“I feel far more confident now. While earlier I was shy and could barely speak up in class, now I lead the morning prayer sessions in school. I want to become a nurse when I grow up and serve my community.”

Urmila, 12, a Grade 7 student at the Sevaron-ki-Dhani Government Upper Primary school in Barmer district of Rajasthan. Like most families in her village, Urmila’s parents are seasonal migrant workers caught in a cycle of poverty. For her and her siblings a good education was impossible and the risk of child labor very real.

A first-generation learner, Urmila now attends the Learning Resource Center (LRC) to close the gap in learning deficit. Since 2003, AIF has provided 940,566 migrant children with access to quality education for an otherwise neglected population through its Learning and Migration Program (LAMP). Addressing fundamental learning deficits in early education, LAMP provides a comprehensive suite of educational interventions that together create a full spectrum of quality education opportunities. Often children, who become a part of LAMP’s classes LAMP’s classes have never experienced consistent learning and the adjustment period can be quite challenging. LAMP’s LRCs provide the tools and curriculum children need to learn basic skills like reading, writing and arithmetic, and also help them build new skills such as problem solving and critical thinking. Children, who otherwise, could not cope with regular academic curriculum, show significant improvement in their performance after attending the classes.

With a focus on Math and Science, LAMP ensures that children like Urmila, have access to learning materials, learning kits, story books in local languages, along with a dedicated full time trained Education Facilitator to support teaching and learning before and after school hours. Once shy of speaking in the class, Urmila now leads the morning prayers session at school, participates in various activities and also supports the studies of other students at the LRC. While LAMP’s focus has created a meaningful impact for migrant children and their communities, children living in remote areas of India lack similar access.

A significant area of LAMP’s focus is raising awareness and promoting discussion over the Right to Education Act, thus ensuring that parents, teachers, government officials, and community leaders are equipped with the knowledge to support their children’s education. Pivoting quickly during the pandemic, LAMP also adopted a life-cycle approach to bridge the educational divide through online, home-based, community-based learning support, and mobile libraries.

Shreya comes with thirteen years of experience in the field of communication, management, business development, marketing and advocacy, across development and private sectors. As a Board Member looking after Communication and Strategy for “Reach Out & Pass It On Foundation”, she has been a proponent of improved access to opportunities in the field of education and livelihood to the under-served communities over the last decade. She has her Masters in English Literature as well as Entrepreneurship Management and has represented her organization among cohorts of Policy and Communications leaders from across the world.

As a Dot Connector, her work experience as a communications and advocacy lead has led her to gainfully collaborate with government bodies and international organizations/entities like USAID, Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Atlas Network and WWF, employing a compelling mix of theoretical insights and analytical tools, poised to deliver critical application of communication mediation in the new media ecology.

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