With social distancing norms and a lockdown in India, schools are closed and students have been unable to continue with their regular learning. AIF’s Circle of Hope (CoH) team in New England has been keeping their members updated on the impact that the pandemic has had in India. Recently, the team allocated $5000 to fund a mobile learning library to support a primary, long-standing objective of AIF’s education programming: ensuring the continuity of learning among students.
AIF’s CoH members form a giving circle of women in the USA who pool their resources to help underprivileged women and girls in India. They recently connected with Dr. Swati Jha, Director of the Learning and Migration Program (LAMP), and Rowena Kay Mascarenhas, Director of Communications and Advocacy to learn more about the project’s implementation and progress. The mobile library project is a library on wheels (quite literally—think bicycles and motorcycles) to give children access to reading, writing, and most importantly, igniting their imagination.
Asha Patel, a new AIF CoH member, remarked how she loved seeing the local youths engaging and strengthening their own villages. Manisha Eckton, a New England AIF CoH member applauded the efforts of the AIF LAMP team for quickly coming up with an idea of a mobile library to ensure children are engaged with learning during COVID. “I was so touched by the efforts and care that is provided to these children during these difficult times,” she said. I loved the “mobile library” and quick implementation of it to keep children engaged and learning. It made me so proud to be a member of the AIF Circle of Hope and to participate in a small way to make a difference.”
The library has around 3000 books traveling from house to house in 30 villages in Kalahandi, Odisha. It caters to the student population who is unable to have any other means of education as COVID resulted in school closures. Youth volunteers are introducing children to these books and organizing activities for them in very small groups.
To read more about the mobile library project, click here, and to support AIF’s work by perhaps sponsoring our next library, please consider making a donation to our COVID-19 Fund https://aif.org/donate/covid-19-response/.
COH member Dr. Madhavi Reddy writes a poem in response to AIF’s LAMP program. The painting in the poem is “Lady With Books” by Neena Buxani