Leaping out of poverty through education

June is a month filled with graduations across the world…we celebrate as our friends, nieces and nephews, children and grandchildren pass exams and walk the stage to collect their certificates.  This month GoPhil celebrates with several of its partner organizations as some of their students take leaping life strides away from their histories that will no longer define them.  For many of the these students, they will be the first in their families to receive an education.

Sunil Nayaran has recently cleared his SSC exams in Kolhapur, India, allowing him the opportunity to apply to college.  The depth of this achievement becomes more clear when you consider the path he has walked to reach this point.  Sunil’s family is a part of the migrant community that occupies many of the region’s brick kilns for 6 months of the year.   Like most migrant children, Sunil was expected to carry 1000 pounds of bricks on his head alongside his mother and father in the kilns during the day.  “School was an unknown word for me and my family,” says Sunil as he reflects on his childhood of bonded labor.

Anuradha Bhosale visits one of her brickyard schools

In 2003, Anuradha Bhosale blew the whistle on Sunil’s life as a laborer and he became one of the first children to be rescued from Kolhapur’s brick kilns.  Ten years later Anuradha has rescued over 1000 children in similar situations alongside building schoolrooms out of makeshift tents directly in the brickyards.  She created the AVANI residential home where 40 rescued or homeless children reside, are given basic needs and attend local schools.   Sunil is the first of the AVANI students to pass the SSC exam, but surely not the last.   His dreams are to attend an Industrial Institute and later run his own automobile repair shop.

For the past 4 years, GoPhilanthropic has been working in partnership with Anuradha and the two organizations she directs (AVANI and WCRC) providing needed tools, knowledge and resources to continue their fight against child labor.  

For information on how you can be involved – contact: [email protected]