Priyanka, an HCU Summer Session Student

Imagine several dozen children with huge smiles on their faces, shouting in glee and yelling your name as you approach them at their school. Every Tuesday and Thursday a group of about 3-4 of the study abroad students, including myself, would make the five minute walk down the road at our University of Hyderabad, to this makeshift school organized by a local NGO, all in the name of teaching poor migrant workers’ children. When children are brought up in a home where there parents often have to migrate to where the work is, they aren’t enrolled in a proper school system, and some don’t receive education at all. This school was designed to provide a form of stable education for the children who move in and out of the area, so that they are at least given a general foundation and privilege to learn. Bhavani, the resident area director of Tagore Hostel, is the one who first told us about this school and introduced us. We then decided we could teach these children the basics in English, rhymes, abc’s, numbers, and colors. It was difficult at first to talk to them and translate, because they speak in the local language of Telugu; however, they have a general understanding of Hindi, so for the intermediate or native speakers who helped us, they acted as translators. After a few sessions, the translating wasn’t as necessary because the children caught on quickly and knew what to expect. Every time we would visit them and they would just smile from ear to ear and we knew we were providing them hope and joy throughout their hardships. I would say that the most rewarding part of this experience happened the last day when they recited to us and the rest of the class, everything they had learned. For the most part, all the students came up to show us they knew the numbers or the alphabet, and they did superb. This means we were really able to make a difference in their education even in five short weeks.

~Priyanka Surio