I would like to introduce M.A.D , standing for Make A Difference.
M.A.D is project created in Cochin, India by second year's college students who saw a large disparity in the way rich and the poor learned. They realized the Indian educational system was creating a huge gap since the early years of a child's life and with time, growing just bigger.
Their vision: “To bridge the inequality in society through education.”
As a matter of fact, India has one of the highest drop out rates in the world. Even though over 70% of the children enroll for primary education, 72% of them would have dropped out by the time they reach standard 10. But being first generation learners, education is most critical for this 72%.
The biggest reason this happens is because of money. Most children are taken care of only until the age of 15, after which they are on their own. The education they receive is therefore very basic and provides them with no specific skills, which forces them into doing menial jobs for a living.
Second, and more important reason why even the children who are sponsored can't cope up is the lack of quality education. Children go to schools where the medium of instruction is in the vernacular language till 10th. But after 10th, the medium is compulsorily in English and most jobs have English language proficiency as one of its basic requirement. The bridge here is the English language.
MAD's goal is to make sure the underprivileged children are brought into the main stream so they can chose their careers based on their potential and interests and not their money constraints.
MAD provides an 5 level program English course of 100 hours each. Every year the children go through 56 interactive classes of two hour duration. By the end of the 5th level the child’s communication skills will be at par with a private school student. MAD has an active placements program that runs side by side to keep the children aware of their career options and keep them motivated to study harder. Also, they have initiated their computer program in Cochin where they have computers in the ratio 6:1 installed in every centre which means every child will get half an hour of computer class every day.
MAD's aim is to ensure a 100% retention rate in Indian schools. Currently they work in 11 districts in India with over 800 volunteers, teaching 2500 children. They plan to reach out to 10,000 children in the coming year.
You can visit their website here.