Yatra Foundation has several projects underway including some very
successful partnerships with non-governmental and
not-for-profit organizations within India.
Yatra Faria School, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan
Established in 2009 on the border of India’s most famous tiger reserve, this school was established in conjunction with an Indian NGO (GSK). We now support 120 students at this school, delivering a personalised curriculum that is reviewed daily and includes an excellent sports program to supplement the academic one. The students are drawn from 4 local villages, on land donated by a local farmer whose dream was to see his children at school rather than working in the fields. Yatra actively support Sports programme with equipment in all four GSK schools. Recently seven children from these schools were selected for admission into a national sports academy, validating the importance of sport in our curriculm. We have regularly held medical and dental clinics at this school, reinforcing our desire to integrate personal and public health measures into our school environment, to maximize learning. The school is being rebuilt with architecturally designed spaces and classrooms, with the money raised by our 2015 Yatra bike tour in November, which rode to the school with the students and teachers. This school has now become a “model” school for the region with numerous government schools now wishing to emulate our teaching methods. To this effect, we have now seconded several teachers to a local government school to empower the local teachers and leverage our influence on education in the area.
Yatra will provide continued support for Faria School until the transition to full community ownership is complete. Teacher education programs will emulate the Yatra model for education based on the success of the Isha Vidya program in Tamil Nadu. Yatra is committed to stay involved in the program until children currently positioned in kindergarten reach a level of education equivalent to Year 12, expected in 2030.
Once this process is complete, Yatra anticipates Faria School to transition to a pure resource organisation for local governments, partnering with local Non-Government Organisations in order to do so.
Yatra Isha Vidhya School, Cuddlelore, Tamil Nadu
Located in southern Tamil Nadu, nestled near the tsunami-prone shores of the Bay of Bengal, Yatra foundation provides Teacher salary and Teacher training to enable local children to attend this state-of-the-art facility in conjunction with Isha Vidhya foundation. These students benefit from excellent classrooms and computer facilities and learn in a full English-medium curriculum. These students receive a nutritious daily meal, cooked on-site in the school kitchen and are drawn from the numerous local fishing hamlets scattered along this picturesque coastal region. Yatra foundation provides teacher salary subsidies to recruit and retain the best available teachers. We also provide training to local rural teachers to enhance their classroom skills and again, leverage our effectiveness in reaching a larger number of needy children.
Recently, 150 local headmasters and young teachers from 50 regional schools attended a workshop at the Yatra Cuddlelore School to learn about teaching methods, evaluation, and resource allocation. We hope to continue these workshops on a regular basis so that these teaching methods and processes can be disseminated around southern Tamil Nadu. We are now seeing some extraordinary academic results especially in science and computing. The children at this school now have hope with a belief and confidence that they can dream and accomplish great outcomes. Many of our supporters have visited and marvelled at the level of education being delivered in this remote location. We are now hoping to add year 11 and 12 to this school. We conduct regular medical and dental camps at this school also to ensure our children are healthy in mind and body.
Yatra is committed to providing continued teacher training and support programs for the student cohorts currently in Grades 2 and 4 at Isha Vidya. Such training will remain until the respective cohorts complete education equivalent to Year 12 level. Yatra aims that through this process teacher training will reach a standard of excellence so as to establish Isha Vidya as the model program for teacher education in the region. Yatra anticipates thereafter that Isha Vidya will become the preeminent resource for Government Education in the region, allowing the school to transition to alternate sources of funding and ultimately become self sufficient. Self-sufficiency will be determined by :
- 95% of parents paying a nominal school fee
- Government providing 50% of teachers salary
- Past students and their families funding 20% of the teacher salary
, and will be expected to come about in . Once the program reaches self-sufficiency, Yatra will withdraw financial support for Isha Vidya, and look toward other opportunities.
Yatra Seva Mandir schools, Rural Udaipur, Rajasthan
In partnership with Seva Mandir, an exceptional NGO well established in Rajasthan, we have established 20 shiksha kendras (rural educational learning centres) each with an average of 30 students drawn from the corresponding local village with the teachers often sourced from the same village. These children receive a quality bridging education with the aim of integrating them into government schools when the requisite skills have been acquired to equip them for future long-term success. We are in the process of integrating a comprehensive health program into all of the 172 shiksha kendras run by Seva Mandir. We have just committed to support for further two years for 20 of these wonderful single classroom schools, taking the number of students we are supporting in this arid region to 750. In addition Yatra together with Seva is now working toward building teacher capacity and also evaluating the long term impact education has on the community.
Yatra aims to oversee the transition of all School Capital funding from the Yatra Foundation to full community ownership. It is expected that in so doing, local governments will begin to implement Yatra Foundation protocols to optimize school readiness preparation to cope with increased enrollment in government schools. Yatra will begin the transition of School maintenance responsibilities to be taken up in partnership with the local community and government. The completion of such a transition will be expected in .
We feel proud that we have achieved some of our goals over the past 9 years. We also realise that we now have a serious responsibility to support these 1100 students through their whole educational lives (and not just a few years), and are so grateful that we have such generous, far-sighted, and committed supporters joining us on this social justice venture in India.
Archive: Project Information
Kota Basti School
This was Yatra Foundations’ first project in India. A small school was started within a slum in the surrounds of Kota, a large education coaching town with many tertiary education facilities. This slum was surveyed and found to be in need for a primary school. The small school was opened in December of 2007 and has been well accepted and embraced by the slum community.
Unfortunately since the Federal Government of India has introduced the “Right to Education” bill to be fully implemented from March 2013, the Basti school will no longer be deemed a satisfactory environment for a “school” due the many high tension electrical wires, and poor sanitation in the surrounding area and Yatra have had to cease functioning as a school. Ironically, the government has opened a government school right next door to our own building!!
The Basti community strongly support the continued presence of Yatra Foundation so we are currently trying to work out other ways to help this poor community with education, resource facilities, health camps, homework support and other initiatives. Yatra Foundation has actively sought alternative arrangements for 20 children who wish to continue with their studies and do not want to attend the government school. These children are being transported daily to a private school for the remainder of their primary schooling.
Santosh Computer School
This small computer training facility is located in the village of Mandana, close to Kota in Rajasthan. The teacher is able to provide essential computer skills for both high school and University age children and young adults and allows them additional time to practice these skills away from school. So far, there have been 147 students trained at the centre and it continues to provide support for many children and young adults.