It has only been six months since the opening of Jagriti Academy Ballia in India but the changes to the lives of those in Ballia have been extraordinary.
The commitment of the Ballia community towards the academy and its wider projects has been greater than ever imagined. The people have embraced the initiatives as their own, as they see and experience an inspiring transformation taking place in their own lives.
The children enrolled in Jagriti Academy Ballia are all first generation learners, and many are the first in their families to attend school. They look forward to attending after having previously spent their days working alongside their parents. The opportunity for the children to receive a meal at school each day is also greatly valued by families.
Jagriti Academy Ballia teachers recently undertook training sessions with New Zealand qualified teachers who shared tips and teaching practices to contribute towards the local educator’s skill set.
Teachers, support staff and community members consider the school their own and the impact of this is seen in their own families as well as the children, parents and families of Jagriti Academy Ballia.
Employment opportunities have also been created for the wider community with locals forming working teams to take ownership of the many parts of the growing community hub.
“The commitment of the school construction, cleaning, maintenance, grounds, cooking, tradesmen and security teams is something to behold,” said Jagriti Foundation Founder Selena Fox.
“The community has adopted the school as their own and it has become the central hub of learning, support, community and opportunity for children, parents and village community members alike.”
Desks are currently being made for the children to study at, with the work being taken up by men in the community who have cherished the opportunity to develop new skills, obtain employment and be a part of the school that is supporting their children.
The children are embracing the new experiences they encounter each day at school - learning, reading, singing, using pencils and notebooks, wearing a uniform and having a desk to sit at each day.
“It is an honour and a privilege to support the village, the families and the children of Ballia. No words were needed, the smiles of the children and their families said it all,” said Fox.