At Pathway to Progress, addressing the needs of global education is an important task for us. The gender and class disparities in education in developing countries is a vast issue that can only be addressed one step at a time. As a young organization, we cannot solve the problem overnight, but we would like to be a part of the progression. So I would like to give you some insight into a school in India that is very close to our hearts.
There is a rural, orphanage boarding school in Southern Gujarat in a small village called Somwada. This small school houses over 200 students from the ages of 5 – 16 who are either orphans or whose parents cannot support them year round. At first sight, you cannot imagine how such a small school is able to house, feed, and educate so many students. At one corner of the campus, you’ll see young kids filling buckets of water to bathe themselves. By the makeshift kitchen, you’ll see the older schoolgirls cooking enough food for the entire school. During monsoon season, leaves and debris fill their schoolyard, so the young boys sweep it themselves before they can go play. Inside the room where they sleep and learn, you see hundreds of cots on the floor with each student’s belongings that are small enough to fit in one small bag. During the school day, that same room is cleared out so they can learn. To us, it may seem like an impossible situation, but to each student, their education, regardless of what form it comes in, is a blessing rather than an obligation. It is their sense of hope that one day, they can provide for their own children in a way their parents were not able to.
When we first visited last summer, we brought along hundreds of school supplies for the kids. Things like pencils, pens, notebooks, rulers, or erasers may seem so little to us all, but it is invaluable to them. It means the girl who is fascinated by her science class can now take notes of all that she learns, or the boy who loves to draw on the ground or with his teacher’s chalk now has markers and colored pencils to explore his abilities with. Our little action that summer gives each kid the ability to seek their passions and grow their thoughts and make the most out of their education.
Now, we want to go beyond providing school supplies. We want the school to be able to build more living space and provide comfortable homes for these kids. We want to ensure they constantly have access to clean food, water, and hygiene. We want to make sure they have access to all of the academic material they need. We want to make sure every kid that goes in and out of that school has a path forward. Your contributions can help us do so.