Update over 2020 uit Future Hope in India
Vanuit Future Hope in Kolkatta, ontvingen wij een update met de hoogtepunten van het uitdagende afgelopen jaar.
Relief work - Future Hope went closer to the communities in Kolkata and Delhi. Our staff, alumni and children sourced, packed and distributed much needed rations to nearly 70,000 people in West Bengal and helped several thousand migrants return home in Delhi. This relief programme was separately funded and to support struggling families who received no or very little help from the authorities. Most people in the slums rely on daily wages that stopped when the country went into sudden lockdown in March 2020.
For millions of people the fear of hunger became a far bigger life threat than the Covid virus. In January 2021 Kolkata is slowly opening up, more people are getting back to work but often at a reduced salary, and many are crippled by debts that they cannot pay. We are now only helping families on a case-by-case basis and review this monthly to assess their needs and to avoid long-term dependency.
Online Education - We were quick to adapt to online education and covered 100% of our student
population of 360. We gave away 60 mobile phones to children who had no access, and improved
connectivity in the homes and school. All our day scholars were given data cards to connect to our
school. We distributed rations to all day scholar families and got closer to them through online
parent teacher meetings where we could see each child’s living conditions and challenges.
All our teachers became computer-online savvy. This helped us to conduct several programmes for the school: news bulletins, special assemblies, a social science week, the drama competition, the Student Notice Board. Many celebrities and specialists from across India generously helped with online sessions for our children. Our children learnt that the net was a valuable resource for education, not just entertainment!
New Children - We admitted 60 new children to our school. Of them 30, first generation learners, were taken in KG and started online classes. Teacher training was done on a regular basis and special emphasis was paid to inducting the new children and training the primary section teachers.
Future Hope School CBSE Accreditation - We upgraded the Science Lab, created a Maths Lab,
Dance Room and Music Room, all to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) standards, leading to a successful inspection. We are proud to report that we received recognition from the Govt of West Bengal and are an accredited CBSE School with effect of 1st April 2021 for
classes 1-9 and in 2022 for class 10 as well.
Medical Resources - Following the increased number of children we have enlarged the medical room to allow for better doctor’s consultation and seating. We have appointed a full-time female nurse and a second School Counsellor to offer mental health advice and support to all our children.
University and Skills Training - 15 new students gained admission to colleges to study courses ranging from Psychology, Microbiology, Engineering, Design, Sports to BBA – in all we supported 50 students in 2020.
We recruited 210 new students in our Barrackpore Future Hope – GTTI centre despite lockdown and containment zones and started online classes. Two new sections were added – Air Conditioning and Beautician’s Training – and all equipment installed to run these courses. We resumed practical classes in Barrackpore for all eight courses.
Sports brings hope in lockdown - After seven months of lockdown and daily in-door exercises and
activities on the roof or in confined spaces, the children were delighted to be given the freedom to run and play at our own land in Rajarhat. In November, the senior students took responsibility for developing our own ground, which is now used at least four times a week to play sports and to get the children out.
On 12th February 2021, 11 months after lockdown, the government of West Bengal finally announced that Senior Schools could reopen. Primary schools, however, remain closed with no clear guidance when they will reopen. Hundreds of thousands of children have had no access to an education for an entire year, which has hit the poor hardest. We are incredibly grateful that Future Hope has been able to provide 100% of our children with on-line schooling, regular communication and care. Our staff rose to all the challenges of one of the severest lockdowns in the world and kept all homes and all operations running. We have strong teamwork as a result, with everyone taking pride in their work.
Here is a short video made by our day scholars to tell you about their year and ambitions.
For further information please visit our website www.futurehope.net