UNLIMITED FOOD FOR EDUCATION
Project WHY began with 40 children and a handful of volunteers teaching them spoken English. As time went by, numerous challenges arose, and to each challenge, the answer was a new activity. The number of children increased, their demands multiplied, new teachers were discovered within the tiny jhuggis and lanes, ad hoc classrooms found. Parks were cleaned, tents put up, unused pavements cleared, any place would do, but no child was ever sent away sent away. Giri Nagar, Shiv Mandir Camp, Okhla phase I and II, Sanjay Colony, Sangam Vihar, the children came from far-flung places and everyone was accepted even if it meant tightening our belts and squeezing ourselves. The Project Why Family had come to stay!
A beautiful family that brings together different parts of India, different social and economic strata of society, different forms of worship and faith under one invisible roof big enough to hold everyone together. Often ties and bond are strengthened by sharing pain and anguish. Problems bring us close and solutions are found together. Moments of sorrow are shared as well as times of joy. And each day our family grows.
Because Education, Training, and Good Health Can Make all the Difference.
Today Project Why reaches out to over 900 children and runs one early education program class, primary support programs in four locations, secondary support program in 3 locations, a daycare, a life skills program for 20 children with disabilities, as well as three computer centers.
• Education Centers – teaching more than 900 children in 4 locations in New Delhi.
• Special Education – day care centre for 20 special need children and young adults with disabilities.
• Heart Fix Hotel – sponsoring heart surgeries for those most in need.
• Women Center – nurturing and supporting 60 disadvantaged local women.
• Cyber Why – a comprehensive computer center to give kids hands on computer training from an early age.
From the very outset, we decided to draw all resources from within the community as we felt that education can only have true meaning if it is independent of extraneous factors, hence it was decided to find teachers from within. Though the staff may not at first seem qualified in a conventional manner, it has found to be most appropriate for several reasons. First of all, it is an extremely motivated group as it has been given the recognition it never had. Secondly belonging to the same social background it is able to understand the problems faced by the children and above all being totally different from the ‘image’ of the teacher the child has, it is able to garner the confidence of the child. Hence Project Why has created over 40 ‘new’ jobs within the community it works with.
But the true success of Project Why lies in its ability to empower the community to take on their responsibilities and show them how to find solutions within the existing context. We realized very early that invisible barriers existed – be they caste or creed – and our first venture was to break those barriers and make planet why a true reflection of an ideal India. It is for us a matter of pride to see that communities that barely interacted slowly learned to discover each other and respect one another. In our quest to make citizenIndia a reality a number of awareness initiatives were launched as a first step towards empowerment.