The Lambs for Literacy Project, was our biggest one to date. Raising $3000.00, we teamed up with our friends at Gramiksha to construct a library & resource centre to be used by 300+ Children in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. We began with a worn down room, a lot of big ideas, & a dream for literacy...
The vision for the Gramiksha Resource Centre & Lambs for Literacy Project sprouted from a conversation between Shubham, founder at Gramiksha & me, Bobbi from Tribe of Lambs. We wanted to work on a new project that would carry on well into the future. Shubham explained that it is not government regulation to have library’s in schools, among other issues resulting in lack lustre education for India’s government school children. I found this shocking as illiteracy is undeniably a key component in the cycle of poverty. I looked back on my own education and realized how we lucky we are for the level and vibrancy of public education in Canada. The tribe agreed unanimously, we were in. And with Gramiksha by our side, embodying their mottos of “Peace through Education” & “Building the India of our Dreams”, we knew it would be a success.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
After successfully reaching our $3000.00 goal and completing our first year of business, I travelled back to India. Meeting the Gramiksha team in Gwalior was confirmation we had choosen the right project. After visiting the site school and meeting some of the children we sat down to discuss our goals for the Library. Ours were simple – to inspire literacy and education in India. One of the team leads Shriyansh broke down their view;
“We want to create a resource centre, not only a library. Students, along with teachers, will come from ALL government schools in the district. Everyone will be able to access the centre. We want to provide resources to underprivileged students and encourage learning that is creative, interactive & fun.”
The team already had most of the construction and remodelling under way. The room we were provided with had peeled paint, electricity glitches, water damage, barred windows, along with faulty shutters, fans, doors & a cement floor. All issues were resolved, carpets laid, and the next few days we began to add colour & structure to the space which was becoming dear to us all.
In the west we are accustomed to a certain standard of living, with a high quality of education included. However, government school children in India are offered very little in terms of education. As a result, there are high statistics of illiteracy & dropouts. The tenacity of the volunteers and excitement from the children started to make it clear just how valuable this project would be to the community.
The room began to take shape quickly as a result of many hard working volunteers juggling university studies, exams and personal lives to put in the tireless hours.
We had murals painted...
As we shifted from this,
Interest was not limited to the school and educational community. The local press was following our progress quite closely as this library and resource centre would be the first of it’s kind in the whole city.
In a true test of passion & commitment we completed the brunt of the work in 6 days. After it was all said and done we had included the following
- New molding & base paint on walls and ceiling
- New Fan
- New ventilation
- New window shutters
- New base carpet
- 20 individual coloured carpets
- New doors
- 5 custom metal bookshelves
- 4 educational walls including world map, four seasons, solar system, food chain diagram, shapes, traffic signals, mural wall, inspirational wall in Hindi & English & an interactive wall
- Over 700 educational & engaging books in Hindi & English for students and teachers
- 6 educational games including science, math, memory, letters & numbers
- 5 interactive diagrams
- 1 interactive flower clock
- 1 Rocky the Reading Turtle
- A computer and desk were provided by the school board
The media returned...
The Gwalior City Head joined for the inauguration...
And most importantly, the children came to read.
We want to thank all who contributed and supported us in Lambs for Literacy, with a special thanks to the students at Big Rock School in Okotoks, Alberta. The Gramiksha Resource Centre will be inspiring education and reading for years to come. A big shout out to Shriyansh, Aman, Soumya, Niveshi, Shreshtha, Shubhaam, Shreyal, Stuti, Shreya, Rakshit & the extended team on this project. You truly are building the India of our Dreams.
Much love from Bobbi, Dani & Phil ♥