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Chiguru Programme

Campaign by The Timbaktu Collective

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Story

The geographical position of the Ananthapuramu District in the Indian Peninsula has rendered it one of the most drought-affected and resource-poor regions in India. The area's structural issues include a fragile resource base, limited opportunities for gainful employment, indebtedness, low literacy levels, and inadequate public infrastructure and services. This situation has had a significant impact on the region’s children and youth, with the present and future at stake.

The Timbaktu Collective has conceived an integrated programme called Chiguru(https://timbaktu.org/chiguru), the objective of which is that rural children from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to quality education in a safe environment. 

We could fundraise a significant portion of the Chiguru programme’s budget from other donors. However, below stated three activities require additional budgets, to effectively implement the programme objectives and hence this donation campaign:

1) Activity of providing Nutritious Food to 50 residential children of Nature School. These children are from nutritionally deprived backgrounds and/or were not provided with a balanced diet at home.

2) An additional teacher for Nature School, to maintain an effective student-teacher ratio (12.5:1) and to bring focus on extracurricular subjects like arts and crafts and thereby enabling a platform for cultural expression.

3) For the Mogga project – hire an additional Field Cadre, who can contribute especially for children's camps and training.

The first component of the Chiguru programme, Nature School, caters to the educational and other needs of 50 students, who otherwise will not be able to access a safe and nurturing living environment. The Nature School reaches out to a specific demographic, not covered by mainstream, day schools. And children are identified through a comprehensive field survey, with specific selection criteria for admission (lack of parent(s), limited livelihood options and dropouts).

Education: Nature School conducts age and ability-appropriate academic sessions in Telugu, Mathematics, Environmental Sciences (which includes social and physical sciences), and English. Taking care of good health and hygiene, arts and crafts, sports and games, performing arts, organising special events and festivals, parent-teacher meetings, annual excursions and gardening are some of the activities at Nature School.

Nutrition: Special effort is taken to provide these children with healthy and nutritious food during their school stay. The assistance of a trained nutritionist is sought and an assessment of the nutritional status is tracked using the BMI methodology.

Children clubs: The second component of the Chiguru programme is the Mogga project, which promotes collaboration, leadership, and experiential learning among 2,950 children while maintaining an overarching focus on child rights and ecological rights. We see the need for an additional Field Cadre, to contribute especially to children's camps and training across 65 villages in 4 Mandals of Ananthapuramu district.

As of 2021, the Nature School has enabled more than 1,600 children from disadvantaged backgrounds to receive primary and secondary school-level education in a safe and nurturing environment through its emphasis on alternative education. Their extracurricular needs including arts and crafts, folk arts, excursions, etc were addressed with utmost care. An average of 12-15 members per year graduated (passed primary school) and were supported in getting into public high schools and continuing their education. Most of the alumni have excelled in their chosen vocations.

Since its inception in 2004, the Mogga Project has also reached out to 1,500 to 2,000 children annually – who, as members of village-level Children’s Clubs, have gained an awareness of child rights, been exposed to ecological concerns, and provided opportunities to address related issues. All these children were also federated at the central level, with leaders from each club representing them at the federation level. 

The specific activities for which donations are sought would assist in achieving the specific objectives of the Chiguru programme while sustaining and scaling up the impact created so far. And what is proposed here is a part of the remaining cost amounting to Rs. 10,08,750/- 

Organisers
The Timbaktu Collective

The Timbaktu Collective

Beneficiary Charity

Mary Vattamattam

Mary Vattamattam

Organiser

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