We desperately need school buses to keep our successful charity school running!
Free Schools India was set up in 2002 by two 24-year-olds who didn't stop to think about what they were taking on - they just decided to do it. They'd been working with children struggling to learn anything at all at bad-quality government schools, so they talked about what they could do themselves, and Joanna asked Gaurav how much he thought it would cost to build a small school building, and when he said £10,000, she said 'ok, I can find that; let's do it'. Once they decided, and told all their friends and family the next day, there was no stopping them. There were huge obstacles and set backs along the 22-month journey, but they did it, and opened a school, much bigger than they'd planned, for 126 poor girls in a remote Indian village called Chakarsi.
That was back in July 2004 and the journey keeps going with twists, turns, obstacles and achievements along the way - we now have 345 pupils and the school building has grown and grown. Last year 4 of our 17 graduating girls got government scholarships to university, and there are now hundreds of girls who have never known anything but the caring, encouraging environment of this school. It's girls-only because in India girls come second, and we want to show that they are equal in worth to boys. So much comes out of educating girls - including healthier, more fulfilled women who have more options in life, and who also eventually become mothers of healthier, better-educated children. The chain gets stronger with each generation getting more education, becoming less tied down by traditional roles and prejudices, and having choices to become what they want to become.
But all this could stop for the school in Chakarsi if we don't raise the money we need to buy 4 small school buses. Until now the school community had managed with some very simple, un-licensed vehicles, pony-carts and bicycles. But because of some recent, high-profile accidents, the government is putting a stop to any transport that is not in high-quality, licensed vehicles.
We need to raise £10k in 8 weeks! so please keep giving even if we reach 100%!! If we can exceed this amount, we'll put the rest towards solar panels to run our computer room instead of having to use a poluting generator.
Unlike with the big, famous charities, 100% of donations received by us go straight to the school - nothing goes on administration and marketing (but naturally we have to pay a small fee to crowdfunder.co.uk for this campaign) so your contribution to Free Schools India is of the highest possible value. Please visit www.free-school.org to find out more.