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CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN

Bringing  children  of  the  world  together

Student volunteers from all over the world have visited Aarti Home and Aarti School over the years. This has  enabled children from diverse backgrounds and cultures to interact with and learn from one another. Newer ways of learning and world views of the volunteers and the simplicity and grit of the Aarti children combine to form an eclectic mix that has created lasting and enduring bonds. These bonds were strengthened during the online interactions during the COVID lockdown.

Abhiram, Ananya and Vaanya grew up playing with Aarti children. During the pandemic they were in Kadapa and were witness to the immense suffering of their friends, who were going hungry without food at school. While they missed physically attending their respective schools, their friends were going without education and food. They called on their friends and other past volunteers at Aarti to create a group called ‘Children for Children’ and were pleasantly  surprised and thrilled to see 70 children from across the world rise up to help and take leadership in creating awareness, raising money, finding teaching material and volunteering to support physically.

Number of Child volunteers
70
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Number of Cities
17
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Countries
India, US, Dubai
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Education material raised
Worksheets, Presentations,

Videos, Video Conferences
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Number of Children Identified
923

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Number of Children Benefited

239

Their combined effort has raised funds to provide 632 children with nutritious meals including ragi malt. They also arranged to print and distribute easy to solve worksheets among the children so that they do not miss out on learning in the absence of online classes. The teachers were of great help in this effort as they corrected the worksheets. They also helped pack dry rations and toiletries to distribute amongst the needy families. The student volunteers also conducted online sessions to teach music, dance, drawing along with Math and English during the 3rd wave, when the schools were partially closed. This combined effort ensured that the students did not go hungry and there was no break in their education. 

The current challenges have morphed. Today we have girls as young as 14 being married and boys being sent to work. The volunteers on the ground are identifying the COVID orphans, visiting them to motivate them to come to school and get educated. We have reached out to 193 COVID orphans and are supporting them with scholarships. We are constantly monitoring and evaluating the progress of the children through the  heads of the schools and parents and bringing them in as stakeholders to children’s success.

We aim to reach 1000 children in need by 2023 and help preserve their childhoods.

We aim to enrol  200 child volunteers

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Abhiram says:  I have spent every summer at Aarti Home and Aarti School - playing with my friends at Aarti Home and sometimes helping the warden and teachers with things that they needed like worksheets or robotics classes. In March 2020, India went into a lockdown and I found myself at Kadapa enjoying my online school, where I had the support of my teachers on zoom calls and parents and grandparents  at home. However, my friends at Aarti School were not faring so well. They could not go to school and  this meant that they were missing out on not just education but also food as they used to eat most of their meals at school.  I felt that I needed to do something immediately for my friends who were in immediate need of food and continuing their  lessons. Over the last few years, a large number of children from across the world have come to Aarti Home and I was sure that they too felt the  need to reach out just like I did. My sisters and I along with my grandmother called a few friends together, and started Children for Children  - a place where children from all parts of the world can come together and be a part of something larger and help one another. We laid out a plan to raise money for food, buy dry rations to send to the families of Aarti children and help teachers get teaching material and worksheets. 

The response over the last two years  has been tremendous. Volunteers from across the world have come together as one to reach out, conduct classes, raise funds for food/worksheets and most importantly be there for their friends in their times of need. Vaishnavi has tutored other children and raised money, Vaanya has painted and sold glass bottles to raise money for the children here. Chandra was on the ground ensuring that we  impact Nutrition, Education and Safety. My friends from Aarti school had support in these times of need and my friends and I, who are from more privileged backgrounds, have learnt the value of grit and living through crisis with confidence.

Today, Children for Children continues as a platform for children from across the world to come together and support each other. My greatest realisation is that children from Kadapa can add as much value to children from San Fransisco  and vice versa.  

Aarti has made a big change in my life by making me realise that not everybody is as lucky as me to

1.  wake up in the morning

2.  get ready

3.  go to school with lunch

4.  play with my   friends

5. wear my pyjamas and go to sleep. You might think this is normal or even boring. When I saw that many children could not afford even one meal  I started to talk about it to my friends at school. I made organic lip balms and sold them to raise 10231 rupees. This might not seem much, but I felt good that I could make a small difference.

I love art and when I saw my anna and akka asking for help, I thought I could raise money by selling my art. I painted glass bottles and earned  2500 rupees. I spoke with my friends and they were excited and so we started speaking to our school Principal and today my school is involved by contributing painting and drawing worksheets. 

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We, Rhea and Sanya (16) heard about Aarti Home and their effort to reach children impacted by COVID. We worked with my classmates to get 4678 worksheets and raised 1100 USD for relief kits. We realised that we were a part of something much bigger than ourselves.

I am so happy that school has restarted and we are back with our teachers and friends. I love coming to school for both to meet my friends and eat   food with them. When we stopped school during COVID, we were stuck at home with little food and nothing to do. At a time when no one was allowed to do so, my school teachers came home with rice, dal and oil for not just me but my family. They gave me worksheets to do and  periodically check on me on my father’s phone. After coming back to school, we are meeting children from Delhi, Philadelphia, London virtually and teaching each other what we know. 

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Thank you for joining us!