Bags for Bags
Thanks you for buying a bag that not only makes you happy but also the world around you! As a brand we find it important to give back and support local projects in the area which we operate. Thanks to our growth, this was the first time we were able to make such a big donation of 3000 backpacks! We know that giving in developing countries can be a controversial subject and we are happy to generally support trade vs. aid. After visiting the project and carefully assessing the partnership, we decided to do it.
Just a little reminder; what were the Brickfield schools again?
Throughout India there are thousands of brickfields – open air factories where clay bricks are made by hand. Most of the workers are migrants who, with their children, spend up to eight months of the year in these dusty fields. There is no formal education provided for these children due to the migratory nature of these families.
The Brickfield Schools program started in 2007. The schools are no doubt very unique as they are open air schools and set up under the shades of trees. Each school has a trunk in which all the materials for setting up the school are kept. Every morning the teachers of the school carry the trunk to the school area. They take out the teaching learning materials and hang them on a string to create the temporary open air class. With these very limited resources these schools provide education for the brickfield children 5 days a week, 3 hours a day. These schools are so important, without them the migrant children would not receive any education at all. Their chances in life improve by education, aiming to break the cycle these families are in. The NGO KMWSC (Kolkata Maryward Social Center) administers these projects.
One of the successes of this program is the ability to prepare the children for a mainstream education. 56 children have been admitted into local Government Schools, which they otherwise would not have been eligible for. These school programs currently reach over 60 Brickfields and touches 3000 children.
Initially, we thought of distributing the bags to children belonging to Group B (5-9 Years) and Group C (9+ and above). Though, later we realized that in some Brickfields, it is difficult to differentiate between different age groups of children as we treat children equally. So all children of any age received the bags, even though some of the smallest kids can almost swim in the backpack.
We are really happy we can give these kids a backpack. By providing school bags, the children have a place to safely keep their school materials. This way they have something for themselves that makes school a more important and central part of their lives. So many thanks again, without you we couldn’t make the difference.
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