Education Transforming Lives
Partha Sardar: Bridging the Gap
Partha first attended the Sabuj Kunri Centre, run by our partners Sabuj Sangha and funded by Suas, at age 6. With his father’s sudden departure from the family home and lots of siblings to raise, Partha’s mother focused on earning money to feed her family, leaving home early each morning meant Partha spent much of his day roaming the streets and train station platform aimlessly.
Tomina Khatun: Leading the change
Tomina attends primary school in the community of Chariswar in south Kolkata, India. It is an area rife with poverty; small homes constructed of mud, whose residents are largely pottery makers and daily labourers. For the past seven years, Suas and our partner Development Action Society have been working in the area to provide high quality education and inclusive, safe and healthy learning environments for students.
Naushad Khan: The Difference Volunteers Make
In our quest to support the marginalized several people gradually got associated with us either as a full time employee or as volunteers. At the beginning of the program we heard phrases like “one more group of volunteers to entertain” and “not again!” from our centres. To which we could only reply” just wait and watch”.
I’d be lying if I said that the idea of having six weekends in five months fully dedicated to Suas preparation filled me with glee. However, all of them were uplifting. The level of specialist skills which we were taught over the weekends was hugely impressive and of great assistance while overseas. If I was to select one skill which I learnt there and tried to implement during the Programme and beyond and, actually, every day of my life since then, it is the art of active listening.
Wake up. Sweat. Get out of bed. Sweat. Shower. Sweat. Not just a standard start, but a guaranteed start to a day in Kolkata. Mornings are hectic. Thirteen Volunteers milling around, trying to get ready for the day. Leave the house. Stop off at the shop across the road. Get the supplies for the day. Have a bit of banter with the staff because you do not have change. Same argument. Different day. The journey begins.
The volunteering was so rewarding. The kids were always so excited to see their mentors and you really build a special bond with them. No matter how bad of a day you may have been having, the kids always manage to lift your spirits and you can’t help but leave the session with a huge smile on your face. Tuesdays were my favourite day of the week in first year!