Archive for the ‘Donors & Partners’ Category

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!

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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!

Celebrating Pure Partnerships!

Mr. Sai Reddy (L) & Mr. Kiran Addala (Far R) with school team & parents

15th August 2018 turned out to be an unforgettable day for the RDF family, especially the Rollakal School community! Mr. Sai Reddy, a Director at Infor donated a water purifying system to the school! Keeping in mind the long term health and hygiene of the school team and the locals, it was a lovely gift to receive.

Enjoying pure & refreshing water!

Infor has been a long standing partner and has supported RDF’s vision of rural education and empowerment for nearly a decade. The school stands today due to funding support received from Infor  management and employees. Over the years, they have made several visits to the school to interact with everyone and also provide skill based training to aid students’ development.

The parents are also very appreciative about this donation. On this Independence Day, the community rejoiced its independence from water borne diseases which they have been prey to, in the past. We deeply thank Mr. Sai Reddy and Team Infor for helping us in invaluable ways and cherish this partnership for many, many years to come

A Green Award!

The MPP and ZPH schools have been thriving under the care and guidance of the Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF partnership since 2015. This is the 4th year in which the schools have been supported in all aspects of its operations – infrastructure, education, midday meals, teaching learning materials, setting up of a library, bridging the parent and village communities with the schools etc. These efforts and facilities have firmly established both schools as quality education providers and pillars in the community.

Greening the environment has also been a key aspect of developing the school, with both RDF and TMF, as well as the Telangana government providing saplings and plants to the schools. The garden has been maintained by Mrs. and Mr. Beeraiah – the schools’ security team and we are indebted to the deep care they have provided to the blossoming of this garden. When you walk into the schools, you are greeted with the extent of the greenery in both schools!

The kitchen garden, sponsored by TMF and RDF occupies pride of place in the schools. This organic garden has provided many seasonal vegetables, herbs like coriander, mint and sorrel for the midday meals. In addition, it is also abundant with flowering trees, mango, papaya and coconut trees! It’s a paradise for the community, who have watched the efforts of the school teams to grow and nurture these gardens, adding to the green cover in the neighbourhood.

School principal receiving the award

In appreciation of this effort, the school received the ‘Haritha Mitra’ award on 15th August 2018. This awarded was given at the District level by the State Home Minister, Sri. Nayini Narsimha Reddy, for greening the environment and maintaining the school surroundings in a neat manner!

We are all so proud of this honour and the effort that has been put in by the entire school team to create this oasis and providing a wonderful example for the children and the community on the importance of caring for the environment!

Ripe for Skype!

Do you all recall the thrill of 1st using technology and being able to live call and chat with friends and family? While in urban areas, technological advances are growing by leaps and bounds, our rural counterparts are trying to catch up! Lack of public resources has only given us more impetus to help rural, underprivileged children studying in RDF schools achieve some tech advancements of their own! So we have left no stone unturned to set up computer labs in every school, with the gracious support of individuals and corporate sponsors who believe in our vision and truly want to help these children achieve their potential.

Our education partner, Silver Oaks, has been helping our teachers and students through onsite review and coaching visits, including visits by our teachers to their school. However, we felt that this support structure can be further strengthened through using technology and we arrived at ..Skype calls! Though city dwellers are intimately acquainted with Skype, it is brand new for rural children and they were understandably very excited by this!

The Silver Oaks team set up a Skype call between some of their students and RDF students who wanted queries on leadership skills and electoral processes answered and the team was more than happy to help! RDF children were thrilled to see the Silver Oaks students live during the video call and marvelled at the technology that enabled them to speak and see others live – it was a milestone moment for everyone!

Our aim is to always show them ways that anything they want to learn and know is within their reach and go beyond textbook education. We feel so heartened at this level of ongoing support and care that we receive and know how much this impacts our children in many positive ways!

‘In For’ Lots of Care!

Infor Care India has been a long time supporter of RDF’s cause and is committed to the development of our schools and helping rural, underprivileged children reach their best potential through good amenities. Rollakal School stands today due to funding from them and several members of their senior team and other employees regularly visit the school to volunteer or interact with the staff and students.

Last month, Infor employees visited the school in order to spruce it up and give it a fresh coat of paint. 4 Directors and 70 volunteers spent an entire day painting the entire building and making it look fresh and beautiful, standing proud in its pristine, green surrounding! They also planted 100 saplings which we hope will take root and grow strong, just like our partnership with Infor!

We are immensely grateful to Mr. Kiran Addala, RDF Director and a Senior Manager at Infor for spearheading this wonderful association and the entire Infor team for providing our school and children with the kind of amenities and resources that create a joyful learning environment for these deserving children. Thank you!