Like millions of migrant workers in India, Ashasura Akhiyani’s parents never had a chance at receiving an education and instead pursued work migrating in the fields to earn a living. Ashasura was destined to repeat the life of her parents until AIF’s Learning and Migration Program (LAMP)
intervened in her village in Gujarat. The program provided her with an education, as well as hostel living arrangements when her parents departed for migration season.
“Coming to school is great fun,” says Ashasura. “In our classes, we get worksheets which help us to understand the concepts that the school teacher has taught us. My English has really improved.” Ashasura says she is determined to complete Class 12, and if her parents agree, she says she will go for higher studies.
Raju Chawda Valabhai, who has been working with LAMP in Gujarat’s Kutch district for the last eight years, says there has been an incredible mindset change in the local ecosystem. Earlier, he says, parents from the Koli, Rabari and Dalit communities would not send their children to
school, despite the hostel facilities and mid-day meals, and preferred to send them to work in the salt pans. Now, children from the same community are at the top of their class.
Ashasura benefits from several of the LAMP interventions, which focus on continuous high-quality education as well as community engagement and ownership of education. Primary students benefit from LAMP’s learning enrichment classes before and after school to keep students on track, while in later years continue on to ensure they stay in school through the LAMP Pathways project, run in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Human Dignity Foundation. “I will grow up and become a teacher. I want to teach children. I want more children
to benefit from LAMP classes,” beams Ashasura.