Shishukunj Education Programme (SEP)

 

What is the Shishukunj Education Programme (SEP)?

Shishukunj Education Programme supports disadvantaged children in India and Kenya. Currently we are supporting 630 children across 9 community based centes, details for which are given further below.

We work with thoroughly vetted partner charities and local community representatives to provide education, shelter, food, health and transportation facilities. In many cases there are no state educational facilities in the local communities we serve.

Some of the children we have supported through secondary schools (10th standard) have now graduated and we are supporting their college and university academic education.

At Shishukunj, we strive not only to support children to achieve their potential through a holistic approach, but also foster a 'give back' approch where children continue to cultivate the values of Shishukunj amongst the wider community.

Further below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about the SEP.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” 

- Benjamin Franklin 

 

ACME Shishukunj Nursery, Limuru - Kenya 

Acme Shishukunj Nursery provides education to children from local Limuru communities supplemented by provision of healthy breakfast and lunch.  There is no state provided early learning facility in the area.

Limuru Shishukunj was recently recognised as the top nursery school in Limuru County.

This success has resulted in 150 additional applications and the school now educates 260 children to build a firm foundation to help brighten their future.  To sustain this expansion the nursery requires additional funding.

 

Bal Kelavani Mandir, Bagasara  

Shishukunj partners with Bal Kelavani Mandir providing education to children of migrant communities.

We support 25 boys in the residential school as well as 8 outreach education centres located in nearby areas of the town. 

We sponsor 9 girls located at a nearby residential school.

Shishukunj also supports the higher education costs of students referred by the organisation locally.

 

Community Outreach Programme, Bhuj

We provide education in the communities where there are no schools.

Two daily meals attract children and help prevent them having to work to support their families.

We are currently able to support Educational centres in 5 out of 9 identified communities.

Centres operate daily where children get a space to play and learn about:

  • hygiene, self-care and health 

  • basic literacy and numeracy

 

Dhanvantri School, Bhuj 

Dhanvantri School provides education to children with special needs (e.g. hearing impairment, autism, cerebral palsy, etc.) from a low socio-economic background.

Shishukunj provides transport facilities for c. 110 students within a 30 km radius of Bhuj.  Public transport is not an option due to parents’ concerns about safety and costs.

 

Gram Swaraj Sangh, Nilpar

Shishukunj sponsors c. 40 girls’ education at the residential school which goes up to 10th standard. 

These girls belong to communities where child marriage is very common and parents often educate boys but not girls.

 

Happy Faces School, Bhuj

A lower primary school that works with a child-centric approach in an inclusive atmosphere.

Shishukunj sponsors c. 25% of the students who come from economically marginalised families.

 

Shishukunj International School Bhuj

Shishukunj International School is an inclusive primary and secondary educational facility using the ideal of “Gammat Sathe Gnaan” (learning through fun).

Shishukunj has purpose built an eco-friendly school in the outskirts of Bhuj.

We currently sponsor 35 children from economically marginalised groups.

 

Shishukunj Vidyalaya, Bangalore

Shishukunj sponsors the higher education expenses of 25 students who previously graduated from Shishukunj Vidyalaya.

Children are currently studying Architecture, Accountancy, Agriculture, Engineering, Teaching, Computer Science and Commerce.

These children were either orphaned or came from single parent house-holds or very poor families when they joined Shishukunj Vidyalaya.

 

 Shree Saaheli Gramya Vikas Trust, Bagavadar 

Shree Saaheli Gramya Vikas Sansthan Trust works in the field of child and women development in Bagavadar village near Porbandar, Gujarat.

Shishukunj supports the organisation in providing health care kits to all children in the villages neighbouring Bagavadar, run medical camps and also sponsors education of 12 children in the school run by the Trust.  

This school provides education to 400 children of Bagavadar village. 

 

In all our centres, Shishukunj is committed to continuously provide a better life to those children who have been denied access to the gift of education. Each centre has its distinct requirements:

  • some are residential schools, some day care, while some are regular schools

  • each requires a combination of education, shelter, food, health and transportation support

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How many children are you currently supporting as part of the Shishukunj Education Programme?

We are currently supporting 630 children in 9 centres. 8 centres are in India and 1 is in Kenya.  The centres in India are near Bhuj, Bagasara, Saurashtra and Bangalore

  1. Can I sponsor a child?

    Yes, we would be delighted if you would support a child on a regular basis so that they can grow to achieve their full potential and have a better future.

  2. Can I make a one-off donation to the Shishukunj Education Programme?

    Yes you can, although we humbly request you to support the child for the long-term through their education journey.

  3. How will my one-off donation be utilised?

    The funds will be used for children for whom we have not yet had any sponsors.

  4. How can I make a regular donation to the Shishukunj Education Programme?

    You can set up a standing order via your bank at no charge to you.  Please email us for bank details.  Standing orders can be on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.  This is the most efficient way to donate as there are no bank charges or fees.

  5. How often will I get the sponsored child’s reports or status updates?

    Your sponsored child’s reports will be sent at the end of the academic year.  You will get quarterly newsletters with updates for all our centres. 

  6. What is Gift Aid and will it be added to the support given?

    Gift Aid is tax reclaimed from HMRC (the UK tax authorities) at no extra cost to you and it adds 25% on to the value of your donation if you are a UK personal taxpayer.  Gift Aid will be used where the need is the greatest at the trustees’ discretion.

  7. What are the different ways to donate? 

    1. Standing orders or bank transfers – please email us for bank details.

    2. PayPal / credit / debit card using the donate button here

    3. Cheques – cheques should be made payable to Shishukunj and posted to the Shishukunj Bhavan, 25-27 High Street, Edgware, HA8 7EE.  Please write SEP Sponsor a Child, your name and postcode on the back of the cheque. Please do not post cash.

  8. What are the other ways we can support? 

    1. Payroll giving schemes at work

    2. Company donation matching schemes

    3. Fundraising initiatives such as a walk or run

    4. Shishukunj is on Amazon Smile https://smile.amazon.co.uk/

    5. You can make a one-off donation in relation to a particular celebratory event, e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, weddings etc by sponsoring meals and education. Please email us if you would like to do this.

  9. Does my money go directly to the child I am allocated?

    We do not send the donation directly to the child’s family, but to the local school or centre supporting the child.

  10. Can I sponsor more than one child?

    Yes, we would love for you to support as many children as you can.

  11. Can I request for a girl to be allocated for my sponsorship or from a specific location?

Yes, you can.  Please email us if you would like to do this.

  1. Does all of my money go towards the cause?

    Yes, there are no UK administrative costs as all the work in the UK is done by a team of dedicated volunteers. 

  2. How did you decide on the 9 centres you are supporting currently?

    Projects have been initiated by Shishukunj in response to local needs or identified during visits.  We completed intensive due diligence to ensure the projects would be feasible and met our objectives to advance the education of children and young people and to relieve poverty, distress and sickness amongst children and young people. These projects have been established for several years and we regularly review the projects from the UK. We have strong local teams to ensure the smooth running and oversight of all these projects. 

  3. From what age can a child be sponsored and until what age?

    Children are at various stages in their education and will continue at each centre for different amounts of time, majority up to GCSE level.  We do also provide vocational training for some children.  If your child finishes their education, we can allocate another child to you and equally if you wish to stop sponsorship before your child finishes then that is also fine.
     

  4. I used to sponsor a BGMS Shishukunj Vidyalaya (BGMS SV) child previously– why did this stop?

    We have had an extremely successful journey at BGMS SV such that the school is now supported by 2 local charities up to GCSE level.  Shishukunj still supports higher education (UK equivalent of A Levels and University education).

  5. Can I visit the child when I am travelling in the area?

    Yes, we would love to welcome you to our centres.  Please give us at least 1 week’s notice so that we can make appropriate arrangements.  All visits will be supervised.

  6. What is your vision for this programme?

    Our vision is to ensure as many vulnerable children as possible receive a holistic education with Shishukunj values such that they are able to become independent and valued members of society.  Shishukunj values include the following:

  • Providing a holistic education with music, dance, art, sports/games, yoga being an integral part of the curriculum

  • We nurture the child, there are no comparisons, there is an equal teacher - student relationship, teachers facilitate and students take responsibility leading to self motivation

  • Providing vocational opportunities

  • Being inclusive

  • Providing teacher training in the Shishukunj way

  1. How long will this programme last?

    The programme will last for as long as the child is in education at the centre.  You can further support the child’s higher education if you wish to do so, to ensure their education is completed until they are able to support themselves.

  2. What will happen if you are unable to raise enough funds to sponsor the proposed children?

    If we are short of funds, we will continue to raise funds through fundraising initiatives and try to ensure continuity for as long as possible.  Our work is dependent on public donations received and we thank all our well-wishers that have supported us so far over the years.

  3. Will you increase the number of organisations and number of children supported in due course?

    Our ultimate aim is to expand our support to as many children as we can, depending on donations received.  We are also introducing initiatives for the centres to raise funds locally and participate in other fundraising programmes.

  4. How is this programme different from programmes offered by other charities?

  • No UK administration or fundraising costs

  • Carefully vetted projects with regular oversight

  • Provide holistic education with Shishukunj values

  • Child matching with progress reports

  • Gift Aid for UK taxpayers