Archive for the ‘Donors & Partners’ Category

Proud Accomplishments

RDF and its partnership schools teem with stories of quiet accomplishments by our very sincere and hardworking children. Powered by a passion to overcome their difficult life circumstances, these children amaze us with their zeal and determination to prove themselves and do well in whatever they set their minds to!

Chinna

Chinna, a Class 6 student’s parents are private service workers on a very modest income, determined to help their children lead better lives. Chinna loves Science and got nominated to participate in the mandal level Science Fair and was awarded the best student! He aims to make it to a National level stage and keeps experimenting in the Science lab, a passion fully supported by his teachers. Fingers crossed for you, Chinna, to accomplish all your and your parents’ dreams!

Aruna

We’re also super proud of Aruna, a Class 10 student in the same school. Considered an all-rounder, she attended a talk in TNR Academy on ‘How do we live in Society?” Students were encouraged to take to the stage and express themselves and Aruna was eager to do so! She spoke with elan and answered many questions with confidence, which won her a cash award of Rs. 500! Her parents, an attender and sweeper in a neighbourhood college, couldn’t be prouder of her achievement, as are we!

 

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Sporting a New Look!

Rollakal School now has a beautiful new running track, thanks to the financial help of Mr. Sai Reddy, who is a Project Manager in a local company. The community based networks that have evolved over years of building relationships built on mutual trust, have borne fruit for our rural, underprivileged children in many wonderful ways!

It is humbling for us to see how the locals also treat the school as their own as evident from the numerous ways locals help our schools. The belief in RDF’s vision to educate, engage and empower rural children and their families has been wholly embraced by the local communities too! With our focus on childrens’ holistic development, sports plays a crucial role in building confidence, team work and achievements. RDF students have won many accolades over the years in the sports arena; so the sense of pride runs strong!

With the new race track, not only does the school literally sport a new look, but everyone is excited about using it for athletics practice, hosting competitions and parades and create strong, capable and fit students.

 

Books are our Best Friends

Much is lamented on these days about the loss of reading skills among children and adults alike. While high use of technology and screen time replacing other activities such as being outdoors or reading is still an urban phenomenon, it is reaching rural areas too, mainly due to high mobile phone penetration. However, life for rural children is vastly different to their urban counterparts and books are a very valuable resources for these children. Books open up their minds and their world, plus providing them with crucial reading and literacy skills too.

RDF wellwisher, Mr. Madhav Reddy from Vandemataram Foundation donated library books in Telugu, Hindi and English for Matendla School. Given our schools’ high focus on reading time and book discussions among students and teachers, it was natural for the children to show a lot of interest in reading these new books. Every Saturday and in their free time, children can be found reading these books! Some students have also shared the stories during morning assembly, which shows the benefit and impact the stories have had on them!

In our schools, reading has shown to have considerable impact in improving student’s reading abilities and comprehension of languages too. The stories show them creative ways of writing and an introduction of genres. Their repertoire of stories has certainly increased! By discussion and talking about the stories, they also enhance their confidence and presentation skills. A win-win all around!

This goes to show how the simple activity of book reading has been helping our students in myriad ways and is providing them with the scope to develop themselves in different areas, all of which will support them in their educational and career goals.

A Whole day of Holistic Interaction!

RDF works very hard to provide resources to its children and teachers in order to aid their growth and development. Living in poverty for generations, we understand the life circumstances and limitations that the community faces and the programmes and mentoring they need to achieve their dreams and goals, as first generation learners. The philosophy also guides the progress of the 2 Tech Mahindra Foundation schools in Bahadurapally, which have come to be regarded as beacons of quality education in the surrounding villages.

The Sri Ramakrishna Foundation (SRK), Bahadurapally conducted a full day session on Life, Aims & Goals, Career, Moral Values, Success and Role of Parents for the students of the Zilla Parishad High School. The main aim was to gently encourage students about how to live in present day society, without fear and lead a life based on their moral values and how to achieve their goals.

The morning session was led by Mr. Bhargava Nagaprasad and Mr. Adiseshu. In addition to the main themes, they specifically spoke about financial difficulties and how to reach their financial goals. Plenty of inspirational examples from real life were given to the students in order to motivate them, such as Dr. Abdul Kalam’s humble roots and achievements.

In the afternoon session, Mr. Bhagicha Singh of TNR Academy and Mr. M.D. Rao were the speakers. Mr. Rao, at 85 years of age, who leads an independent life, proved to be a source of inspiration for everyone present. They also spoke on health issues such as abstaining from ‘gutka’ and alcohol and focus on looking after their parents’ wellbeing and achieve life goals. Mr. Singh spoke about the social problems of female infanticide and education for girls, urging students to encourage women and treat them with respect and preventing exploitation of children through child labour.  They also motivated the students to be of service to the country and help in its progress. Sarath, Jyothi and Vinayaka of Class 6 & 7 respectively were appreciated by the speakers for their confidence and ready answers. Mr. Rao was impressed with another student, Aruna’s thoughtful responses and gave her a cash reward of Rs. 500 on the spot!

TNR Academy gave each of the 247 students present an exam pad, pen, pencil box and notebook! They also promised to provide free coaching to ZPHS students, based on merit. The day ended with positive feedback from the students who felt inspired by the talks and ready for action!

 

Turnaround Time!

We have been witnessing the power of community in the Tech Mahindra sponsored ZPH and MPP schools. This has taken time, but the school team has work very hard with the vision that becoming a beacon of quality education in Bahadurapally and creating an atmosphere of trust was absolutely essential. With mentoring from the RDF and TMF team, they understood that a good school is not just one that has a list of academic toppers; the environment in school also needs to be conducive to growth and development of students and teachers. With this vision, a lot of time and effort has been invested in training teachers in not just improving their academic and teaching competencies, but also in child psychology and maintaining a high level of engagement with parents and locals.

With this foundation of care and trust, we have witness several turnaround stories from children who, perhaps, would have been given up on in another environment or school. Sainath, a Class 3 student was extremely quiet when he joined the school. He did not mingle with his classmates and hence did not make any friends. His individual work was quite good – he had good reading and writing skills and had a lot of interest in sports and art. So what was ailing Sainath?

Teachers realised that he had an inferiority complex, brought on due to fear of authority figures, namely his parents and previous teachers. In such a situation, forcing a child doesn’t bring any result. He needed to overcome his fear of authority, relax and mingle. So the teachers just let him be. They observed him from a distance, never interfering with his activities and encouraging him when he needed a hand. Their mantra was ‘no pressure’ Slowly, he began to open up – trust that had been lacking earlier was built. He started mingling with his classmates, helping them with classwork and homework! His transformation filled everyone with joy!He was also nominated as a class leader! What a difference an atmosphere of gentle care created in the now quietly confident Sainath!

Harshitha is a Class 10 student who is good at studies and actively plays Kabaddi and Kho-Kho; she’s also friendly and ambitious. One day, she fell seriously ill, complaining of severe stomach ache. Writhing in pain and unable to speak, the HM desperately tried to contact her father and mother, a driver and daily wage worker respectively, to no avail. Needing urgent attention, the HM eventually sent her to hospital with 2 teachers and ensured that she received good medical care. It turned out that her habit of eating slate pencils had created this issue! With the doctors and teachers’ strict advice, she swore to get rid of her habit. Her parents were also counselled to pay close attention to her as they had not paid close attention to her poor appetite. She has now fully recovered and has not eaten a slate pencil since this scare!

We commend the teachers and the school management for taking such good care of the children, being truly interested in their wellbeing and counselling the parents when needed. We absolutely love seeing children blossom in this environment!

Fruitful partnerships and efforts..

Our vibrant community of education and financial partners strive hard to support the skilling and development of our schools and providing tons of inspiration to the children in the process! Infor has been supporting RDF for over 10 years. Rollakal School stands today due to the fundraising efforts by the Infor management and employees who donated sufficient funds that enabled us to construct a permanent school building in Rollakal village. Over the years, their employees have also conducted workshops and talks on skills such as English language development, technology and career guidance.

Last month, Infor employees visited Redlawada School for a green initiative. They planted 140 saplings that consisted of 100 coconut trees, 20 flowering trees and 20 fruit bearing plants! The plantation drive showed the students the value of social service and conserving the environment. Though rural areas are still green compared to urban areas, planting more sapling will go towards making the area even more lush!

Another special initiative that was taken was to ‘name’ all the plants on the names of the Infor employees and RDF team. Together, they decided that birthdays would be commemorated through remembering the person who planted the specific tree! It was a sweet thought that everyone was delighted with! Several parents also visited the school on the occasion and it reiterated the importance of developing social responsibilities in their children, in addition to their academic development. The parent community that strongly supports RDF schools was also happy to meet the visitors and blessed the green efforts.

The day was literally fruitful and everyone went home with a sense of satisfaction and pride in their school and our partners.

An Educational Trip

Student and teacher development through student exchanges, peer learning, variety of training programs, mentoring with subject experts etc. are an intrinsic part of RDF’s approach to rural education. Silver Oaks has championed RDF’s cause for over 10 years and has been working closely with the 4 RDF schools. This time, it was the RDF VAPV Junior College students who got an opportunity to travel to Hyderabad to learn about their approach to education and have an open, sharing session.

17 students and 6 lecturers visited the campus and spent the day meeting teachers and students. They observed classroom interactions and methods of teaching, single and group projects, the use of technology, communication skills, sports and the layout and neatness of the campus.

Mrs. Seetha Murty, the school Principal engaged with the students on ‘Time Management Skills’. She explained how studies and extra curricular activities can be balanced and asked everyone for their inputs. In the ‘Technology’ class, they learnt about the usage of Khan Academy and Olabs – websites that are highly interactive and very useful for students. AIn the session on English and Communication skills, the students were given tips on how to communicate clearly and the importance of developing their English language skills.

Koppu Rajeshwari of MPC 1st Year said, “It was such a wonderful experience to me. I enjoyed a lot by visiting the Silver Oaks International School. I love the way of teaching and class appearance like limited students, computer with internet facility, projector and friendly nature students and teachers. I have learnt many things which are useful to my education and also further studies. In time management class I explained my problem to madam. She solved my problem and given suggestion to me. The teachers taught strategies in education, communication skill. There are many advantages which help me to learn more. There is a good education and sports attracted me well. I thank to RDF management to give a wonderful opportunity to visit the school.”

Overall, it was an enriching day for the RDF team and they have brought back their new knowledge and are already sharing it with their friends on campus! We love watching the children absorb from the world around them, and most importantly, apply their learnings to their lives!