“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”
― Alexander Den Heijer
When Shivani’s parents moved to Pune this February in search of work she was at risk of missing out on education. Children of migrant construction workers are at serious risk of dropping out of school when their parents relocate in search of work.
Door Step School is a non-profit organization focused on literacy, primary education, and childcare for the urban poor. It was founded in Mumbai in 1989 and started work in Pune in 1993. Project Foundation is its direct education program at construction sites in Pune, delivering daycare and education to children of construction workers. Asha for Education, Seattle chapter has been supporting this project since 2005.
Door Step School staff assess, teach, and continuously track their students, both in terms of academic progress, and their location with their families as they move about in search of livelihood. Shivani was one such girl who was helped by Door Step.
Shivani is an 11 year-old girl from a remote village in Maharashtra, about 550 km northeast of Pune. In February, her family migrated to Pune as local farming work dried out in the village. In Pune, her parents found work at a construction site in the Kharadi locality. Shivani and her siblings, who all attended school earlier in the village, were able to continue their education at the construction site, in the Educational Activity Center (EAC) run by Door Step School.
When she entered the EAC in February, Shivani could read mātrā-s (vowel signs) but was not able to read compound words correctly. Within three months at Door Step School, she could fluently read paragraphs with compound words. She could also read and write small paragraphs on given topics. as she confidently demonstrated during a visit by an Asha volunteer in April. She wrote a beautiful short essay about her school on the spot in 5 minutes.
Different teaching methods — including project methods, story reading, “joḍākṣhar sarāv pustikā” (compound letter practice booklet) — were used to enhance Shivani’s reading skills with comprehension in Door Step School.
In June, her family migrated back to their home village when farming labor work resumed there at the start of the rainy season. Door Step School has confirmed that she is continuing school in the village in class 7.
Shivani’s story is indicative of the detailed and painstaking work by Door Step School staff to assess, teach, and continuously track their students, both in terms of academic progress, and their location with their families as they move about in search of livelihood. The students, the teachers, and the staff at Door Step School inspire us with their unique approach, creative techniques, and hard work to meet the unique educational needs of the families of migrant construction workers.
Shivani is able to read and write today because of the kindness of donors like you. Help us reach more such kids by donating on our facebook fundraiser page or on our website.