WHY WE INVESTED
GEF invests in Navsarjan because of its clear focus on some of the most disadvantaged children in rural India - those from Dalit and tribal families and its' holistic perspective on education and learning. We understand that the changes in students are because Navsarjan teachers go beyond academics to encompass theater, music, public speaking, and an understanding of gender and caste-based discrimination and their rights as Dalits and girls within the learning environment of the schools every day. Finally, we invest because we see that children leave confident in their ability to advocate for themselves and others facing discrimination and passionate about continuing their education.
IMPACT TO DATE
Navsarjan teachers undertake regular evaluation of students’ progress on at least a monthly basis, and the teachers themselves are regularly evaluated.
1. Around 600 students have been educated in Navsarjan’s schools and over 1200 additional girls and boys in the linked villages have benefited from the community libraries, community theatre and other advocacy efforts with village government schools.
2. There are growing signs at the community level of improved interactions between the Dalit and non-Dalits (including local elites) as a result of the Navsarjan-established community libraries. Each library is located in a Dalit neighborhood, run by local community volunteers, and is open to all children in the community.
3. Navsarjan community activists and teachers organized meetings for parents across nearly 300 villages to advocate for education and made, organized teacher training for government teachers on the issue of discrimination and the need for improved quality of learning and worked with communities to identify out-of-school children and get them enrolled in school again.
GEF has shared potential funding opportunities with Navsarjan’s that they might seek and engaged their staff in discussions regarding their work during visits by GEF staff and Board members.
OUR FUNDING IMPACT
GEF’s investment in Navasarjan has helped to pay teachers salaries, enabled the improvement of science and math labs within the three middle schools and purchased books and other resources for numerous village libraries.
One of the most critical pieces for an organization to grow and flourish is a strong support and funding network. Where relevant, we have sought to broaden Navsarjan’s own deep networks within India and beyond.