Sunday, 25 October 2015

..when those beautiful smiles appeared all over..!

At MANTRA, we understand that education and health cannot be seen in isolation. Health education is an integral part of education. And hence, we conduct regular awareness sessions for our school children on various preventive healthcare topics, like hygiene, sanitation, how to prevent malaria & dengue etc. This also helps us build great rapport with our students.

After one of such sessions, Shalini, a 12 year old girl from grade 7th at one of our partner Govt schools came to us and hesitantly, asked us some questions around menstruation. She had got her first 'period' a week back and her mind was full of confusing questions. Afraid to ask her mother at home, she had only discussed this with one of her elder cousin sisters, who herself did not have answers to all questions. We knew we had to address this.

So, we contacted Aunna at Pasand
They have a well-defined program for students to 'understand puberty and personal hygiene, examine gender norms and to be safe and happy on their journey through adolescence'. She readily agreed to conduct the 3-day workshop for our children at the school. 

Students loved the session. There were so many things they were being told for the first time. They felt relaxed after knowing that menstruation was a normal occurrence for any girl/woman and that they were not facing an unknown. The activities during the workshop was fun-filled. Gradually the girls started finding it less awkward and less uncomfortable to talk openly with the facilitator. Questions started pouring in. 

We repeatedly tell our students it is important to understand what is happening and why is it happening; More importantly, they should call out for help whenever they need it. Ignorance is definitely not bliss under such circumstances. Knowledge gives confidence and confidence is indispensable to one's life. As our girls shed their veils of embarrassment, they became more candid and gradually, the room was filled with those beautiful smiles all over again. 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Bengaluru Marathon 2015 and MANTRA's Run2Liberate

18 Oct 2015:

It was a beautiful Sunday morning and the City of Bengaluru woke up to thousands of running enthusiasts participating in the Bengaluru Marathon 2015. People have different reasons to run at such events; some run for pleasure, some run to test their fitness etc. At MANTRA, we ran for the cause of quality education reaching all those amazing and awesome students, studying in under-resourced, low-fee schools. We had our 'Run2Liberate'*.

Two members of team MANTRA participated in the Half Marathon (21 KMs) to spread awareness about the issue of quality education for the less-privileged and to raise funds for our Target (Pre-service community teacher training) program. We understand that what started as a program to create a pool of effective teachers for our students in the under-privileged community had today turned into a skill-building and empowering experience for the (educated) youth in the community. And hence, we took it upon ourselves to raise the required resources and to continue this program for many more batches of community teachers.

We reached out to our supporters, friends and family to contribute to this cause. And today we stand overwhelmed with their support..! Thanks to our awesome supporters whose faith in us has and would always continue to encourage us to test & expand our limits, whether physical or intellectual.

* Run2Liberate: MANTRA's crowd-source fundraising campaign to support its pre-service community teacher training program

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Sowparnika Foundation partners with MANTRA

"Creating a better world requires teamwork, partnerships, and collaboration, as we need an entire army of companies to work together to build a better world within the next few decades. This means organizations must embrace the benefits of cooperating with one another." - Simon Mainwaring
At MANTRA, we are glad to announce that Sowparnika Foundation, headed by Mr. and Mrs. S.D. Shibulal, has partnered with us. Under this partnership, we will be implementing STEP (School Transformation and Empowerment Project) - our key initiative, in ten low-fee schools in Bangalore, serving children from the under-privileged sections of our society over next two years.
Mr. and Mrs. Shibulal's love for children and the need to give back to society has found fruition in a number of charitable endeavours, like the Advaith Foundation, the Samhita AcademyVidyadhan etc. Born out of the conviction that quality education is the cornerstone of all developmental progress in society, Sowparnika Foundation was formed to promote philanthropic exercises in the field of education and research. 
STEP is MANTRA's key initiative to improve the quality of education in under-resourced schools. To know more about STEP, please click here.