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COACH: our new initiative!

COACH Foundation – “Play, Learn, and Grow together”

(Comprehensive Operations to Augment Community Health)

We cannot forget the onslaught of COVID-19 on the world. An instantaneous complete lockdown clamped by the Indian govt. with the police force on March 24, 2019 left thousands of people stranded and millions whose life depended on daily wages were rendered without the means to feed their families or keep a roof over their heads. Millions of children from all over the country as well as 150+ children in our two mission schools (all Dalit and poor families) had absolutely no schooling. The duration of school closures in India was among the longest in the world, according to UNESCO. We continue to discover that children have been the first and worst hit victims of COVID-19.

Researchers world-over have found that online and remote learning was far less effective than the teacher-driven, physical classroom mode. Students have suffered what many psychologists call “regression in learning”. With digital media out of their reach, the children from socio-economic weaker sections here were hit worse because they did not have access to learning in any form. The govt. failed to make any provisions for such as these. Three years later we continue to witness regression in learning and education among the socio-economically impoverished.

Once the scepter of Corona was lifted and our teachers double vaccinated, we took the school to the children and conducted classes in the yards of homes and, in the absence of one home, on the neighborhood roads.

The mission of the COACH Foundation sprang from this dire need caused by the pandemic. This is an after-school foundation laying and building program for children of 2nd to 5th grades with both education and health as its twin core objectives. Education will not be only academics. Our mission is to give children moral moorings, an understanding of social justice, and critical thinking. And for health, we will provide a nutritious after-school snack and milk, organized sports, and performing arts--something that has gone out of our education system in India.

We plan to systematically run a COACH bridge program in 10 villages in the next 5 years. We begin our first COACH program of “Play, Learn, and Grow together” this summer with 25 children at Ammireddigudem.

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