What are The Brickfield Schools?
Throughout India there are thousands of brickfields – open air factories where clay bricks are made by hand. Most of the workers are migrants who, with their children, spend up to eight months of the year in these dusty fields. There is no formal education provided for these children due to the migratory nature of these families.
The Brickfield Schools program started in 2007. These schools are very unique as they are open air schools and set up under the shades of trees. Each school has a trunk in which all the materials for setting up the school are kept. Every morning the teachers carry the trunk to the school area, take out the learning materials and hang them on a string to create a temporary open air class. With limited resources, these schools provide education for the brickfield children 5 days a week, 3 hours a day. These schools are so important, without them the migrant children would not receive any education at all. Their opportunities in life are drastically improved by education. This project aims to break the cycle these families are in. The NGO KMWSC (Kolkata Mary Ward Social Center) administers these projects.
“This project aims to break the cycle these families are in.”
Initially, we thought of distributing the bags to children belonging to Group B (5-9 Years) and Group C (9+ and above). Though, later we realized that in some Brickfields, it is difficult to differentiate between the age groups of the children as they are treated equally. In the end, we gave all the children bags, even though some of the smallest kids are practically swimming in their backpacks.
We are really happy to be able to give these kids backpacks. By providing school bags, the children have a place to safely keep their school materials. Having this posesion for themselves connected to school makes education a more important part of their lives in a way. Many thanks to all of our loyal customers, without you we couldn’t have supported this great cause in such a way.
Evaluation reveals positive impact of the project!
We recently spoke to the Kolkata Mary Ward Social Centre and asked them how everyone was enjoying their backpacks. It turns out that the kids really loved the bags and that they even encouraged them to attend classes regularly. Not only did the attendance rate of current students improve, but the Brickfields School Initiative saw an increase of students the following year.
Thank you for buying a bag that not only makes you happy but also the world around you!