Hi, I’m Stephen Hnilica and In every thing I do,
I believe creating an opportunity for others
to better themselves. It’s the reason I’m
walking 4600 miles from Tampa FLorida to
Seattle Washington, raising support and
awareness for the Ekal Foundation.
“If the poor CHILD cannot come to education,
then education must go to Them.”
- Swami Vivekanand
This statement is the very essence of what an Ekal Vidyalaya(Solo School) is. The belief that 1 teacher and 1 school can change the destiny of a village. The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation is a 501c3 US charity that operates the largest free non government school system in India. Dedicated to reaching children where the government cannot go, Ekal schools are the only chance for an education for 1,621,396 students every year.
All donations are given directly to the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation thru Anedot’s secure donation platform and are tax deductible. Ekal believes in giving as much as they can to the children. As a nearly 100% volunteer organization, they average 92% of every dollar making an impact on the ground.
All of their 57,502 schools are located in rural areas and tribal villages, and focus on 4 areas of education.
Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation provides functional literacy to the children of the villages through Ekal Vidyalayas – i.e. single teacher schools. “Ekal Vidyalayas” are non-formal schools with focus on providing basic literacy skills with emphasis on reading, writing and arithmetic.
The curriculum consists of the following subjects:
- General Education / Science
- Moral values / story telling
- Yoga and Physical Education
The schools are also oriented to make aware of basic health and hygiene to the children and the villagers.
The Ekal schools run on a minimal budget of $1 (54 Indian Rupees) a day. The teachers are local youths, who have completed some formal education. The teachers are selected and trained by Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation for 4 months, before being deputed as a teacher in a school. The infrastructural facilities for the schools are also minimal. In some cases, the classed are held in the shade of a tree, or in old building in the village. Apart from becoming educational hubs, the Ekal teachers interact with the villagers, and contribute towards the participatory approach and development of the village. Due to this involvement, the Ekal Vidyalayas are also playing the role of transformational influence in rural and tribal communities.
Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation activities are extended to provide healthcare education to villagers. The Ekal teacher collects data of the villagers, healthcare facilities, disease incidences and common health issues of the village. These are then reviewed by upper level management teams of the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, and a plan is designed to provide healthcare education, services and access to facilities to the village. The teacher is then trained to provide education and awareness on Personal Hygiene, Sanitation, Nutrition, Awareness and identification of diseases such as malaria & diarrhea, Maternal and childcare.
The healthcare education and awareness activities are done through training camps, showing charts, healthcare awareness programs and health centers (Chikitsa Kendra) in the villages or at the block or district levels.
The trained teacher provides several levels of education or awareness to the children the villagers, and the housewives to take care of their and their families’ health. In many cases, the teacher takes an active role in leading the change towards cleaning up the village, constructing toilets, or creating other sanitation facilities. Depending on the requirement, the teacher is also trained as a primary health worker to serve the villagers at the time of need.
- Plantation, herbal and fruit bearing
- Water management
- Vegetable cultivation
- Cattle care
- Self help groups
Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation believes in empowering the people to establish “Gram Swaraj” or “Self Governance” as visioned by Mahatma Gandhi.
- Instill self pride through heritage awareness
- Working knowledge about local government functionary
- Awareness about constitutional rights
- Importance of voting
- Make “Panchayat” effective and functional
To enable this, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation volunteers and executives try to provide working knowledge about local government functionary and awareness about the “Right to Information” Act to villagers. To enhance their participation in the governance, Ekal Teachers emphasize the importance of voting to villagers. In many villages, Ekal Foundation has been a catalyst to revive the Panchayat System of the village or to make the system functional and effective towards the village development.
When You Donate:
- You will pay for one teacher to establish a night school for a village.
- You will receive pictures and report cards on the progress of the children attending the school