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Founded by us, Yoga Mission is a unique and pioneering charity which is initiating enlightened social and economic change through education. It runs the International Chandramauli Charitable Trust, a school offering a high quality education to the children that society forgot, a school that takes the very poorest children in the very poorest state of India, and gives them the tools they need to turn their lives, and the lives of their families, around.
The children have never played a competitive cricket match before and we have organised their first match which will be a team representing the residential kids and a team representing the after school "school" children. Very exciting for the children.
We were struck by the number of children who had slipped through the state education system and ended up on the scrap heap, sentenced to a life of poverty from such a young age. We decided to do something about it. We rented a room and started teaching these children with the aim of returning them to mainstream school. In the space of a few years, this one room has grown into the International Chandramauli Trust, a school in Varanasi spread over five floors, which has 150 pupils on its books, including 29 residents.
What makes Chandramauli special is its philosophy. The holistic model of education not only provides children with the educational tools they need to further themselves professionally, but gives them an identity and a purpose by rooting them in their history and instilling in them the basic decent values of their own Vedic culture. They leave with a profound sense of both where they have come from, and where they want to go – most staying in their own community to help effect the change. Chandramauli takes in the very poorest children, the outcasts that society forgot. They educate them, house them, clothe them and show them how to lead a life with dignity and respect, and how to play a valuable role in a changing society.
We are hoping to raise £2150, which, amazingly, will be enough to run the after school "school" for a year with more than 150 children registered and typically more than 80 children attending daily. School runs 3-7pm 6 days a week all year round. It is supplemented with various workshops. The team consists of about ten teachers who all work part-time. Many of the teachers themselves were students here and have been involved with the project for many years. Most of the teachers are female providing inspiring role models for the girls here and also encourage greater numbers of girls to attend. We want to introduce worksheets this year which would work out at 1p per child per day which would work out at £365 based on 100 children.
There are loads of ways to show your support, but the quickest and the one which will involve you getting the least sweaty is to donate! Anything you can contribute is very much appreciated, and you can be sure in supporting such a small scale charity, that every penny goes directly to where it is needed.
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