DFSW 2012 Trip: Mission Accomplished!

first and foremost, we here at DFSW would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support. it was with your donations that all of this was made possible. we could not have done it without YOU! we will be having a fundraiser/photo show this september. it’s going to be great! we will also be updating you all on the progress of our work with the schools. thank you!

the trip was life changing as well as a huge learning experience for the dirt floors and stone walls team. our aim was to learn everything we could about the public school system as well as the NGOs. we did everything from interviewing teachers and students, talking to locals, reading literature and working with non-profits to get an insider’s perspective on the issues. this helped us to really know and understand what DFSW is there for. truly digging deeper into how these children can best be helped to succeed. in that respect, the trip was a huge success and we can’t wait for our next fundraiser and trip to continue the work.

please enjoy a look back at the success and hard work that we experienced in beautiful india.

our first stop: dehli.
arun montasari public school (NGO), old delhi

this school is considered “public” because everyone is welcome to attend. however, it is a self-sustaining NGO that runs solely off of the children’s tuitions. it is an english medium school offering children a real chance for a successful education.

our experience at this NGO school was a defining moment for DFSW. it was here that we were first inspired to sponsor children to attend solid NGO schools and be given a chance at a good education. it was incredible seeing two DFSW sponsored children back in school. after paying off their back fees and funding their education for a full year in advance they immediately joined their peers and were learning again in no time. the father of the sponsored children is now an integral part of the DFSW work. he will be a representative in the slums of old delhi.

we also realized that there was a great need for books at this school. we were happy to donate 80 sets of books.

ansar (DFSW’s newest team member) and his children. two of which we sponsored to return to school.

our sponsor students! subhan (below) and aram (above).

second stop: darbar government school, old jaipur

returning was amazing and difficult at the same time. it was a steep learning curve for us. there were only so many things that we could do to help the students, due to the fact that it is a government run school. after learning more about the corruption within the government school system, we had a big decision to make regarding whether or not we could help them at all. after much deliberation with the teachers and having to return on two occasions to get approval from the principal, we were able to sit down and make a list of the most crucial supplies needed for the students to learn. we decided to make a large donation of books, pens, pencils, pencil boxes, rulers and erasers to 200 children.

it was especially impacting to sit and talk with the principal who jake had met on his first trip. she was beside herself with gratitude that we had returned to help. she went on to tell us that many people make promises to help but they are never seen again. we intend to help these kids in any way we can on future visits.

assembling sets of books for each child and marking them so they could not be sold by the teachers. sad but true.

we hand-delivered every book so the children would know that it is theirs and theirs alone.

jake with two students from his first trip. they remembered him!

third stop: bal niketan NGO school, jaipur

this school holds a very special place in our hearts. DFSW was in search for a special school like this one. the school is a no-fee NGO offering free education to its students. it has an incredible education program not only for the children, but for the women in the village that want to further their skills. the only problem being that it is run only off of donations that are few and far between. it is also supported by the humble money raised from the students arts and crafts program. fortunately, we were able to donate black boards and chalk as well as funds to build a bathroom for the school, a much needed facility for the slum as well. we also hope to raise enough funds to build the younger children a real classroom, as 60 of them are learning under a tree at the moment.

finally, we have decided that this will be our “adopted” school. we will help fund this school and keep it running as well as we can and also help sponsor their students to further their education passed level 8.

the future site of the DFSW bathroom!

some of the arts and crafts that the children make and sell. pretty amazing stuff!

fourth stop: manav sadhna NGO schools, ahmedabad

our sole purpose in visiting ahmedabad was to work with and learn from one the most revered NGOs in india. manav sadhna sets a gold standard for charity work in ahmedabad and they ask for nothing in return. through working with them, we learned a lot about sustainable ways that we can help build schools and work with the government and the community to keep them running. we also visited a small slum school that is currently run out of a volunteer’s home. manav sadhna is currently building them a pre-school down the road. what they do is inspiring and it was an honor to work with them.

one of the many sustainable schools built in an ahmedabad slum.

last stop: the garden NGO school, mumbai

we were so happy to find a great school on the final leg of our journey. the garden school is a no-fee english medium school that is open to the public. it takes children from 3-5 years old and teaches them the necessities so that they can go on to apply to an english medium private school. once the children complete their one year of education here, they are placed at one of the participating private schools where their education will be sponsored. this is made possible by donations given to the garden school by organizations like DFSW. we decided to spend the last of our funds to sponsor one child for three years and we will continue to do so as long as DFSW exists.

it is amazing schools like this that need the most support. they truly care and are have an incredible impact on india’s society.

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~ by jacobbmurphy on April 4, 2012.

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