Education: a fundamental right
Education is a fundamental Human right whom every child should benefit. Learning to read, write and count is the basis of all school education, allowing children to become the adults of tomorrow.
Indira Ghandi (1917-1984):
“Education is a liberating force and today it is also a democratisation force which removes the castes and classes’ barriers and reduces inequalities imposed by the birth and the circumstances of the life”.
Education’s disparities in India
Even though in 2010 India passed a law regarding education Right guaranteeing the right to get a free and compulsory education for every child from 6 to 14. Today, 50 million of children from 6 to 11 are still illiterate and 50 % of them leave school at 10.
This rate varies :
- Depending on areas : poor children living in rural areas are less likely to be able to go to school.
- Depending on castes : Dalits (untouchable castes) are often step aside from the educational system.
- Depending on gender : only 40% of girls continue to go to school after the age of 10 while the percentage of boys decreases much less.
However, as a UNESCO Education Officer once again affirmed on the occasion of the International Literacy Day in New Delhi: "No social progress can occur without the education of women."
The main obstacles to the girls’ education
This disparity in education is mainly due to :
76% of the population live with less than 2 euros per day (UNESCO, 2005), most of literacy parents consider school as a loss of time, without any utility. Children’s work represents a source of income for the families and a useful workforce is the countryside.
Even if the school is free, scholarship is a cost (purchase of the uniform, school supplies...) and a loss of workforce.
2. Prejudices and socio-cultural traditions are still strong and lead to discrimination against women.
55% of girls are getting married before the age of 18. This also means the end of education before becoming a housewife.
In rural areas, school are sometimes far from the place of living, distance can be daunting, especially under strong sun’s heat. The high risk of mugging is also a problem for girls during the journey home-school.
In this context, the boarding school of Sainte Catherine offers a real chance for young girls coming from rural tributes of North India to further their education.
It counts 176 students studying at the high school girls of Sainte Catherine.
A room to study
Today our buildings are adequate but unfortunately, we still require a study room where students could study in the evening. They currently use the science room of the school which is quite far from the boarding school. In fact, it is not easy to go there in the evening. Sometimes, this room is used for other needs and so boarders can’t access the room.
To provide good study conditions to young girls, we would like to retrofit the dining room to use it both for studying and eating.
Now, students sit on the floor to study and eat. We would like to provide them desks to improve the working conditions to study.
In order to convert this room, we would need:
- 1. To rebuild the floor by using strong tiles. (Some parts are damaged.)
- Two windows and a door for security questions.
- To open an access door to bring food.
- To repaint the room.
- To buy 36 benches and desks
Help us to give a quality education to young girls of Raikia!
Maria Goretti Senapati DC
I am Daughter Maria Goretti, and I'm the handmaid sister of the Raikia community in India.
This house is situated in Odisha district where a religious persecution took place in 2008.
My community counts 13 sisters considered as young Girls coming from minority tributes. We look after a nursery for orphan babies, a health centre of 20 beds, and a boarding school of 176 students. We also have a parochial activity in the surrounding villages. We host groups of Vincentian Marian Youth and the association “Holy Childhood".
The last 20 supports
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