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Kashi School Project Helps Children Build Sustainable Futures

The Kashi School Project, an initiative of the Kashi Initiative for Global Citizenship and Education, was created in Summer 2019 to deliver high-quality educational services to underprivileged children living on the outskirts of Varanasi, India.

Avni Patel
Avni Patel 

Amrita Chaturvedi, Ph.D., Kristine Larson, Ed.D., Samantha Moore (Class of 2020) and Avni Patel (CPHSJ '19) headed the project. Together, they worked with 60 children between the ages of 4-16 to provide them with basic literacy and math education, as well as wellbeing skills such as mindful breathing. Further, the Kashi School serves as a supplemental source for a proper education, wherein advanced students are able to receive help and support for the schoolwork they are assigned in their government schools. The project aims to bring children together in safe, protected spaces where they can build sustainable futures. The Kashi School Project also works to empower women in the local village by providing them with employment opportunities, such as making bead necklaces to be sold. 

The Kashi School Project welcomes students and teachers to volunteer their time and expertise to continue supporting children in need. Chaturvedi stated that one goal of the Kashi School Project is to bring about cross-cultural exchange, wherein students can go to India and experience and learn from the culture. Another major goal is to turn the project into a long-term, sustainable project that can generate a stable source of revenue and employment for the women, while meeting the needs of local children and providing them with a high-quality education. 

Samantha Moore
Samantha Moore  

To that end, the Kashi School Project aims to get internet services in the coming months and to begin utilizing virtual learning, which, as Chaturvedi pointed out, was a goal for the school before the global COVID-19 pandemic started but has turned out to be especially relevant now. 

Samantha Moore was one of the SLU School of Education students that volunteered with the Kashi School Project in Summer 2019. Moore helped teach English to children that live in poverty and who have received an inadequate education from the governmental school in their area. She explained that through the trip, she was able to meet “young and capable girls like Khushi, a sixteen-year old who lives in the village with her mother, father, brother, and twin sisters,” and see first-hand how the Kashi School Project can support girls like Khushi, “who missed school due to helping her family, but still needs to learn skills in order to become financially stable one day and to fulfill her dreams of becoming a doctor.”

The hopes for this project are to continue its growth in the community by providing opportunities to work for fair wages, literacy learning and support, and setting up self-sustaining habits such as gardening."

Samantha Moore

To find out more information about the project, please email Amrita Chaturvedi at amrita.chaturvedi@slu.edu.