Archive for November, 2019

Teaching to Build Good Relationships

Rural children live in difficult family circumstances, steeped in financial difficulties and its attendant social issues. Parents work long hours to eke a living, so a caring school environment is what RDF children look forward to.  RDF also actively works with the parent community to counsel and guide parents so that students have a conducive environment at home.

Over the years, we have worked hard at creating a nurturing environment in our schools with teachers being trained to look after the mental and emotional wellbeing of their charges too. So our teachers don’t just teach, but look after the students with a lot of care and affection. These supportive teacher-student relationships inspire the children and helps them to focus better in class and in extracurricular activities too. It has also enabled bonding between parents and children at home, thus easing the stress in some homes.

The accompanying pictures are from Redlawada School, with a teacher feeding primary students who have hand injuries and neatening the hair of another student. We feel happy to see students who are happy to come to school and love their teachers!

Sports Achievements

The deservedly proud Matendla team

Matendla School team is very proud to share that 50 students from the school participated in a Mandal level sports competition organised by School Games Federation of India. Senior girls won Gold medals in Kabaddi, Kho-Kho and volleyball. The Junior Girls team and Junior Boys team won Silver medals in the same categories.

Trophies won by the students, proudly taking centre stage!

It’s a pleasure for us to see an increasing number of students choose sports, put in the hard work and focus required for competitions and do well in them. Their ability to balance their academic work with serious sports pursuit is admirable and shows their levels of determination to achieve their goals.

We wholeheartedly encourage students to take up sports, in addition to it being a part of our holistic curriculum, because it truly builds mental acuity and physical endurance and stamina. Working in regions where children face malnourishment and are susceptible to seasonal diseases, we care very much for our student’s wellbeing through making them stronger in body and mind with sports coaching and nutritious meals. This focus and their performance also provides opportunities for sports scholarships and Government jobs – a boon for families to find respite from living in poverty.

Big thanks to the Matendla team for supporting their students every step of the way. We look forward to their performance at the District level competitions and beyond.

A Touching Turnaround

We love to share stories of turnarounds for our students as we believe that a supportive environment in school, when students do not get that care and attention at home, is instrumental in creating this positive shift for them.

Upender came to the Tech Mahindra Foundation-RDF partnership government Primary school in Class 2, from an orphanage. He was visibly mentally disturbed and had no interest in being in school. He would keep running away and be brought back by the local police. He couldn’t read, write and had difficulty grasping subject matter. His orphanage hostel warden requested the school to take extra care of him, which they did.

Now in Class 5 and with the consistent encouragement and patience shown by the school staff, Upendar has become more mellow and balanced. In the process, he discovered his talent in art and craft. He can sit quietly for hours, drawing cartoons, loves to make craft items with waste paper and also helps make clay Lord Vinyaka idols during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival!

Cheerfully distributing snacks

He is mentally differently abled, but with the love and support of the school, he demonstrates a high degree of independence, responsibility and leadership in undertaking various activities. He gets the stage ready for school assembly everyday, he helps serve snacks and sets the ‘walking cones’ for the student queues. He does all this without being asked!

Getting kids in line for lunch, with a smile on his face

We are deeply grateful to all his teachers and school friends who have helped Upender regain a sense of purpose in his life. Their care has helped this young boy feel safe and nurtured which has turned his life around. He will continue to need support in order to become even more fully independent as he grows up. We hope many more will come forward to help him in whatever way they can.

The ‘Power’ of Practical Learning

Contextual learning is the best form of learning. Moving beyond textbooks, when students actually engage with the world on the concepts they’re learning in the classroom, the content becomes much more meaningful. So at RDF, we organise field trips whenever we can.The 2nd Year Intermediate students of the RDF VAPV Junior College went to the local substation to understand the topic of ‘Electricity’ and how electricity is transmitted to our homes.

Umarani and Rajeshwari wrote a report of the experience, produced below:

Listening attentively to the Assistant Engineer at Kalleda substation

“We visited Kalleda substation which is near our college. There we learnt  how the electricity passes from one place to another place. We learnt the value of electricity, and how to use electricity in domestic purposes. We met the Assistant Engineer (AE) of the substation and he explained how electricity is conducted to homes. We spent 90 minutes learning how the substation operates. The AE clarified how electricity changes from DC to AC and how much voltage we have to use. It was a beautiful experience to meet the officials who explained everything so patiently and clearly. We would like to thank all the workers because this is a high risk job. They also gave us tips on how to save power and now we would like to teach our friends and neighbours about how to save power.”

Confident with new learning at the end of the trip

It’s amazing how much students learn and understand in a half day outing! Engaging with the community empowers them with new knowledge, which they are then always eager to share with the greater community!

The Magnanimity of our Local Community

Naveen, being facilitated on his birthday by the school management

As an NGO, we are able to sustain ourselves due to the generous and committed support of individual and corporate donors who believe in our vision and donate monetarily and in kind. Over the past 23 years, RDF schools have established themselves as leading, holistic institutions that provide a nurturing and stable environment to rural children in which to study and develop themselves in many areas, in addition to academics. Therefore, it is gratifying for us when the local community that has watched the growth of our schools and seen the impact on their children, also donate in many ways to our cause.

Enjoying a nurturing midday meal

Naveen Kumar, a Class 9 student of Kalleda School, and has been impacted positively by RDF’s values of Educate, Engage and Empower, wanted to give back to the school by doing something special on his birthday. He discussed this with his father who agreed with his idea and donated 20 kgs of rice to the school on the occasion! This was used for the Midday Meal on the day. We thank each and every one of our supporters, right from our rural communities to the world community who have come forward to help us. It makes us who we are today!

Building Community Support

We are humbled by the support provided by the rural communities we work in. By no means financially abundant, it has never stopped the local villagers from being generous towards us in many ways.

We are happy to introduce to you, Surendar, a tractor driver from Rollakal village. Even though he is not a Rollakal School parent, he fully supports the school as he believes that rural children deserve high quality, value based education and sees RDF schools exemplifying this. Since rural people cannot afford high fees in corporate schools, he appreciates how our schools help the local community through affordable fees and helping parents who are unable to pay fees.

Rollakal School is constructing an extension to its existing building and Surendar helped the school by providing sand procured at a low cost, compared to other sellers, at no profit to him! We are so grateful for his kindness and help. It makes us very happy that our schools have created an impact on so many members of the community!