Social and economic burdens bear heavily upon the lives of Himachal Pradesh's displaced communities. With such pressures primary schooling - something we take for granted - can often be difficult to achieve. Opportunities are there, but to take them requires something more than their simple presence. Many families require their children to work in order to make ends meet; others simply aren't in a position to take advantage of the opportunities open to them. It is here that Tong-Len, in working with displaced communities, can help to make education a reality for many young people. We run a number of educational programmes geared towards bringing education to displaced families:
- Our child sponsorship scheme allows children to enter into formal schooling. The sponsored children attend Dayanand Model High School. Accommodation is provided in the Tong-Len hostels.
- Informal teaching covering basic literacy and numeracy is currently being provided in our primary tent school. We employ a Hindi/English- speaking teacher on a part-time basis to teach the children who are desperate to learn but for whom formal schooling is not yet a possibility.
The nursery tent school provides a focus for child development and educational play. Here children have the opportunity to learn the skills that they will need if they to have the chance of a more formal education. Both tent school and nursery school have been greeted with great enthusiasm with more than 100 children registered. The nursery school is staffed by a part-time Indian teacher. Find out more about how you can support our tent schools here.
The right to education is something that all people are entitled to, and Tong-Len's programmes are founded upon this belief. Education allows societies to progress, and by encouraging learning at all levels, we aim to provide the displaced communities with whom we work with the tools to alleviate their own poverty.
- Our educational programme has recently been extended to helping children with special needs. A number of children from the displaced communities require specialist educational services. A profoundly deaf child is being sponsored in specialist education and a child crippled by polio is sponsored into residential schooling.
- We organise community information seminars, encouraging families to become aware of issues relating to public health, hygeine and environmental management.