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“According to your thoughts, we can transform each anganwadi into a clean and beautiful temple with basic amenities at a minimum cost. There are two benefits to this idea: the children get a nurturing environment and the children’s family and community get indirect inspiration and guidance.”
Jayesh Patel, co-founder Manav Sadhna
The Anganwadi Project (TAP) designs and builds ‘anganwadi’ or pre-schools in the slum areas of Ahmedabad, India. TAP recruits and trains Australian design professionals who volunteer their time to live and work in India for 4- 6 months to oversee the design and construction of these schools. We work in partnership with Manav Sadhna, (an Indian NGO) who is based in Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashram and who carries out Gandhi’s work.
In close partnership with the local community, TAP aims to create beautiful, simple and safe spaces in which children can learn, at minimum cost. The anganwadis are constructed by local labourers and use largely re-cycled materials in order to support the Manav Sadhna philosophy of ‘Re-Use, Re-Cycle, and Reduce.’
The existing schools are often located in tiny corrugated iron lean-tos with inadequate light and ventilation and are searing hot in the summer, making it impossible for the children to learn. TAP’s focus is on design considerations such as better use of space, ventilation, hygiene and natural light.
We believe strongly in the power of small actions and grassroots -based change. We now have an on-going relationship of over a decade with the community and can continue to see the incredible benefits of The Anganwadi Project in the lives of the children we serve.
Only the children from wealthy and middle class families can afford to go to a formal pre school in India. Over 18% of children do not get any formal education at all and children from these poor families are often lack the proper nutrition. More than 43% of children in India are malnourished. It is proven that a child given a chance to attend a preschool will more likely to start formal primary education.
How it was founded:
Co- Directors Jodie Fried and Jane Rothschild founded The Anganwadi Project (TAP) in 2007 in partnership with the Indian based NGO Manav Sadhna. The Anganwadi Project was independently incorporated as a not-for-profit volunteer association in 2011, at which time our Board of Directors was appointed.
Jodie Fried (Bholu and Armadillo&Co) has had a long association with India and Manav Sadhna. In 2005, she conducted workshops in the pre-schools of Ahmedabad for the children of the slum communities. She became acutely aware of the extremely poor conditions of the anganwadis (pre-schools) in the slums, and she was inspired to rebuild our first anganwadi, Bholu 1. Jodie joined forces with Jane Rothschild, a former Director of Architects Without Frontiers in 2006, with AWF providing the skilled volunteers and architectural support to the project.
Since 2005, The Anganwadi Project has completed 12 anganwadis, with the 13th to commence construction in March 2014. TAP’s goal is to continue to build one to two new pre-schools each year with the incredible contribution of our dedicated volunteers in India who make bring these schools come to life.