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Girls in an English class.
Girls in an English class.
Girls helping in an event for community mobilization.
Girls helping in an event for community mobilization.
Tarana solving math problems
Tarana solving math problems
Asmeena solving math problems.
Asmeena solving math problems.
Anjum and her friend are very excited about going to school.
Anjum and her friend are very excited about going to school.

Bonds of Knowledge Never Break, They Just Change Shape!

The months of July and August are very busy here at Udaan. The last session is coming to a close and the girls from the first year of Udaan in Mewat are ready for formal upper primary schools andthe girls for the next year have already started arriving.

For girls like Asmeena, Afsari and Tarana who are very soon starting upper-primary, it is time for excitement, nervous anxiety and detailed planning. They have bought everything they will need in the new school. After living here for a year, the girls are confident they will make many friends at their new schools.  Of many things that they learnt here in Udaan, the most important is the art of making friends. They have learnt to live together in spite of all the differences. They are ready with songs, stories and games they will share with their new classmates. For most of us this excitement to be back in school has been a yearly phenomenon but for my girls here in Udaan this is the first time they are experiencing the excitement of a new session. What I love the most about them are the hopes they share.

While Asmeena and Afsari are eagerly looking forward to learning new things in English, Tarana cannot wait to expand her knowledge of Mathematics. About a year ago none of them thought they would ever go to school let alone master the English language or Mathematics. If not for Udaan many of them would have been married off by now. What a relief to see them talking about subjects they’re looking forward to studying rather than when and where their wedding will take place!

With their daughters coming to Udaan, the perspective of their parents shifted as well. Over the course of the year they witnessed an amazing growth and change in their daughters which proved that given an opportunity, girls too can achieve a lot. They see their daughters are well-mannered and well-spoken; confident and self-aware. No wonder they are equally excited about the girls going back to school.

As the girls get ready to leave Udaan for formal schools, I feel saddened by the thought that every year as I make friends with the girls who enrol I will bid adieu to those who will leave us behind for an exciting new session. But then, I am confident that wherever they go, the foundation, that the JMV team has put their hearts into building for them, will stay strong. After all how does our affection live on? It is when people we love and care for go on to achieve great things. How will the change, that Udaan is striving for, become visible and sustainable? It is when the girls go out and become the change makers! This bond will not break, it will only change shape.