Saturday, March 11, 2017

Don't be afraid, come back to school!

Its been two months since Gabriel Project Mumbai (GPM) teachers first stepped into the village of Pasodipeda and frightened all the children. The children were so frightened that they ran to the nearby forest and hid.

Its not that GPM teachers were acting scary or that they were wearing terrifying outfits that frightened the children. The children ran away because they were not used to seeing strangers in their village. You see, Pasodipeda is a remote tribal village located in an even more isolated and secluded area than the 20 villages where GPM has been doing development work for the last two years. The village is so cut-off from the world around it that the children, aged 8-12 were not accustomed to seeing strangers in their village.

The teachers arrived at the behest of the Modgaon Regional Government Educational Officer. The government official heard about the GPM Love2Learn program in the area and asked GPM to consider running the Pasodipeda local government school as the current teacher was unable to continue. Seasoned GPM teacher, Anil Mahala was excited to tackle this challenge and travelled the forty minutes through winding dirt roads to Pasodipeda. Anil is exceptional in the area as he earned a Diploma of Education and he has taken over the village school as principal and teacher.

So back in the forest, parents gently convinced their children to return to classroom (“don’t be afraid, come back to school”) and gradually introduced Anil to the children.  Slowly, Anil won the hearts of
Anil and one of the classrooms at Pasodipeda
the children and the GPM-run school in the Pasodipeda village has been running with full attendance for the last month.

Learning outside can be a lot of fun
This is an exciting development for Gabriel Project Mumbai. Working closely within government educational structures, being appreciated for the innovative teaching methods and being recognized as a strong valued partner in the region is an important part of creating effective and long-lasting grassroots community development in under-served communities.

We wish Anil a lot of success in providing the children of Pasodipeda with years of fruitful and exciting learning while receiving good nutrition and quality healthcare – hallmark elements of GPM’s Love2Learn initiative.

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