Limitless Dreams. Limitless Possibilities.
GIVING CHILDREN BACK THEIR RIGHT TO EDUCATION
The #letsmakeourkidssmile campaign is largely focused on education, and in particular, helping children across India to access the education they need to live a fulfilling life and follow their dreams.
We’re working to get and keep as many children in education as possible, by raising awareness and providing funding to develop the infrastructure and facilities in education centers across the country.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION
In every country and every community across the world, education plays a valuable role in a child’s life.
Getting an education is so much more than just learning to read, write and count.
School is an important place, where children also learn to communicate with others, develop friendships, become educated on living a healthy and safe life, and figure out their own moral compass that will lead them through the rest of their lives.
It’s a crucial stage of a child’s development, that plays a vital role in setting a child up for the future and putting them on a pathway to follow their dreams.
THE PROBLEMS CHILDREN FACE
India has 440 million children. There are 187 million students who lack proper education.
When we talk about in-proper education, we’re referring to the fact that either children miss out entirely on education, or they don’t get the chance to finish school.
For millions of children across India, and indeed the rest of the world, education is an impossible dream.
We believe that quality education is vital if we’re to break away from a cycle of poverty and injustice.
Gurbaksh posed the question, “how can India lead if we as a community can’t take care of our future?”
To make that change, we first have to get right to the epicenter of why so many children lack proper education in India.
The ‘Let’s make our kids smile’ campaign focuses on 4 of the root causes:
Kids go to school hungry
Due to widespread poverty, many children are malnourished. They get to school hungry and leave school hungry.
Food fuels the mind – children need food and adequate nutrition to grow their minds and learn. Concentration, energy levels, mood and motivation are things that dwindle when hungry – but some of these children are starving before they even get to school.
Gurbaksh further posed the question, “how can an empty stomach learn?”
Many schools are unable to provide nutritious meals for their students. Consequently, kids stop going to school and instead are forced to work, just to survive.
The facilities and infrastructure just aren’t there
To create an enriched learning environment that provides kids with everything they need to learn, schools need funds to buy equipment and teaching materials.
Many schools lack the most basic of facilities that we take for granted, including playgrounds, libraries, and technology.
This has a huge knock-on effect because the quality of the education being delivered suffers as the resources aren’t there to support the teaching and learning process.
Millions of girls drop out each year
Because of the lack of funding for basic facilities, many schools do not have toilets.
This means that millions of girls drop out of school each year.
Girls who do stay in school, often cannot afford or struggle to get access to feminine hygiene products, which means that when reaching adolescents, they stay at home for a week a month, missing out on education.
Eventually, they fall behind and drop out of school because they are unable to keep up with their peers.
Around the world, 131 million girls are not attending school. Girls are 50 percent more likely than boys to miss out on an education, which is largely down to a lack of facilities and access to feminine hygiene products.
This educational disparity persists throughout their lives, with only 55% of women able to work compared to 78% of men.
Childhood is cut short
Due to family and community poverty, many children leave school early to get a job and earn a living to support the family.
Official statistics tell us that there are more than 12 million child workers in India. Many NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) estimate that the actual figure could be as high as 60 million.
That’s almost twice the population of Canada.
UNICEF estimates that India has the highest number of laborers in the world under the age of 14.
These kids are robbed of their childhood and often forced into slavery, working in hazardous jobs and scary conditions.
With all of these things up against them, education isn’t even an option for so many children.
KICKSTARTING A CHANGE
The ‘Let’s make kids smile’ campaign is working to give kids back their right to an education.
Children, and teachers alike, need proper facilities to provide and experience quality education.
Gurbaksh Chahal and his family were the first to set up generous funds to mitigate this issue surrounding poor school facilities in India.
We’ve worked with 46 schools across India, to provide the upgrade and refurbishment they need to create a stimulating and well-resourced learning environment for the next generation.
This includes setting up water filters, planting trees, installing playgrounds, donating equipment such as computers and setting up complete lab rooms.
Partnering with Enactus H.R College
We partnered with Enactus H.R College in India and contributed the funds needed to start a joint initiative, Inaayat.
Inaayat has two core initiatives:
- A dedication to strengthening girls’ sense of dignity and self-esteem by making and providing sustainable menstrual hygiene solutions and health education.
- A vision is to ensure that every girl and woman will have ready, feasible access to reusable hygiene supplies.
We’ve approached other NGOs for collaboration with us in rural, semi-urban and urban areas in Maharashtra. And, we are also going to subsidize the feminine hygiene kits for the underprivileged.
Inspiring and educating
We’ve also supported schools and their surrounding communities by teaching about rainwater harvesting methods and educating children about how to live healthy lives.
Gurbaksh shares his experiences and lessons learned in life to inspire children and communities to aim high and follow their dreams.
OUR POSITIVE IMPACT
The Chahal Foundation is proud of the educational funding, progress and outcomes we’ve achieved by upgrading schools and communities. We’ve seen a record increase in school attendance numbers, and children are once again focused on their futures and returning to achieving their dreams.
BE PART OF THE CHANGE
Get involved in the #letsmakeourkidssmile campaign
We’ve still got a long way to go to achieve what we’ve set out to do. We need your help to make a truly lasting impact on the future of children’s education across the world.