Smile Foundation’s Mission Education Program: Avenue for CSR Partnership
Socio-economic progress of a nation depends on how literate its citizens are. Though there has been a six fold improvement in the literacy rate since independence, yet the current literacy figure is lower than the average world literacy rate of 84%. 17.7 million children are currently out of school! With such a sluggish rate of improvement, India can achieve universal literacy only by 2060. Besides, there is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India with low female literacy. Lack of a good or no educational infrastructure in rural areas and slum regions and dearth of trained teachers add to the crisis. The situation is grim!
Despite implementation of government programs including the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’, India is still a far way to go in terms of literacy. It is the underprivileged children in remotes rural areas and slum dwellings who are the most deprived of education. And school dropout is a common issue in these areas. If the children of today are not educated and trained well, how can they, as tomorrow’s citizens assist in nation building?
Smile Foundation’s Mission Education program
Smile Foundation has been proactively involved in multitude of activities directed towards economical, social, and moral upliftment of the underprivileged and downtrodden in India, especially in the areas of education, healthcare, women empowerment, and skill development.
Smile Foundation believes education is both the means as well as the end to a better life. It empowers an individual to not only evolve as a better citizen but also pursue livelihood opportunities. The NGO has set up Mission Education centres in the remotest rural areas and slum regions across India. These centres impart education to underprivileged children who are under difficult circumstances, encompassing child labour, children of poorest of the parents, children inflicted and affected with HIV/AIDS, street and runaway children, children with rare disabilities, disaster struck children, slum children, and more.
Special emphasis is given on girl education and women education, so that they and their families get empowered.
Improvement in the quality of education imparted would only mean creation of better individuals. A well-designed education model has been implemented in the Smile Mission Education centres ever since the start. While all teachers involved are trained to nurture the educational needs of each child according to and beyond the curriculum, priority is laid on the holistic development of the children. Besides the academic curriculum, students are encouraged to participate in workshops related to art, debate, drama, etc. Going by the present and futuristic trends in education, the NGO has introduced digital education in most of its centres across India.
Smile Foundation’s educational initiatives include:
Pre-school [3-6 yrs]
Non Formal Education [6-14 yrs non-school going]
Remedial Education [6-14 yrs school going]
Bridge Course [14-18 yrs drop-outs].
CSR Avenues for Smile Foundation’s Mission Education program
Organizations partnering with Smile Foundation can collectively help the nation in qualitatively improving its literacy rate. CSR is a part of strategic decision making in many an organization directed towards welfare of the community. It is about creating a positive impact in the society while doing business. Because only govt. initiatives for a better India aren’t the solution! Organizations through CSR activities can not only help in create a literate India but also enhance their brand identity in the process.
Partnering with organizations, Smile has been able to impart quality education to lakhs of underprivileged children in India. CSR partnership can go a long way in empowering the children and youth of India. Organizations, through their CSR participation with Smile, can help in the set up of more Mission Education centres across India. Lakhs of more children can be empowered to lead better lives in the future and add to the socio economic development of the nation.
Besides, empowered citizens of India can also participate in shaping India’s future.
Since 2002, over 200,000 underprivileged children from across the length and breadth of rural and urban India have directly benefitted from Smile Foundation’s Mission Education program. The count is only increasing by the day.
In 2017 alone, 21,346 children were directly provided education through 120 centers in 21 states. 100% children received regular nutrition and health care support. 50% of the total beneficiaries enrolled were girl children, to ensure a fair start for all. 100% teachers received training in innovative teaching skills.
Corporate organizations and empowered individuals joining hands for the cause for a ‘Literate India, Better India’, and ‘Education of the Poorest of the Poor’ through the Smile Foundation’s Mission Education program can help create an impact the big way. 17.7 million children being currently out of school is a huge number! Working together towards educationally empowering these children, thereby creating responsible citizens of the 21st century, is what Smile Foundation aspires. Collectively, the impossible can be made possible!