2019 has definitely been a milestone year because of the challenges and the success we’ve had. Working at the grassroots has its own unique brick walls which have to become part of the solution. This year our programmes had many changes and expansions.
The first half of the year is highlighted by our participation in the TCS World 10K Marathon in Bangalore. Five female football players from Haliyal whose education and training is supported by CherYsh at St. Aloysius, Mangalore came down to participate in the marathon to raise funding for the Shikshas, to give forward the support they have received to the students of the villages in Haliyal. A passionate group of runners, who call themselves Love For Run and many individual runners also supported our work in Haliyal through their run and raised funds.
With regard to our Shiksha Project, we started Phase II of the project as a part of which 20 more Shiksha centres were opened. This expanded our project to a total of 58 Shikshas in 44 villages. It widened our reach to over 2700 children. We partnered with the Meghshala Foundation and this academic year, our Shikshas have been using the Meghshala app and its study modules. They are based on the Karnataka school syllabus and fun learning methods to help the students perform better at school while also improving their learning skills.
A host of training’s were held for our Learning Facilitators to improve their teaching skills and knowledge. Peer training sessions were held to encourage cross learning. In-house training’s were also held to guide the learning facilitators on planning their weekly teaching schedule, this also helped to streamline the lessons being covered for all grades, from 1st to 8th standard.
The Livelihood groups, have also had a year full of growth and achievements. The Mundwad Sugarcane Bud nursery group started the year off with a successful first season. The all-women group run the business successfully with high quality outputs that sold very well. They created employment in their village, created a source of income for themselves, paid back loans and created a decision making role for these women in their households. Apart from this, the venture had a positive impact on the women; they became more confident of their abilities, they become recognised in their village and inspired other women to achieve more as well. The women’s group also became a support system for each other when it came to personal and work life.
The Mundwad Shawls and Stoles group started their second round of production. The aim was to step into the market to expand the entrepreneurial unit. CherYsh partnered with A Hundred Hands, an NGO the supports handmade art and crafts. The group had a stall at their annual exhibition ‘The Handmade Collective’. Their products were well received making their first exposure to the market a success. They also put up a stall at Global Foundries for their CSR week. These have helped the group understand the importance of marketing with regard to a business venture. They are motivated to expand their business by taking control of the marketing aspect and learn as they go.
‘Information Communication Technology(ICT) for Rural Education’ Project – It was a three month project that was funded by Intel Corporation.During this period 20 women from the villages of Haliyal were trained in ICT. This knowledge will be used to set up entrepreneurial units that provide online services to residents of the villages. The training’s covered basics The training has been completed, assessments have been done and two trainees who have performed exceptionally well will be setting up two pilot Online Service Kendras in their villages.
This project will have a two fold impact- the villagers will get easy access to information and services, within their own village. This will bring down the money spent on simple services by reducing the number of trips they make to the closest town while creating a source of income for the female entrepreneur within her village. The applications for such skill is endless, once the female entrepreneur has set up a centre she can also assist the local government school with digital teaching aids and many other things.
Partnerships – We have collaborated with Deshpande Foundation, Hubli on our Shiksha and Livelihood projects. Our Phase II Shiksha centres are also ‘Skill in Village’ centres which focus on higher grades. Along with Deshpande Foundation, we have set a goal of creating more livelihood groups through our collaboration in the next year. Through this, and the Skill in Village centres, we hope to expand and deepen our reach in Haliyal with this collaboration.