What We Do
Reconstruction of Schools
Within every community, there are institutions that carry more weight than just their normal functions. Schools are perfect examples of these. Schools occupy a special status within every community and position them to become ‘safe havens’. Thus, in the aftermath of a disaster, education services are one of the most important ways to restore the sense of routine to the community. It plays a key role in facilitating psychological healing of children and adolescents through peer interaction and a sense of normalcy. The reconstruction process is an opportunity not just to restore what was lost, but to help the community build their resilience to better withstand future emergencies.
Among all public amenities, schools and the children inside them are among the most vulnerable groups during any disaster. Thousands of children lose their lives every year in deadly disasters, mostly while attending classes. No task is more important as creating a safe learning environment for our children. Children need not be mere recipients of emergency aid or risk reduction support. They can be leaders and agents of change for a culture of disaster safety.
Our school safety program includes formation of training and capacity building task forces of students in schools, conducting mock drills, interactive learning material like games, bookmarks, posters etc., workshops for students promoting school safety and developing disaster management plans and evacuation maps in schools.
Buildings As Learning Aids (BALA)
School campuses offer the basic facilities, amenities and infrastructure necessary to conduct education programmes, but usually miss out on the physical environment. This is not generally appealing or stimulating to the children who attend them, contributing to student apathy, low motivation and a marked disinclination to attend school.
Through BALA, we aim to create a three-dimensional space that offers a unique setting for a child to learn because it can introduce a multiple sensory experience into the otherwise uni-sensory textbook or a blackboard transacted by a disinterested teacher.
Education for Girl
Women in India have always received the short end of the stick in all aspects of life. A task as simple and basic as defecation has become life threatening. In May 2014 two teenage girls in Uttar Pradesh visiting a field used as a communal toilet were raped, murdered and strung up from a tree. That case won notoriety for its extreme barbarity, but similar attacks are distressingly common. Even schools in India that are supposed to be safe spaces for children to learn and grow mostly have just one single toilet for both boys and girls. Girls do not prefer to use them as it does not provide them with any privacy; they also end up being subjected to harassment and eve teasing by the opposite sex if they use the common toilet. To avoid this, little girls in schools hold their bladders for long periods of time which is not only uncomfortable but also increases their risks of infections. Adolescent girls skip school during mensuration and eventually drop out as harassment and eve teasing only increases with age.
All schools built by SEEDS have separate toilet units for girls. We also believe that it is equally important to educate the children and staff on the importance of maintaining and keeping the toiles clean. Building toilets in schools has proven to increase girls’ enrolment rates by 11 %. We also work with communities, grass root organisations as well as the government and help sensitize them towards the harassment faced by young girls in public spaces on their way to school. A community led approach is taken to encourage them to find solutions to this problem and take appropriate steps to create a safer environment for girls both inside and outsides schools.