OneAction’s first project is born in Bodh Gaya, in the heart of Bihar, one of the poorest and most conservative States in India. We are partnering with a school that offers free education to more than 300 disadvantaged students who did not previously have the opportunity to go to school. Our goal is to broaden the students’ perspectives and ensure their wellbeing. Since 2012, OneAction continued to develop the management and infrastructure of the school and encouraged the students’ creativity and fulfilment. Amongst other things, we carried on fighting against malnutrition through our One Meal a Day project.
OneAction is partnering with the NGO A future of children in Bodh Gaya society, founded in 2004. The trust manages a school in Durgapur, close to Bodh Gaya, and offers free education for almost 300 students, from 3 to 15 years old, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to go to school.
What has OneAction done?
Having found greatly damaged infrastructures during our first trip, OneAction contributed to providing tables and chairs, school supplies and uniforms. We also repainted the damaged wall of the schoolyard as well as the outdoor toilets to lighten up the school and provide a decent learning environment. In addition, OneAction started to sensitise the students to environmental issues, planning various activities such as waste management, organic gardening and other thematic workshops. Furthermore, OneAction covers the registration fees for entrance exams to high school for final year students.Today we continue to improve the school’s infrastructure and management.
One Meal a Day
After powerlessly witnessing several students fainting during the hot season, and to fight against malnutrition, a common affliction in the area, OneAction developed the One Meal a Day project where we committed to providing one nutritious meal a day for the 300 school children. Along with receiving wholesome healthy food, the students are sensitized to basic hygiene practices such as washing their hands before a meal. This daily routine is crucial for the health, dignity and concentration of every student. Once they have finished eating, a dozen of younger children from the village, who lack the opportunity to receive a balanced diet at home, benefit from the food as well. Nothing is left to waste, since the water of the cooked rice and any last leftovers are used to feed the cattle.
Here is a short documentary on our project at Gyan Niketan School:
Promoting holistic education
Along the same lines, OneAction is promoting holistic education and creative activities for the children to stimulate their intellectual and emotional growth, give them the opportunity to express their individual talents, and encourage mutual respect. In addition to the social and environmental workshops we have undertaken, OneAction wishes to partner with institutions offering holistic education to train the schoolteachers in Gyan Niketan.
OneAction’s ultimate goal is for the school to stand strong on its own. In order to achieve this, we are developing a vocational training centre close to the school, which will provide employment opportunities for the disadvantaged youth and generate funds for the school to become self-sufficient. Thanks to scholarships for professional trainings provided by the Indian government to members of disadvantaged castes, the centre will be able to ensure a steady income, which will cover all operational costs linked to both the centre and the school.
Budget and funding
The costs of our One Meal a Day initiative as well as the development of the school’s operations, amount to an average of CHF 20’000 per year, which has been partly financed by our Smart Actions by Kids for Kids project throughout the years. We also count on invaluable partners to fund the project in its transitional phase. In 2017, this project is partly funded by the Fondation Jean-Luc Lagardère under the auspices of the Fondation de France.
One Meal a Day:
One meal for 1 student: CHF 0.2
One meal for 300 students: CHF 60
One meal a day for 300 students for a month: CHF 1,800
One meal a day for 300 students for a year: CHF 18,000
Plant a tree or vegetable in the schoolyard for environmental education and food production: CHF 1
A textbook, notebook and pen for a child to study: CHF 4
Textbooks, notebooks and pens for an entire class: CHF 120
Donate here for the school in Bodh Gaya mentioning “Bodh Gaya” in the subject, and if you wish, please specify the allocation of your donation.
Developing a workshop on holistic education: CHF 2’000
Smart Actions by Kids for Kids
OneAction is financing 60% of the school’s needs and we will continue to provide similar support. In order to ensure the financial sustainability of this initiative, and to avoid funding a programme that is in essence unlikely to become self-sufficient, we launched a parallel project, Smart Actions by Kids for Kids, which consists in raising awareness among children in wealthier countries and giving them the opportunity to partake in fundraising activities. For example, in 2013, the Cartigny primary school expressed its solidarity once again for our One Meal a Day project by organizing a sponsored spelling bee in March, followed later by the Aire-la-Ville primary school, which also wished to learn about India, its culture and our project.
Project Leader – Mr. Brajesh Kumar
OneAction has appointed Mr. Brajesh Kumar as Project Supervisor. He is also Manager at the Gyan Niketan Charitable Trust and the Managing Director at the Welcome Guest House in Bodh Gaya.
OneAction intends to support, or even build, other schools in remote areas all while seeking sustainable solutions to guarantee the autonomy of the people concerned. After acquiring a certain level of experience, we will develop projects in other regions.