Free the Children: We Are Silent (and SMART Ambassadors in India Update)

As Ainhoa Marcos and Heather Lamb have already shared on our blog, SMART Ambassadors are building a school in Verdara, India, this month as part of the Free the Children Adopt a Village program. But before we update you about what’s going on in India, let’s talk about We Are Silent (before participants go silent).

We Are Silent  – April 16-17

“Around the world, there are those whose voices are not heard. They are the girls who are denied an education because of gender inequality, school fees or the need to stay home and care for younger siblings. They are the child laborers or the children growing up in poverty. They are the students who are bullied at your school. Every one of them has a voice that needs to be heard. Take a silent stand so they can speak out.” – Free the Children

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We are Silent shines attention on anti-bullying resources and equal access to education, empowering students to participate in the conversation and make a difference. How can you participate? Free the Children posts education resources on their website and you can find them here.

Me to We — Update on Building a School in Verdara, India

In rural communities like Verdara, children, especially girls, are expected to take responsibility for different household activities such as taking care of their younger siblings and collecting water when their parents are fully engaged in agricultural work. Traditionally, families have prioritized education for their boy children over girl children. If girls are able to attend primary school, they are less likely than boys to continue on to secondary school. Fortunately, the primary school dropout rate is low in Verdara because of committed teachers who engage parents in the importance of education.

Free The Children is working with the community to reconstruct school rooms to ensure a safe learning environment for children and motivate students to continue their education in the higher grades. SMART’s volunteer efforts are underway – Ambassadors have arrived in India to experience local culture and start construction of the school in Verdara.

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President, Solutions, Greg Estell experiencing local culture in Verdara

 

Would you like to learn more about the school in Verdara? Let us know in the comments below!

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