Archive for the ‘Youth Empowerment’ Category

Alumni Give Back

Over the years, RDF alumni have always come back to their schools to help innumerable ways. The connections remain alive, wherever they are.

In Matendla School, it was the entire Class 10 batch from last year who paid a surprise visit to the school and sponsored a Midday Meal, along with biscuits! Everyone was very touched to learn that they had saved their pocket money for several months to make this generous donation! They personally served all students and teachers, a gesture that moved many!

Though RDF students have shown over and over again how much they care for their schools, every gesture continues to warm our hearts. This good deed by mere 16 year olds will live in our hearts for a long time!

Chess Mate!

RDF Rollakal School has a budding Vishwanathan Anand in its midst!

Koushik (R) at the State Level championship

Meet Abbaraboina Koushik, all of 9, who recently won a Gold medal in a State Level Chess competition that was open to people from all age groups, held in Hanmakonda. Hailing from a poor family, the son of agricultural labourers, Koushik, from a young age had the grit and passion to do well in whatever he decided to do.

This deep determination can be seen in the way he approaches chess, absorbing the training provided to him the Physical Education teacher as well as his academics. A self motivated person, he was encouraged by the school Headmaster and PET to participate in the State Level championship. Unperturbed by going up against people much older and experienced compared to him, he was delighted to bag the 1st place!

The Telangana Sports Authority Director, Mr. Rajanala Srihari, commended him on his effort as he handed him his gold medal and merit certificate.

We commend Koushik, his family and Rollakal School for championing his spirit and his talent. We are very proud of all that he has accomplished at the tender age of 9. He is certainly an inspiration to everyone!

Nature’s Hero

We received a lovely note from S.K. Navaz, a BPC 2nd year student at the RDF VAPV Junior College who is passionate about trees and conserving the environment. Here is his letter, reproduced with his permission –

 “My name is SK Navaz, studying in BPC 2nd year. My favourite subject is Botany. I love trees. I plant ten saplings every year. I have taken on the responsibility of watering the plants in my campus daily and I feel very happy to see all the trees growing because they are the fruit of my own labour. I closely observe my trees. There are different kinds of fruits that grow on them like badam, cherry and regu. I feel happy that students and birds ate most of them. I prefer to spend my leisure time with my trees. I urge everyone plant 5 saplings every year. Let us join hands to save the environment.”

Local media article on the plant varieties in the campus

The Junior College students and staff have been making a lot of effort in greening their campus and spreading awareness on the importance of maintaining a green cover and having plant diversity too. So far they have planted 424 varieties of plant and aim to have 1000 plant species! Their work has been covered in the local media and commended by local communities.

The change makers that India needs reside in her villages. Living close to nature, in areas that still retain some of their verdant charm, young people like Navaz can still see the degradation of the environment. Their zeal and determination is admirable and we hope their positive influence can spread far and wide. As he champions trees, we need to champion young people like him who take on the challenging responsibility to be the change they want to see in the world.

Vani’s Inspiring Story

Today we bring you the inspiring and courageous story of RDF VAPV alumnus, Vani, in her own words. We have made no editorial or English language corrections to her account. We are presenting her story as is, because we would like our readers and supporters to see the quality of her language and writing ability for themselves. Language is much more than the ability to speak; it is also the ability to think and analyse, use vocabulary to articulate thoughts, feelings and opinions. This is what Vani has done very competently!jc-ch-vani-2

I,  Chintakindi Vani, was a student of RDF – VAPV Junior College during 2008 – 10. I belonged to a lower middle class family. My native place is Burgumalla. I have completed S.S.C in ZPSS Mecharajupally, got Ist division. My father is Srinivas, he is Physically Challenged. My Mother is Venkata Lakshmi. She is a daily agricultural labour.  I have one brother, he is going to school. It is very hard to run a family because my mother is only the bread winner of my family. We didn’t know delicious food for any day. My inspiration person is my mother. She always told me that ” Hard work never fails”. It was a big problem to pay the college and school fees to my mother. My brother and I used to go field work in Agriculture only in the holidays. We used this valuable money carefully. I didn’t ask pocket money or exam fees from my mother whatever I saved the money used to pay Exam fees.

           Basically as a Telugu medium student. I didn’t know how to speak English. That year Washington university students nearly 10 members came to our college. They have taken class for different skill development programme. I was in photo blog class.  This American photo blog class helped me a lot to speak in English well.  I have so much fear to speak with them but I was attracted by the play-way method of teaching. I liked their method of teaching, punctuality and discipline. The next year   I have a change to attend G.E classes in Hyderabad. I am the one among 20 members from the college and my lectured explained the classes well understand. These are all helped me to speak English well. After completion of Intermediate I have finished B.Tech. I was a studying in hostel. My parents are sending little money to cook and other expenses but that amount is not sufficient to me. Sometimes I ate only biscuits and water then sleep. My mother always told me “If you want to do something, you have to leave something”. I worked very hard for 4 year. I had an aim to become as IAS and server the people. But now I am working as Assistant Engineer in Mission Bhageeratha under TSPSC requirement in 2015. I am earning 35, 000/- for month.

Now  I am seriously preparing for Groups. I hope, I will become I.A.S. one day.

Creating Social Awareness on Intoxicants and Tobacco

RDF’s holistic approach to education involves the core component of a robust Social Awareness Program. Helping local communities with social issues is part of all RDF schools’ philosophy.

The staff in Matendla School was growing increasingly worried about the consumption of pan masala, guthka and alcohol by senior citizens in the village. Concerned about the ill effects of such habits on the impressionable mind of young children and other family members, the staff wanted to do something that would not just help create awareness but also ensure that RDF alumni, children and the wider community not fall prey to such vices.

ms-dec-2The school organised a well planned evening wherein folk songs and a skit were used as tools to allow the community to understand the gravity of the situation. The skit was put together by students of Class 8, who used humour to highlight the issue. The audience was able to easily relate to the problems presented and stated that it reflected their social reality. The staff also conducted a presentation to explain the various medical problems that can come about as a result of such habits.ms-dec-3

We hope that the right message was conveyed to everyone present and the efforts of the Matendla School team help the villagers manage the situation proactively with the information provided to them.

Pravalika Prevails

When Pravalika was born, 15 years ago, her parents scarcely knew the strength of her will or the fire in her belly that would lead her to strive to lift herself above the impoverished circumstances she was born into.

A Class 10 student in RDF Rollakal School, Pravalika has done herself, her parents and her school proud with her grit and will to succeed. After joining the school in Class 5, Pravalika was exposed to numerous extracurricular and sports activities – experiences she had never gone though in her previous school. It was sports that beckoned her, after discovering an innate talent in volleyball and kabaddi. Working tirelessly before and after school, she was selected to the State Level in both sports – a first for her school and her family too!

Throwing herself wholeheartedly into the experience, Pravalika was very happy to have the opportunity to interact with sports team from other districts at the State Level meet in Hanamakonda. During the competitions, she became very nervous due to the large crowds. In her opinion, she can overcome her nervousness by participating in many more such events. Her parents are very proud of her sports accomplishments.

ros-pravalika

One wonders where her resilience comes from. Pravalika’s family resides in a village 2 kms away from the school. Due to low awareness levels and financial difficulties, her parents couldn’t continue their education. However, her father being a very determined and hardworking student, managed to complete Class 10. Today he is employed with the Northern Power Distribution Company (NPDCL) of Telangana. He earns 10,000 per month and is responsible for lifting poles.

On the other hand, her mother did not attend school. She works as an agricultural laborer on others’ farms. Since agriculture promotes cyclical unemployment especially in summers, her mother then switches to MGNREGA. The usual work assigned to the group would be repairing of roads, digging, planting trees etc.

During school holidays, Pravalika works in cotton fields with her mother. According to Pravalika, her mother is a very dynamic person. It was her mother’s idea to teach Pravalika about the harsh realities of agricultural work. In her mother’s opinion, one must never forget their roots and hence association with agriculture is mandatory.

Pravalika dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and help her village by generating employment for villagers. However, prior to taking that step, she would like to gain experience by working professional establishment. With the same steady clear thinking that we recognize in her, she understands that it is a tough task but is confident that in future years, villages will be vehicles for economic growth.

Sterling Silver Partnership!

Silver Oaks team with the Matendla School team

Silver Oaks team with the Matendla School team

Teaching demo session by SO teacher for Primary teachers

Teaching demo session by SO teacher for Primary teachers

Silver Oaks – The School of Hyderabad, a reputed international school, has been a long standing education partner for RDF. The Silver Oaks team has designed the curriculum for Primary School and has been giving specialised inputs for High School, including teacher training in various aspects of education management. The training is complemented by regular visits by the staff to monitor and review the teaching and learning practices, which has provided immense benefits to RDF teachers and students.

High School students of SO & MS interacting

High School students of SO & MS interacting

On 29th September 2016, 4 staff members and selected children visited RDF Matendla School and spent quality time there. Teachers and students interacted with Matendla School students and staff and cleared their doubts, shared knowledge and their best practices.

This support system by Silver Oaks to enhance the quality of education in RDF schools is something we are very grateful for!