Piali Ashar Alo
The Piali Ashar Alo School is a result of years-long dreams and hard work. We have planted the seed and it has sprouted. Help us to make it grow into a beautiful flower. Do not forget that these children have no possibilities to get rid of the poverty they were born into without our help. Thank you.«
How can you help?
Older children and village women make kerchiefs and earrings that you can buy in our Gallery A.C.V. – Vindol in Podčetrtek. So in addition to the money from donors, children collect some of the money themselves.
Short presentation of the school – from their flyer (2010)
“Together let's bring a light of hope to children in need!
Who are we?
The Piali Ashar Alo School is situated in Piali village near Kolkata, India. It was founded in 2008 in order to give poor children proper education. Its founders are Mr. and Mrs. Gayen. Mr. Anup Gayen, an Indian, had been a sponsored child therefore it is his wish to help the children who are of similar background. He helped to found a school for poor girls and worked as its manager for four years. Mrs. Mojca Gayen comes from Slovenia. She worked as a volunteer in Africa and then in India where she fell in love and got married.
Our children come from poor backgrounds. Their homes are made of mud, tin or bamboo. They have no clean water and often no electricity. Their mothers are jobless, they are looking after children or work as maids in the city. Their fathers repair shoes, drive rickshaws and do other physical work. Some children have no parents, or have only one parent and live with their relatives. Their parents often have alcohol problems and do not understand the importance of education. Our school is intended mostly to receive girls, since women are usually responsible for their children to become literate. “Literate women do not raise illiterate children”, if women are educated and they get a so called microcredit, they can start a successful enterprise. In this way they can improve the quality of life of their families and broader community as well.
What do we do?
Our children learn Bengali, English, mathematics. They also learn basics of natural and social science. They love to draw, sing, dance and sew. The school provides them with uniforms, shoes, books and other materials, breakfast, lunch and they also get healthcare. We are trying to get used clothes, since they wear old and torn up clothes at home.
Older children and village women produce bags and earrings which are being sold in the fair-trade shop in Slovenia. They also use newspaper to produce bags for a grocery store in Kolkata that tries to minimize use of plastic bags. Mothers of our children and other women from the village can attend sewing courses. For this
purpose we bought some sewing machines and employed a teacher, since we want to help these women to become independent.
Most of our sponsors come from Slovenia: kind individuals, companies, some elementary and secondary schools and kindergartens. We are being helped by a German foundation, called FAMI. Most individuals are sponsors to poor Indian children, other contribute money, necessary to run the school. We also sell our products in order to get some finances.
What are our plans?
We want our school to become a centre which would also provide healthcare/immunization, clean water/sanitation, vocational training/microcredits for girls and women. In short, we want our school to become a complex centre, which would encourage positive changes in the community. In order to do this we need our own premises, therefore our most important present goal is to build our own school.
Mojca Gayen, Nevenka, Marjana
Foto: Mojca in Anup Gayen, Tamara Bizjak