Providing computer, english and media skills training for girls in Kolkata slums through curriculum with Atlanta teens
The Cross Stitch Project developed a media, computer skills and digital textile design program for adolescent girls serving 36 girls in Kolkata over the course of the 2012 school year.
The Cross Stitch Project launched in the Topsia community in Kolkata, India in conjunction with our partners Trinita Society for Health and Social Research, ASHA for Education and in Atlanta with partners Georgia State University, and the Atlanta Girls School.
Trinita Society supports marginalized children, boys working in leather factories and adolescent girls in the Topsia slum through educational programs and skills training. They are a grassroots organization that has worked with this community for over a decade. The girls in the Trinita educational program are the children of day laborers and housemaids -- at the lowest end of the Indian economic spectrum. Without the support of this NGO many girls would not be in school due to the financial strain.
The girls in Cross Stitch India follow a curriculum that includes peer-to peer communication--currently with students at the Atlanta Girls School--via social media, spoken English tutoring, computer skills training, video camera operation and editing workshops and a shared design project.
The goal of Cross Stitch india is to help girls build confident self-presentation and to help improve English skills which can lead to more job market potential; to support a safe mentoring space where students can relay family struggles and seek help when needed; to provide a platform for raising awareness of the global struggles of girls in poverty told in their own words.
Phase Two (2013)Our current project is to launch Digital Learning Hubs in both Atlanta and Kolata:
We worked for the first year of the Cross Stitch Project with the Atlanta Girls School to help refine our curriculum and get targeted feedback from young women whose school already promotes a global and service learning model. Additionally we've run short workshops with Grady High School and One Love Generation -- programs with teens more in the demographic we aim to serve.
Now we are ready to lauch our own center that will serve girls from Atlanta area public High Schools.
Opening our own space in Atlanta will allow us to expand our progamming and serve 25-30 teen girls in grade 9-12 with a focus on high performing students in at-risk communities. We will recruit young women with strong interest in digital media and design, journalism, civic engagement, and/or global rights andprovide advanced skill training, global communications, strategies, mentorship and confidence building programs that mirror the India project.
Additionally, in the next 1 -2 years want to launch a Digital Learning Hub in Kolkata providing a place where the girls already trained through the Cross Stitch Project can utilize their skills by becoming peer instructors and continue advanced training working toward entering college programs or gaining jobs with a living wage in Kolkata's growing IT sector.
This campaign will:
Support the current program in place in Kolkata.
Fund our annual trip to train staff and develop new partnerships in India
Allow the Cross Stitch Team to focus additional capital campaign efforts in Atlanta and get a program running in summer 2013
We have big plans this year and the funds we are looking to raise right now will cover the costs of our India project. We have to start a capital campaign to open our own space in Atlanta but if we can cover our costs in Kolkata we'll be able to focus our energies on approaching donors and looking at options in Atlanta. Any monies raised above and beyond our goal will go to that purpose.
$3000 Our Tipping Point: $3000 covers the cost of staff in Kolkata for the first half of 2013. This includes spoken English tutor, computer skills and video tutoring, vocational sewing and design instruction and administrative costs.
This breaks down to under $100 per year per student.
If we can cover the funds for half the year we will continue our fundraising efforts until the year is covered.
Everything above and beyond $3000 until we reach $8500 goes directly into the Kolkata Cross Stitch Project
$8500 The total cost per year to run the entire program which includes the costs of transportation for the girls, a nutritious snack during meeting time, supplies and specialized workshops once a month is $8500
An additional $3000 bringing our total to $11,500: will fund one staff training, administrative and development trip to India. This covers the cost of two RT coach fares for founders Phoebe and Elizabeth and allows us to bring donated equipment and supplies and make invaluable local contacts. We pay our own food and lodging costs out of pocket. The co-founders have worked on a strictly volunteer basis while getting this project off the ground and have previously fundraised to defray the expense of getting to India.
Any funds raised above and beyond our $11,500 goal will go toward our Atlanta media training center Capital Campaign. We need funds for equipment, supplies and space in Atlanta. In the meantime - we beg, borrow, trade but draw the line on stealing!
Remember: We only fund if we reach of tipping point of $3000!