Monday, May 9, 2016

Love2Learn Village Education Program celebrates its first year anniversary

A thousand people gathered in April to celebrate the completion of the first year of the GPM Love2Learn village educational initiative. The festive “Annual Day” occasion, an inaugural celebration that was attended by teachers, students, families and dignitaries, included award presentation of four “Best Teacher” awards, recognition of local government educational support, a keynote address from Dr. Rathod, the Head of the District Government medical services, and performances by the children.
The GPM Love2Learn  educational initiative provides schooling to children in 20 villages in the Palghar district north of Mumbai. Love2Learn partners with local community resources in providing groundbreaking rural education, accessible health care and vital nutrition program to 500 children in 20 underserved villages. In the coming school year, the program will be expanding by 20% to serve 600 children.

"Children, you have a terrific opportunity with the Love2Learn program and GPM to expand your academic horizons, grow healthy and achieve many great things." Dr Rathod said, speaking directly to the children. "With the tools available to you now, you can acquire knowledge and contribute back to your village communities and the district".

Twenty different groups of children from the Adivasi  (Warli) Tribe, a historically neglected and marginalized sector, gave outstanding drama, dance, and musical performances.

“The performances were beautiful, and an incredible achievements for these wonderful children,” said GPM Love2Learn Director Thaiza Dias. “This was the first time that these tribal children performed on stage in front of their teachers and parents. The beautifully colorful and entertaining performances are indicative of the amazing progress the children and their dedicated teachers have achieved in only just one year. It was a very proud moment for all of us.” 

Residents of the Shilonda villages face many educational, medical, nutritional and financial challenges. This GPM initiative, in collaboration with Adavasi Vikas Kendra, Sundara and Humble Smile Foundation, helps bolster the children’s educational opportunities by offering them innovative development initiatives and progressive learning pedagogies. The program also offers advanced farming education for adult members of the community, small-holder farmers in the district.

Four teachers received “Best Teachers” award: Ms. Nita Dhangda and Mr. Anil Mahala  received “Teacher of Excellence in All round Performance”. Ms. Kamal Rayat and Ms Harshada Savar  received “Best teacher in Academics”. These local teachers have played an invaluable role in advancing the children’s success.

“We look forward to expanding the Love2Learn program to other undeserved villages” said GPM Founding Director  Jacob Sztokman. “We aim to deepen the impact ‬on the welfare of the children and the entire community next year and years to come.”
Love2Learn Annual Day banner

Some of the Love2Learn teachers singing to the children

A tribal dance performance

A skit by one of the classes about the environment

A great pic of some of the children and GPM staff

Everyone dance!

Unofficial 'after party'