About Teachreach

In India, many girls are unable to receive an education due to a variety of factors. Some of these include the societal norm to educate boys over girls, the lack of funding for education and general poverty rates which render families unable to pay school fees, and families not having enough resources to attend a school. The norm of educating boys over girls is a major issue; families tend to educate the men in their family over women because of the ideology that men are the head of the household and will support their families while the women will get married and serve their husbands’ families instead of their own. Additionally, this creates problems for society because women are greatly underrepresented in higher education and even the workforce. Even if these girls are able to afford tuition and go to school, they face many more hardships, such as being unable to afford other basic necessities. It is our mission to raise funds so that girls in other countries can have the opportunity to have an education and give them at least some of the privileges we have been lucky enough to have.  For this project, we have decided to focus on four 15-year-old girls in Dabeerpura, Hyderabad India, who attend Princess Durre-Shahwar Girls High School.

Over the course of months, we have implemented our chosen solution as a plan of action to aid the four Hyderabadi girls attending Princess Durre-Shahwar Girls High School. On the count of providing funding for these four girls so that they can continue attending school, we have currently raised money via various school fundraising events, such as bake sales and a raffle. This money was donated directly to the recipients in Dabeerpura, allotted to pay for their tuition and for necessary school supplies. We currently have more of such events scheduled for the near future, and our team is working on spreading more awareness about the purpose of our project, through being featured in the school newsletter and making announcements at school assemblies, in hopes of increasing fundraising for the four girls.

In addition to monetary donations, our team has reached out directly to these four girls in India for the purpose of promoting year-round engagement in two phases: the first is through monthly tutoring sessions over Zoom to aid the girls in any subjects they feel uncomfortable in—notably, English vocabulary and language; after holding an introductory meeting in December to introduce ourselves to the four girls, we have initiated once-monthly meetings at an allotted time—usually at around 10:00–11:00 PM EST on a Sunday, which, in IST, is 8:30–9:30 AM on Monday; this time is when the girls are at school, which is the only place where they have access to a computer. At these monthly meetings, we have not only taught the girls about the American education system—which they reciprocated by teaching us about the way Indian schooling is conducted—, but we also offered them assistance in the English language, including defining troublesome words and phrases, and shared test-taking tips to aid them in their upcoming exams. Our correspondence is expected to continue indefinitely.

As part of this second phase of academic engagement, our team reached out to the four girls individually over WhatsApp Messenger, providing a personal introduction to each girl and a strengthened relationship, in which the girls are free to ask us any questions not covered at meetings. This includes math, science, English, or even general questions regarding the school environment. This component of the second phase promotes deeper interpersonal relationships between the girls and the members of our team, and allows for the project to run smoothly.

By the implementation of this two-tiered solution, we have accomplished several things: first, we have addressed the immediate issue—obtaining money for the four girls to pay tuition and purchase school supplies—through fundraising. Second, we have provided help in English and general knowledge to the girls upon request, aiding them in their proficiency of the English language and setting them up for a future professional career.

Our team used two main strategies to make a significant effort in decreasing the financial burdens the girls in India face so they can have access to a suitable high school education that prepares them for further studies and the professional world beyond. Our first strategy consisted of providing the girls with direct financial assistance so they were able to afford their overall school tuition as well as necessary basic school supplies. The money to financially support these girls was obtained through a bake sale as well as a raffle. Obtaining this money and sending it to the girls was a notable accomplishment, as these funds allowed the girls in India the ability to afford basic school supplies which are crucial for academic success, as well as supplemented their tuition, which without, they would not have had access to any form of education. The second strategy our team used to make a significant effort in fighting for these girls’ education was tutoring them over a Zoom call at least once a month, but more if they needed additional help with something. This has also been a significant accomplishment due to the fact that many girls in India need extra academic help, especially in areas such as English, but cannot afford it and/or do not have access to such resources. By meeting with the girls regularly and tutoring them, this hurdle was tackled by our team.

This project taught us all many lessons, the first of which is a broader understanding of the lives of many girls our age around the world. Not everyone is as privileged, and realizing that is a key step in being able to help others. Another lesson that we learned was about being determined and overcoming challenges; one of the major obstacles we faced was the time difference. All of India falls within one time zone that is nine-and-a-half to ten-and-a-half hours ahead (depending on daylight savings in the US), therefore scheduling meetings was a significant challenge that we had to work through. We eventually solved it by meeting in the evening, so that the 4 girls in India could meet with us for sessions right before their school started, and we tried to focus on days where we did not have school the next day but the girls did, so that it worked out exceptionally well. Another obstacle we overcame was the fundraising itself, which proved a challenge since it was a large sum of money that we had to raise; thus, we ensured that we advertised our bake sale and raffle well, raising awareness for our cause so that others were motivated to donate. Ultimately, despite the challenges we faced, we were able to succeed through our efforts to confront issues and adjust our methods and plans in order to effectively carry out our project.