Located in the Ashapura Nagar slum in Bhuj, Gujarat, the HOPE Foundation School provides a high quality, comprehensive education for children in Bhuj. Built in response to the earthquake in the Kutch District that killed 20,000 people in 2001, the school proudly teaches 319 children from junior kindergarten to 8th grade, with hopes of expanding to the 10th grade in the future.
Thanks to the support of Children’s Hope India, the Redland Green School in Bristol, England, SAP Labs and individual donors, the earthquake-resistant school has set up state-of-the-art facilities to make learning fun and interactive for the students, including Wi-Fi, video conferencing equipment, smart classrooms, a computer lab, a science lab and intuitive learning software for English, Science and Math lessons.
And on Saturdays, the school runs several extracurricular clubs where students can participate in activities such as gardening, yoga, dancing, singing, mathematics, and arts and crafts. To encourage the students, the school also has weekly and monthly awards to recognize good behaviour, discipline, attendance, punctuality, team play, class performance and more.
Advanced technology at the school has enabled the Bhuj School to partner with the Redland Green School for online lessons in Geography, Art, English, Science and other projects. The pupils enjoy interacting with each other, and this interaction has been enhanced by British pupils visiting the Bhuj School over the years. The partnership between the two schools has enabled the Redland Green School to qualify for the International School Award. See the British Council website for more details.
Given its low school tuition fee, the HOPE Foundation School is grateful for the donations and support that has allowed it to be an unparalleled school for children in the area; however, ongoing funding is necessary in order maintain and sustain these resources and facilities for the students.
Most of the students’ parents work as daily wage laborers, auto-rickshaw drivers and street food vendors whose average monthly incomes are between 5000 to 6000 rupees per month (approximately £53 – £63), which is considered below the poverty level in the area. For some families who come from rural backgrounds, sending children to school is a new idea, for others, letting their daughters go to school is not an option. Many young women get married or engaged as young as 12.
But thanks to its low fees and quality education, the HOPE Foundation school in Bhuj is dedicated to giving its students and families the chance for a better future.
Click to meet Mushkan, a former student who is now a teacher at the school.