Mother Project was the first project initiated in 1991 by brothers Arup and Swarup Ghosh, the co-founders of Tomorrow’s Foundation [TF], from Mother Teresa’s Nirmal Hriday Ashram with only 17 children. Over the years, as the organisation established itself, the project started a formal collaboration with Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) in 1995 to introduce Mother Project in schools under KMC.
This project had been envisioned as a way to provide after-school remedial educational support to the deprived children attending Govt. and Govt. aided schools. Currently, the programme works with children who live in the target areas of Chetla-Lockgate, Kalighat, Masjid and Tollygunge, which are in the southern part of the city of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. The children attending Mother Project are in the 5-18 year age group. These children do not have access to academic/school support at home and are mostly first-generation learners.
Mother Project focuses on:
- Competency-based Active Learning using different TLMs (Teaching Learning Materials).
- Monitoring (competency ladders are used to monitor each child’s progress over a period of time).
- Retention of the children in education, and
- Improving the participation of parents and the entire community in the education and overall blossoming of the children.
- Teaching methods like making mind maps, 6*6 presentations for secondary classes.
- Child Tracking Software to track every child.
Mother Project classes are conducted in the evening so that children can attend after school. TF provides evening snacks to the students from Pre-Primary through Standard 10.
Apart from education, the teachers of Mother Project also conduct awareness sessions on Adolescent Reproductive Health [ADRH] with adolescent boys and girls so that they have a better understanding of themselves, the changes that occur during puberty, awareness of behaviour and consequence, and how they can ensure that they have good physical and emotional health and well-being. These sessions also provide information on recognising abusive behaviour and how they can protect themselves from abuse. Additionally, life skills and career counseling sessions are also held at intervals for the older children.
The students attending Mother Project are all actively involved in the teaching-learning process. Trained and skilled teachers provide much needed guidance to the children, teaching and supporting the children through the teaching-learning process. The teachers themselves receive regular refresher training to keep them updated on the latest methodology and pedagogy. They also play the role of Facilitator and share their experiences with new staff members of other projects of Tomorrow’s Foundation. The teachers of Mother Project are also actively involved in various other activities related to the different educational programmes of Tomorrow’s Foundation, such as the preparation of teaching-learning manuals.
Other than providing after-school support, another aim of Mother Project is to introduce extra-curricular activities that ensure the overall development of each child attending the project, as well as the larger community, who play a critical and pivotal role in the holistic development of these children.
Over the weekends, Mother Project facilitates extra-curricular activities such as dance, theatre, music, yoga, football to engage them as well as to nurture their overall physical and emotional health. The students also take part in various cultural programmes and competitions organised in the city.
Through the Mother Project, Tomorrow’s Foundation provides financial and educational support to all the students who wish to pursue higher education.
An important feature of the Mother Project is the regular home visits and monthly parent-teachers’ meetings which ensure retention of the students and improves parents’ involvement in various activities organised and facilitated by TF. These meetings are a forum for the parents to learn about the progress and potential of their children and other activities of the organisation.
TF now has 54 children in the Mother Project. This programme is the face of Tomorrow’s Foundation in the community as an NGO working on child education.
Recent activities of Mother Project
- Participation in an anti-tobacco rally organised by Kolkata Police, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and other NGOs.
- Felicitation programme for students who have completed school successfully.
- Participation in a workshop conducted by Pratham Foundation.
- Participation in a cultural programme organised by Paribar.
- Participation in sports organised by Childline Indian Foundation (CIF). Out of four group champions, three students were from Tomorrow's Foundation.