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Schooling meets soccer in Mumbai’s slums

India is a country of cricket-lovers, so can soccer catch on?

Ashok Rathod is convinced that soccer is the best way to give kids growing up in the slums a second lease on life. Teamwork, leadership, respect and communication come out of the game for 22 players.

Having grown up in a Mumbai slum himself, Ashok knows exactly which problem the kids there face. Many start drinking and gambling as young as 10, he says, then get married early and drop out of school.

Committed to make a difference, Ashok founded the Oscar Foundation in 2006. The team organizes soccer practices and matches for young people – but also provides an education program aimed at giving school drop-outs basic literacy skills.

Listen to the report by Sanjay Fernandes in Mumbai:

It was a challenge convincing parents to let their girls play soccer (Photo: S. Fernandes)

It was a challenge convincing parents to let their girls play soccer (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Suraj (right) is Oscar's associate director and Kumar (left) participated in the Oscar program and now works as a coach (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Suraj (right) is Oscar’s associate director and Kumar (left) participated in the Oscar program and now works as a coach (Photo: S. Fernandes)

The Oscar Foundation focuses not only on soccer - but also on education programs (Photo: S. Fernandes)

The Oscar Foundation focuses not only on soccer – but also on education programs (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Ashok Rathod knows first-hand what it's like to grow up in a Mumbai slum (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Ashok Rathod knows first-hand what it’s like to grow up in a Mumbai slum (Photo: S. Fernandes)

 

First published on February 26, 2014.

Date

Tuesday 02.09.2014 | 12:10

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Lifelong learning for kids in rural Nigeria

Simon Patrick Obi from Nigeria built a library at a school in the rural region of Ketti just outside the capital, Abuja, during his time of national youth service. But even after his obligation was finished, he went back because he saw that more needed to be done to support not only the kids’ education, but also their health.

Simon found that just building a library wasn’t enough – he is now making sure it’s being put to good use so the students there get an education that will lead to a brighter future. But that’s not all – he’s also inspiring the next generation of youth to go on an make a difference too.

Listen to the report by Nonye Aghaji in Abuja, Nigeria:

Simon says most of the students come from farming families and he feels education can make a huge difference in their lives (Photo: N. Aghaji)

Simon says most of the students come from farming families and he feels education can make a huge difference in their lives (Photo: N. Aghaji)

 

Date

Tuesday 15.04.2014 | 10:32

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Education for child workers in Thailand

Child labor is widespread in Thailand, and it’s often young immigrants from Myanmar who are most affected. Many children are forced to drop out of school and work in the physically demanding agriculture and seafood industries. And missing school means they don’t have a chance at getting a good job later on and overcoming poverty. Win Win Wa, 16, was born in Thailand her parents are from Myanmar. After having to work as a child, she was helped into an education by a Thai NGO. Now she’s helping others understand the importance of going to school.

Listen to the report by Nik Martin in Mahachai near Bangkok:

Education for child workers in Thailand

Win Win Wa

Win Win Wa speaks Burmese, so she can help other migrants from Myanmar (Photo: Nik Martin)

 

Date

Tuesday 23.07.2013 | 12:32

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An ear for adolescent girls in Bangalore

Sinu, 30, from Bangalore, gave up a promising engineering career to give back to her community. She is now on a mission to keep adolescent girls in school by promoting awareness about the taboo topic of menstruation.

Listen to the report by Pia Chandavarkar in Bangalore:

An ear for adolescent girls in Bangalore

Sinu Mundkur

Sinu Mundkur conducts sessions for adolescent schoolgirls in and around Bangalore, promoting awareness of menstruation.

Sinu Mundkur

Since menstruation is a topic that is rarely discussed in public, Sinu and her team have devised the program in such a way that the girls can relate to it and feel comfortable enough to open up about it

Date

Tuesday 28.08.2012 | 14:01

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Canadian high school student campaigns for gay rights

Driving along the wide highway streets of Mississauga towards St. Joseph Catholic Secondary School, you’ll pass a gas station, a Mercedes-Benz dealership and a handful of barren shopping plazas. The suburb of Mississauga, about a 45-minute drive from the economic center of Canada in Toronto, isn’t the most exciting place for a teenager. Seventeen-year-old Leanne Iskander says there’s not much to do there aside from going to the mall. She doesn’t do that often either. She’s looking forward to the end of the school year, when she can escape to Toronto for university, where she hopes to study history or political science.

For now, Leanne is stuck at St. Joe’s, battling her school principal and the Catholic school board for a Gay Straight Alliance club. At age 11, Leanne began thinking she wasn’t straight. Now she calls herself “gender queer.” Leanne explains that she doesn’t conform to either male or female gender norms. When she proposed initiating a Gay Straight Alliance club a year ago, she thought the principal would allow it. Instead, it raised a debate that went all the way to the Catholic school board and the Premier of Ontario. Now, gay Catholic students across the province are asking Leanne for advice in starting their own Gay Straight Alliance clubs.

Listen to the report by Carmelle Wolfson:

Canadian high school student campaigns for gay rights

Leanne Eskander

Leanne is looking forward to university

Leanne Eskander's bag

Leanne is bold with her opinions

Date

Tuesday 06.03.2012 | 13:27

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