To build a self-sustaining environment that empowers and provides direction to those in need
Imparting education and life skills to facilitate marginalized children, youth and women, thereby creating change-makers, who become wholesome contributing members of the society
ROPIO evolved into a place where kids are taught to be good human beings along with educated responsible citizens of the society. Values like compassion, sense of belonging, courage, friendship and respect are the pillars, this organization stands on. Kids are raised to not only have the knowledge of distinguishing right from the wrong but also, the virtue to choose the right path as well.
All the kids are enrolled in government schools and get after-school assistance at ROPIO centre in the form of tuition, discussions and study sessions conducted by volunteers, members and tuition centres. It is the character building and personality development activities that make ROPIO stand apart. For e.g. Cleanliness drives and nature walks teach them to be responsible and answerable to nature. Car washes in the community teach them that no job is menial when done with diligence and respect. They learn how to spread the love and share the good fortune with those who need it most by being a part of initiatives like Santa workshop and Kilkari. Orphanage visits where free goodies, blankets, clothes, etc are distributed to the needy. Tournaments like Futsal- a soccer tournament taught them the spirit of sportsmanship. Events like Udaan- a cultural program taught them how to develop the craft of dramatic arts and dancing. Artees- a T-shirt painting event where ROPIO tied up with WWF taught them to work for the betterment of endangered species along with discovering their penchant for painting. We are especially proud of our initiative ‘National Children’s Parliament’ which was aimed at developing the quality of leadership in students and make government & civil society understand the common children’s point of view by expressing it in an articulate manner. To make them understand and live Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of ’Be the change you want to see in the world’. It made them realise the power that they held in their hands as the future policy makers and change harbingers of the country.
Events like Udaan and Artees were fund raising events that came about with our need to spread awareness about our work and find ways to financially sustain ourselves.
During this period of adjustment, Social Media channels like Facebook and Twitter have been messiahs sent by God. They helped us via kind, cash, Human Resource etc. At the time of slum demolition and our subsequent move to a centre, we were able to furnish our new home with help of these digital messiahs who showered us with ration, art supplies, education/study material, stationery, kitchenware, fridge, gas stove, blankets etc among other things. We boast of a great relationship with our online well wishers. Apart from the obvious material help, it brings in a steady flow of volunteers, spreads awareness about our NGO and is great promotional space for our events.
ROPIO’s USP- Teaching and Learning which has been restricted to and often even crippled by formal education is supported by rich values based system.
Overtime our Kids have witnessed, learned and imbibed these values and it’s a moment of humble pride when we see examples of them passing it on to others. As an instance, we received more jackets to ward off the winters than we required, in that situation our kids were excited to distribute them to needy kids of the nearby area. It’s endearing to see the elder kids helping out the younger ones with their studies and their everyday chores around the centre. Values like sense of belonging and friendship are so deep rooted in our kids that now they can sense if others are neglected without any verbal discussion and make it a point to bring it to our notice so that emotional and physical help can he extended. It is at such occasions that we realize that we are heading on the right path and need to continue go forward.
‘Teach to Learn and Learn to Teach’ initiative whereby all our kids will hold classes in their community to pass on the academic, vocational, skill based or character building values which they have learnt. We will teach so they learn and they learn so they can further teach it to their brethren. So our 25 messengers can go out into the world and spread their knowledge to 100 more and those 100 go out and touch another 200 thereby making this small ripple into a big wave of change.
Keeping in tune with our value driven system, the ultimate goal of ROPIO is to create a place, a safe haven where kids, youth and women are welcome alike, and are encouraged to embrace their skills, hone them and spread the wealth of their knowledge to those in need. A space to belong! A space not just for those who are in need of opportunities but those lucky and aware souls who have opportunities but feel the need to share them with the world.
Advancement in Academics:
ROPIO Foundation started its Come Together Family education program in 2008. Since then, when we have been providing teaching aid and coaching for slum dwelling children studying in government schools and enrolling young school dropouts through individual counseling. We not only finance their tuitions, but also provide travel allowance for their classes and treat them like family.
Home for Learning and Development:
Since 2011, ROPIO has been running a ‘home’ , providing a space for teenagers to learn, grow and develop, without inhibition. Here, they can study and peacefully prepare for their exams. Meals are provided daily and the home is also a place where the children can stay during the weekends, holidays and examination period, so as to spend more quality time on their learning and development.
Life Skills and Creative Skills:
The children and youth are engaged and encouraged in creative activities such as dance, puppetry, art and craft, comics and sports to further their development and hone their natural born talents and capabilities. Sessions are also conducted on values, personality traits and behavior to help them understand oneself better and develop their personality and life skills.
We have been, to the best of our knowledge and skill, imparting computer education to our children so that they grow sound and up-to-date to today’s fast paced technology run world thereby giving them a medium to grow and express themselves in an altogether new form and style.
Exposures and Events:
We expose the children and youth to various national and international programs, wherein they are given the opportunity to interact with them. We also organize events based on various social concerns such as wildlife, environment and people welfare, which we present through creative mediums such as art, music and dance.
Development within Slums:
Through surveys and research, we identify the needs of people dwelling in slums and meet them through education, vocational training and capacitating them in order to sustain their family in a better way.
For the youth who have dropped out of schools, we provide non-formal education and involve them in vocational training in order to build professional skills to sustain them better financially.