Creating a Sustainability Model is a priority and a major aim of our organisation.
Clearly sustainability of any so called ‘charity’ is essential if we are to make a real difference to people’s lives. It is not easy to continue to gain funding for the care of our children. But our vision is to move beyond this dependent state as quickly as possible.
Our interest is to always seek the root cause of any problem we face.
Our core vision is focused on the creation and maintenance of the shelter and natural school for up to 150 homeless children. (Currently – September 2014 – there are 110 being cared for here).
But as you explore our site you will understand that the Shikshan Gram Shelter vision is wide and deep. It includes the Dhnyanratna Scholarship Program which is closely linked to the Strong Village Project which is designed to address the roots of poverty and homelessness by building strength in the villages of rural India.
The adults in the villages are often alcohol and tobacco addicted, inclined to violence and living with little or no understanding of basic hygiene and health care. As a result their children have very poor role models and to address these issues the basis of our projects are education, development of community initiatives, parent training and of course training in essential health care.
How is it proposed to create Shikshangram as a model of sustainability?
The methodology is sound. The Shikshangram Shelter has been donated 1 and a half acres of land on the edge of a village. An amazing amount of work has already been done on the major part of a large construction which is to house the boys (100) as well as a separate residence for 50 girls. Both buildings are in progress with all of the children currently residing in the main building.
Satish is actively involved in a scholarship project to involve parents and teachers in the education of the rural children – travelling extensively and lecturing to interested people in towns and villages. He is collecting those who are ready to support his vision and will give specialist training to core groups throughout the State.
We also have a martial arts training program at Shikshangram which is grooming young people to become leaders, educators and role models for the village children.
This martial arts training is being overseen by Sensai Arybal a black belt 4th Dan Karate master and he is assisted by our long term students.
The cornerstone of all our projects is education – and of course education leads to better healthcare – hygiene standards and parenting skills.
Residential parenting skills weekends are in planning and Satish has already been approached by members of the corporate field interested in holding their team building residential workshops at Shikshangram – an ideal place for this – space, jungle walks, peace, quiet and fresh air!
Hence the training arm of the Shikshan Gram Project is a viable and very interesting aspect to this work with the children. They are always at the centre of the Project – and the training facility and students will become an income generating source and therefore assist in our aims of sustainability.
As a side project we have begun the development of an organic garden to provide healthy food to the children and the training participants. 250 fruit trees have already been planted with this in view. The excess produce from this initiative will be marketed for additional support income.
Where are we now?
The progress that has been made in the past 24 months is incredible. As well as the extensive main building, construction has been completed on accommodation suitable for a number of overseas visitors who are being attracted via the Sage Journeys to India as well as other volunteers who are placed here for experiential work.
This exposure to visitors from overseas brings greater international awareness to the project as well as allowing the children to have contact with many different types of people which builds their confidence and contact with the world around them.
The voluntourism projects have an effect of enlarging our network of international friends – and as now have the FCRA – permission to receive overseas funding – it also helps us to extend our fundraising efforts internationally.
As we urgently need assistance to complete our building project – see our requirements here - all areas of assistance are needed.
This project is invaluable first to the children – and to the people of rural India and can serve as a model for other poverty ridden areas in the world. Satish has a profound capability to manifest what he visions as he has a clear mind and a passion for his task that leads him forward against all odds.
What he has already accomplished in the past five years is astounding.
Please support our sustainability project in whatever way you can.