The importance of access to education.

Hello and Namaste,

The person in me honors and blesses the person in you.

 This is one of the girl’s teachers who also rides her bicycle to school each day as well.

This is one of the girl’s teachers who also rides her bicycle to school each day as well.

My story begins with realizing the value of education in my own life growing up as an immigrant child, born in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies, living in New Jersey.  My dear mother, Rautee, was illiterate as her stepfather decided, as a child, she would not go to school but instead complete all the daily household chores and take care of her younger step-siblings.  While living in New Jersey, I was the second child of four siblings and the one chosen to write letters for my mother to her family back home and read letters she received as well any other written information that needed to be shared with my mother. I adored my mother and learned many strengths from her challenging life. My family emigrated from the US to India when I was 14 years of age.  While in India, my mother, unfortunately, passed away at the age of 42 years while I was 16 years of age. I always wondered what her life would have been like if she could read and write.

 Here the girls are arriving at the school grounds with their bikes.

Here the girls are arriving at the school grounds with their bikes.

This is one of my purposes in creating my own nonprofit, Rautee’s Education of Devis dba EDGE - EDucation for Girls Empowerment in Boone, NC.  My mother deserved to have an education. She deserved the opportunity to develop her talents, her skills, her creativity and who knows where her education would have taken her.  No one has the right to deny the education of females. My nonprofit’s mission is to support the dreams and education of rural village girls at Navaprabhat Kanya Gurukul, a girls day school, in Nuapali, Odisha, India.  I have visited the school during January - February of 2018 and I can tell you all 40 students are very determined to earn the free education offered to them. I believe if these girls can ride their bikes one way, for about 30-40 minutes, to go to school six days a week, they can do anything! I love them like my own daughters and I know they are changing their generations to come by being educated women of their communities. I challenge you to ask yourself what education means in your life.  What would it be like if you were denied the access to education?

 One of my favorite photos I took in January 2018 of all the girl’s bikes lined up at the beginning of their school day.

One of my favorite photos I took in January 2018 of all the girl’s bikes lined up at the beginning of their school day.