Lucknow Project

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Classroom in Amethi, India

The Lucknow Project has been hugely successful in improving the educational system of rural villages in India along with health and quality of life. Improvements to the education and health systems have led to broader community empowerment and a sense of a future for the younger generations.

Education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and disease that plagues children in the villages of India. Since 2006, Project Founder Nazeela Nasseri has traveled to Amethi, India to teach English initially during summer break. Now, her sister, Afshan Nasseri, 16 years old, has taken over the responsibility of Project Director. They have collected basic school supplies and want to continue their lessons year round. Through generous donations, and the help of GRACE Cares and the Nasseri family, the small project has grown into a number of initiatives serving the entire community.

 

WHO WE HELP:  Approximately 3000 school age students, 70/30 female/male across five schools in the area and the surrounding community.

WHEN:  Year-round, thanks to various teachers we have hired and community members we work with.

WHAT WE DO:  English and financial education, maintenance of school facilities, annual health care clinics, community aid and empowerment.

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Afshan Nasseri using interactive teaching techniques in Amethi, India.

 

WHY:  Community empowerment is the key to raising literacy rates in the area and raising the average marriage age/full school matriculation of girls. Thus, we ensure a healthy community by providing an annual health clinic and necessary medications, an educated community by maintaining schools for 3000 children and hiring English teachers to keep these children up to par with their urban counterparts. We provide educational seminars for parents and encourage an active community. We engage community leaders to ensure fair apportionment of funds available for community needs.

HOW:  Fundraising, onsite time commitments, and continuous oversight of the program. The Lucknow Project consists of the Educational Initiative, Health Initiative, and Community Initiative.

WHAT WE NEED:  Lucknow is a vastly successful but very expensive project. Its continuation depends on donors to fund this important and life-changing progress. Donations fund teacher salaries, school maintenance, boarding and school fees for needy and orphaned children, and community needs. In addition we welcome medical supplies, equipment, and medication donations for the community health project. Computers for the schools, generators, school supplies, and books are also appreciated.

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Afshan Nasseri sells jewelry, like this spectacular bracelet to support the Lucknow Project. For more information on jewelry available for purchase contact Afshan at:  beebeeafshan@hotmail.com.

BACKGROUND

The Lucknow Project has allowed students to learn English quickly–a huge achievement for those who have never been exposed to a foreign language before. Overall sanitation has improved exponentially. For example, they have learned the importance of filtering/boiling water to purify it, as well as the importance of cleaning vegetables/meats with this purified water. Thanks to the medical initiative, chronic illnesses are being taken care of, and medications are being provided to all who need it. The community has banded together to improve themselves as a whole, asking for our help with improving buildings and overall living conditions to ensure that they advance and progress as they should be doing.

Educational Initiative

In 2006, after visiting her maternal grandfather’s ancestral village of Amethi, located in Uttar Pradesh, India, Nazeela Nasseri recognized the need of millions of children across the globe who are denied access to basic education, shelter, and health care. The Nasseri family decided to take action and Nazeela began travelling to India annually and spending 8 weeks over summer vacation teaching English in the school for girls in Amethi. Along with English lessons, she began providing students with basic school supplies. By 2008 what started with the Ummesalma School grew into the Lucknow Project and included two other schools, the Noor-ul-Anwar School and the M. Jeevan School. In 2010 Ms. Nasseri traveled to Lucknow with her grandfather and family to oversee the integration of the Almighty Cambridge Academy into the Lucknow Project Intensive English Program. Upon evaluation of the 500 students prior English knowledge, an adapted curriculum was developed for the two English teachers in place at the School.

Currently, through generous donations, the project now funds six full-time, qualified, English teachers to maintain the curriculum year-round. Now, Afshan Nasseri travels to India every year to oversee the project as well as teach in the schools.

Medical Initiative

The Lucknow Project has been expanded to include a Medical Initiative, overseen by Dr. Afshin Nasseri. Qualified American physicians provide a check up to each student at the schools, as well as the surrounding village community, free of charge. Dr. Nasseri also does a medical evaluation of the conditions at each school, to ensure that children are being housed and educated in a safe, sanitary, and healthy environment. The Lucknow Project and Dr. Nasseri are constantly recruiting any physicians who are willing to donate their time for this cause, and would be grateful for any donations from pharmaceutical donors in terms of basic medicines and ointments.

Our Newest Project

In 2009 and 2010 the Lucknow Project began to look at community-wide empowerment as a means of improving the quality of life in the area, which would in turn lead to higher numbers of children being sent to school. The community initiative is led by a group consisting of 7-10 members from each bloc or constituency in Amethi and manages a small fund to help pay for marriages, funeral rites, birth certificates, hospitalization for critical illness, and other official ceremonies or emergencies, for those who cannot afford to do so themselves. Each area of the village will be equally represented through the group of leaders, to ensure appropriate and fair apportionment of the funds in this category.