be in school as both of them are good students and are enjoying their studies.
Asha Back to School student Farah honoured by District Collector
Farah’s mother died in 2008 due to snake bite. Her father left her alone and married another woman. Her grandparents helped her with education for sometime but not being able to pay fees she stopped going to school in July 2011. Asha Back to school programme helped her to get back to school in November 2011. Last month, she was honoured by her District Collector for standing first at the district level drawing and essay writing competition. She also went on to win 3rd prize in drawing and essay writing at the state level High School competition.