One of the most important aspects of our project is the Child Sponsorship. Every year, we select a few deserving and needy children. In 2017, we have 28 kids and the number is growing each year.
How do we choose the Kids?
We are in touch with the local schools, teachers and village elders who help us locate a needy child. Being a small village it is easier to get information about deserving kids. Once we get the name, we do a complete background check to ensure that the family is truly unable to bear the cost of Education. We then invite the child to spend time with us at the Trekker’s hut. Once we find the child ‘suitable’, we recommend them for Sponsorship.
After selection for Sponsorships, we visit their house to meet the parents. We make them understand the commitment and value of the Sponsorships. The Sponsorship is finalised only after the family accepts our terms.
Who are these children?
These children come from poor homes. The parents of these children mostly work as farm hands or as casual labourer breaking stones, porters etc. Most of them are illiterate and unable to support their child’s education. Some of our kids were earlier working as extra labour (many still do so during school vacations for pocket money). As the parents work, many students also help with household chores, cooking, cleaning and taking care of smaller kids. Most of them live on rent in a one/ two room shack.
How long do I need to Sponsor?
The Sponsorships are on a long-term basis.
A School year is from Class 01 to Class 12 besides 03 years of Kindergarten.
A child joins school when he/she is 03 years old and is admitted to the Nursery class followed by Lower Kindergarten (also LKG and sometimes referred as KG-I) and Upper Kindergarten (UKG or KG-II). After Kindergarten classes, one studies for 12 years from class 01 to Class 12 before joining the University.
In Class 10 & Class 12, the students appear for a major exam called the Board exam. These exams are on a state level OR All India Level – depending on the school’s affiliation with the board of Education – each state has it’s own board and there is a Central Board of Education CBSE as well. Most children drop out at this level or just before this.
After the Class 10 boards, the child chooses the stream of study e.g., Science, Commerce or Humanities. For Science, one needs a high score in board exams. Most children drop out at this level, as competition is tough.
After Class XII, the sponsor can choose if he/ she wants to pay for University education that is relatively cheaper than higher secondary classes.
What does the Sponsorship pay for?
Through Sponsorship, we pay for the school fee, books & stationery and tuitions. Once sponsored, the child becomes a member of the Integrated Learning Centre (ILC). This is where they get extra tutoring/ help with their studies. We are also available to them to discuss their problems amongst other things besides studies. Together we discuss problems, try to find solutions, organise various extracurricular activities like painting, singing competition, dance competition, football etc.
Why Sponsor a child with Unbound Futures Foundation? What are UFF’s responsibilities?
- Each academic year, we hold at least two meetings with all the parents and the tutors to discuss problems during the school year. We also call meetings whenever necessary sometimes at the behest of the parents as well.
- We also keep a ‘check’ on the families to ensure that the Child is well fed and there is no abuse in the house. Alcoholism is a major problem in the valley. Drugs are cheap and more common in adolescents. We ensure that the family tries to save and provide for the house.
- If the child or the parents is found to misuse the sponsorships e.g., parents getting drunk and not coming for meetings with us or at the school parent-teacher meet Or, the performance of the child has been dismissal; e.g., failing in the class for two consecutive years. In such cases, we cancel the sponsorship of the child and it goes to a more deserving candidate. It is a heartbreakingly difficult thing to do, but we want to make SURE that the money does not go waste and THAT it is being valued & put to good use. Yes, we have cancelled a few sponsorships.
- We email all the academic year reports with information about the child.
- The Children also write atleast twice a year to the sponsor. It is up to the Sponsor to maintain the communication. We also prefer to have the probable Sponsors visit us in Bijanbari and spend some time with us and the Child.
- Photos of the children are posted every now and then on Facebook; also by the volunteers present at the Hut. Sponsors can also write to us or to the Volunteers for information.
- We try to meet any additional request of the child, parents or the Sponsor as much as possible.
- If you would like to find out more or are considering becoming a sponsor, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org