|Parent-Teacher meeting at Kalleda|
Community involvement is very important to the RDF family. Every school has a village committee with monthly meetings to discuss recent achievements or problems in the school as well as giving suggestions for improvement. Parents and village members of the committee come to the forefront when any issue needs addressing such as staff and student attendance, parental cooperation, and the collection and purchasing of food supplies. Outstanding fees are also addressed during these meetings.
An example is the recovery of a stolen laptop in Matendla. More than one hundred parents gathered to discuss how to find the laptop without involving the police. Through a strong sense of community and a fierce stand for honesty, the laptop was returned in perfect condition to the school.
Another initiative is in the for of UNICEF’s Behaviour Change and Communication programme (BCC). Their input is critical in meeting the objectives of the Government of India’s national flagship programmes and the U.N. MDG’s through its focus on influencing, changing and developing human behaviours and social norms. It is also a key strategy in reaching out to include minority groups and ensuring their participation in programs. It has been acknowledged that the BCC is important in meeting India’s key developmental outcomes. RDF Matendla School has been participating in this programme since 2008.
As part of this, 15 mandal coordinators 10 master trainers and 5 BCC cell representatives have capacities to generate qualitative monitoring data and observe, analyze and document outputs and outcomes. Till now 176 such stories have been collected at the district level. Currently a monitoring tool is being developed using social map to track progress at the village level.
5 students from the school – N.Ganesh (9th Class), M.Rajashekar (10th class), M.Rekha (7th class), D.Lavanya (10th class) and N.Rekha (8th class) have undergone UNICEF BCC training in Chinnakodur, Medak district. As BCC volunteers, the have to present a report once a month to the village. The report consists of the strengths of the village and the community, problems identified and recommendations for finding solutions to the problem. A key outcome for the selected Matendla students has been 1) the construction of a well tarred road in the village, with the help of the village sarpanch, 2) Installation of street lights and 3) improvement in adult literacy rates. For such young students, it is a tremendous accomplishment to be agents of change, thus leading to their own empowerment and further development.
Community Eco Programs – RDF VAPV Junior College
RDF organises Eco drives for the community in its Community initiatives and Social Awareness programs. School students as well as the Junior College students take up these initiatives to promote sustainable green causes. One such community initiative was undertaken by the Junior College students by giving saplings to villagers in Kalleda, helping them plant the saplings, simultaneously increasing their awareness on the effects that deforestation, chemical fertilisation and pesticides have on the long term health of soil and green cover in the area.