Project Nanhi Kali, which translates to ‘a little bud’ in Hindi, supports the education of underprivileged girls in India. Designed to support girls from low-income families to complete ten years of formal schooling, the project has impacted the lives of over 450,000 girls (called Nanhi Kalis) from underserved communities across the country.
The world around us is changing dramatically with the coronavirus pandemic disrupting lives, economies and societies. The crisis has also been a powerful reminder of the pre-existing gender disparities in education, with school closures disproportionally impacting girls from vulnerable families. Experiences of similar crises/disease outbreaks in the past have shown us how school closures, particularly in the context of poverty, can significantly increase the dropout rates amongst girls. While boys are likely to get back to school, some girls may never return to school because they are forced to work, take up care giving responsibilities or worse, marry early. The negative consequences of this gender divide are aggravated by the pervasive digital divide in India. Poor families have limited resources to connect digitally; even if a family does possess a smartphone or a similar device, access to it is typically monopolized by the male members of the family. This discrimination accentuates the disadvantage that underprivileged girls face, with their education coming to a standstill. This threatens to undo years of progress that have collectively been made in the advancement of girl child education.
In order to ensure that underprivileged girls continue their education at this critical time, the Nanhi Kali team has doubled its efforts by investing in providing quality digital education to girls, so that they are equipped to face the post-covid world. Every girl in the Nanhi Kali project receives holistic support including:
Academic support and access to an adaptive learning software via digital tablets:Daily academic support is provided at Nanhi Kali Academic Support Centres which are set up within government schools and operate for 2 hours before/after school. In partnership with leading EdTech organisation, Educational Initiatives every Nanhi Kali at these centres will receive access to a personalized, adaptive learning platform called Mindspark. This widely recognized software has been proven to significantly improve learning outcomes amongst users. Through Mindspark, Nanhi Kalis will learn Maths, their local Language and English from Class 1-10, and additionally, Science from Class 6-10. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, Mindspark will match instructions to the learning level and pace of each Nanhi Kali, ensuring that she learns with understanding. The software will be pre-loaded onto digital tablets, allowing access to quality education even in remote locations.
Trained Women Tutors:Nanhi Kali tutors (called Community Associates) are women from local communities who facilitate learning and mentor the Nanhi Kalis through their schooling, and also engage with parents/community stakeholders to create girl-friendly ecosystems.
Sports Curriculum:A professionally designed sports curriculum has been built into the programme, giving Nanhi Kalis the opportunity to participate in sport and fitness activities regularly.
School Supplies Kit:A kit including a school bag, stationery and a pullover/raincoat is provided to every Nanhi Kali annually. With 45.6% of teenage girls in India still following unhygienic menstrual practices* a 12-month supply of branded sanitary napkins is included in each kit to help the girl attend school with dignity.
(*Source: TAG Report Project Nanhi Kali, 2018)
Project Nanhi Kali is one of the most cost-effective sponsorship models, providing year-round support to every girl, including access to an advanced digital learning platform, trained tutors, a sports program and school supplies, for no more than Rs. 500 per month.
Girls need our help now more than ever. Join us in providing underprivileged girls with the opportunity to re-write their destinies.
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Kindly note, government schools are currently closed due to the nationwide lockdown and support to the Nanhi Kalis will resume as soon as schools re-open.