Thank you for your kind donations which meant that we were able to give new beginnings to 450 children living with wild tigers. This was 50% more than we had anticipated in our previous project report which is amazing. The new COVID protocols are still in place for many of the schools in India. This is still impacting our attempts to resume the pop-up nature schools in rural villages with children without access to state schools. We are still trying, however. Your generosity has enabled us to help 450 children with education packs containing essential writing materials so that they can finally access learning.
With so many children disadvantaged by the COVID pandemic coupled with the impact of human-animal conflict on their parents’ livelihoods, it is a near impossible task to choose which 450 children to help first. We’ve also had resourcing issues ourselves, as our patrols have been operating at triple standard patrol for over a year and work continues to provide year-round water to as many tigers as possible as the drought season takes hold. Thus we have asked our patrollers to take education packs on the patrol vehicles and distribute these to the neediest children in villages who have suffered the greatest losses due to human wildlife conflict. As a result, these education packs can reach children in some of the remotest villages, thus having a positive impact on wild tigers in those communities.
We haven’t forgotten the children in the villages living closest to the wild tigers; in fact we’ve recently distributed education packs in the villages or Badrehal and Pathari in the Dhamokhar Buffer forest. For many villages around Bandhavgarh, human-wildlife conflict has been increasing year on year following the arrival of the wild elephants which are now claiming Bandhavgarh as home. These elephants have destroyed forest watch camps, a school, many crops and have killed many villagers as they tried to protect their livelihood. This, when coupled with crop raiding monkeys, deer and wild boar plus livestock rustling predators, puts many villagers on the brink of extreme poverty. This poverty then equates to a lack of educational opportunities for the affected families’ children. https://tigers4ever.org/education/
Helping the Children in Schools
In recent weeks, we have spoken to teachers at a number of schools in the villages around Bandhavgarh about distributing education packs in conjunction with the schools; however, most have been reluctant because we haven’t had sufficient education packs to ensure every child at the school will receive one. In order to do this we will need to raise funds for many more education packs, even if we select the schools in the smallest villages. If you’re able to help us overcome this obstacle, please donate now at: https://goto.gg/32565, even the smallest donation can have a big impact on the lives of these children.
For some children, our help has arrived too late, they have already reached 14 years old and thus no longer qualify for free state driven education. For those whose parents cannot afford to pay school fees there will be no opportunity to complete their education. As we reported in January, this is a concern for charities all across India, as this “lost generation” of young adults as the impact on their lives, their families and the forests will be felt for many years to come.
Although we can’t help the “lost generation” right now, we can help to prevent further youngsters falling into the same trap by ensuring that the education packs we distribute will benefit children in these three key age groups:
- Early learners – Aged 4 – 7 years
- Junior learners – Aged 8 – 11 years
- Older learners – Aged 11 – 14 years
For every £1400 (US$2000) we raise, we will aim to send 450 children living with wild tigers to school. We will try to distribute this evenly across the three age groups with one third of the packs for each. We will continue to distribute all education packs in the hardest hit villages, and will try to raise further funds so that we can also help the pop-up schools when these resume. (https://goto.gg/32565).
Making a Difference
Around 450 children who don’t have access to remote learning due to poverty, no electricity and lack of technology throughout the schools’ lockdown; now have the opportunity to start or resume their education, thanks to your generosity. In this newsletter, we have shared some of the images of the smiling children’s faces who you have helped.
If you are able to help us help more children to have an education and become tiger protectors rather than foragers, please consider a new monthly donation as it’s never too late to make a difference: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/ education-saves-tigers/?show=recurring.
Meanwhile, we will work hard with our Indian based education partner, GTCS, to try to restart the pop-up schools in the most remote villages as soon as the latest restrictions and funding allow. Thankfully, due to your amazing support and donations we have been able to provide education packs to support the learning of 450 children with education packs this time. Sadly, there are thousands more children who desperately need your help! https://goto.gg/32565
Long Term Impact – Help is Still Needed
Our experience has shown us over the last 11.5 years, that without education, the prospects for the poorest children will be limited to picking tendu leaves, mahua flowers, amla fruit, from the forest to sell. Others will chop down trees and clear precious forest habitats to create more land for agriculture. Children from the poorest families still have no access to online learning facilities, as they live simple lives without electricity or access to technology. https://goto.gg/32565
Throughout the pandemic, your support for our work has been amazing. We definitely couldn’t have kept wild tigers safe without it. As India’s people try to rebuild their pre-pandemic lives, we hope that we can help provide a brighter future for some of Bandhavgarh’s poorest children. If you can help support the education of Bandhavgarh’s poorest rural children by starting a new monthly recurring donation from just £5 (US$8) per month, you will make a huge difference for at least 15 children in a year: https:// www.globalgiving.org/projects/education-saves-tigers/?show=recurring.
Facing the Biggest Challenges of their lives
In Bandhavgarh, many people have faced the biggest challenges of their lives since the onset of the pandemic. For the thousands of young children with no access to schooling, without computers or mobile phones, without electricity in their homes, a blessed future awaits. These are the children who Tigers4Ever has always tried to help with books and basic writing materials which give them hope. With your help we give them a chance to go to school which they otherwise might not have.
You Can Make a Difference Today
We want to ensure that the poorest children get a chance to complete their education. We want to do more but we need your help to provide education packs so children can go to school right now. Your donation of £25 (US$40) can make that happen for at least 5 children right now: https://goto.gg/32565.
Remember: when we provide education packs and scholarships for children living with wild tigers, we are reducing the risk of future tiger habitat destruction AND ensuring that these children have the opportunity to become future tiger protectors. I would like to thank you for your generosity and support on behalf of the wild tigers, which we are keeping safe; on behalf of the children who we have helped to get an education (and their families who have food because of this help); and on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing books and writing equipment for inclusion in the education packs which we distribute. Stay Safe.