It is common knowledge that children who attend school have a better chance of developing into their full potential and bringing about change in their communities. It’s hard to believe that, in this day and age, so many of the world’s children still aren’t given the opportunity of an education.
Dedicated to “all children who dream of going to school”, Going to School in India is a celebration of what school can be and mean to children. It shows and tells about all kinds of kids—from street kids to kids who go to government and community schools—and how they “climb into school buses, sit on each other’s laps in cycle rickshaws, walk along the edges of mountains, cross scorching deserts on rickety bicycles, swing across rivers on dangling swings-just to get to school.” A festive celebration of formal and informal school settings in India—and of the ways children get to them—this book also reminds us that, while millions of children do get to go to school each day, millions of others don’t.
Published by Shakti for Children (now Global Fund for Children Books) in partnership with Charlesbridge, Going to School in India (2005) is written by Lisa Heydlauff, with photos by Nitin Upadhye, and designed by B.M. Kamath. Royalties from the sale of the book support educational initiatives in India. Click here to learn more about author Lisa Heydlauff’s projects and her Going to School non-profit.
On a related note, in her 2009 interview for PaperTigers, Maya Ajmera, founder and president of the Global Fund for Children talked about the “moment of obligation” she experienced, over 20 years ago, when she stepped out onto a bustling train platform in India and came across an open-air classroom where children were being taught how to read and write—a moment that led her to start The Global Fund for Children. This anecdote illustrates what our Pacific Rim Voices executive director, Peter Coughlan, loves to say: “A ripple can become a tidal wave, an acorn an oak tree.” GFC nowadays reaches millions of children and youth around the world, and supports hundreds of educational projects, including mobile boat schools for children in Bangladesh, night classes for women and girls in the red light districts of India, and countless more.
A ripple can indeed turn into a tidal wave of goodness.