Former Bal Kendra girls, 2nd-grader Anisha, 1st grader Kanchi and 3rd-grader Apsara having a nutritious snack after school at Bal Kendra.
• We fund and operate a small preschool called Bal Kendra, children's home in Nepali, that serves the young children in the poor neighborhoods near the filthy, Bagmati River.
• Most of the children's mothers are single and illiterate, working as day laborers earning about $16.00/month. Barely enough to pay for food and rent, most can’t even afford to buy pencils for their children. At Bal Kendra, about 75 children, half are girls, who might otherwise spend the day on the street, can actively engage in Montessori oriented classrooms, being taught in both Nepali and English.
• The Center is a four-room rented flat that's bright and airy with stimulating educational materials. The children get one nutritious meal a day while at Bal Kendra and a chance to thrive in the three-year program before transferring to either a government or private school. Funding for five Bal Kendra girls is provided by HIO sponsorship each year.
• Over the past three years, HIO has transformed the curriculum to a wonderful, Montessori/Nepali culture based system created by volunteer teacher-trainer, Janet Bralove. We've instituted staff benefits and a way for the four teachers at the Center to grow professionally and earn a decent living wage.
• Bal Kendra has brilliantly become an attainable model for several other schools in the area and our efforts will remain focused on continually improving the facilities and curriculum while partnering with families to improve the lives of their children. Bal Kendra's founder, social worker Kiran Tewari, continues to be a source of inspiration and motivation.