Support the education of poor adolescent children by Apnalaya

Help poor adolescents get educational support


Every monthly donation helps the education of adolescents like Salma

Salma's family lost everything in a fire and was pushed into dire poverty. Her father began working as a rag picker. Salma's father, already burdened with family needs and the education expenses of her two older siblings could not afford to send her to school.

It was then that Apanalaya intervened with an educational sponsorship program that provided for 50% of Salma's fees, books, uniform and other requirements. Despite the taxing household chores, Salma is determined to do well in her studies and works really hard.

Salma is pursuing her Grade XII currently and will continue to receive support from Apnalaya for another year. She dreams of becoming a teacher to help other kids like her. Support this program and help kids like Salma find a ray of hope.


By donating to this program

you will be sponsoring the overall costs incurred to support the beneficiaries

About The Program

What the beneficiary gets
School Supplies
What you get
Tax Exemption
Periodic Reports
Program Description

Apnalaya runs an educational sponsorship program for adolescents between the age of 14-18 years. The children selected for the sponsorship go through a fellowship module aimed at their development and to bring in engagement. It includes modules on 'Self-exploration, identity, and diversity, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Interconnectedness between Self and Society, Citizenship and Civic Action.

All the selected youth belong to the same community. They learn from the program and give back to the community, which creates a self-sustaining community. Donations are used for tuition fees, distribution of bags, uniforms, books, and training of the trainers. Trainees develop their cognitive and socio-emotional faculties as they learn from diversity and experience. Guidance sessions track the progress and challenges of students.

Every year 300+ youth are supported through this program and equip them to become role models in a community where aspirations are continuously stunted by the cycle of deprivation.

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About The NGO

Apnalaya Logo

Apnalaya is a secular voluntary organization, that has been building self-sustaining communities since 1973. It aims to empower the disadvantaged to overcome the social, political and economic barriers and help them lead a better quality of life. They work with the most marginalized people dwelling in the slums of Mumbai. There are 4,200 children under 6 years of age at the center of Apnalaya’s Health Program.

The Health and Disability related interventions emphasize on empowering community members to improve health seeking behavior and access healthcare instituted by government agencies. The Livelihood program equips young boys and girls, men and women to identify the potential of opportunities and turn them into economic productivity. They provide sewing classes, enroll and train women who otherwise have been under cultural restraints to stay away from income-generating activities.

209 women have economically benefited from Self Help groups organized by Apnalaya. The Education and citizenship program aims to bring together the volunteers from the community so that they have a better understanding of the challenges faced by their community and identify their responsibilities towards it. In 2017, Apnalaya was awarded the Champion Level- GuideStar India Platinum for highest levels of transparency and public accountability.

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Founded in 1991
NGO Leadership

Arun Kumar

areas of operation
Area of Operation
Area of Operation

Maternal health | women

location of work
Location of Work
Location of Work


Apnalaya has

helped 322 underprivileged people earn a livelihood in FY 17-18

Awards And Recognitions
Awards And Recognitions

2017: Girl Power Awards

2018: Yeh Hai India award

last audited
Last Audited
Periodic Compliance Checks by GiveIndia

Renewals FY 19-20

Program Updates

Program Updates

3 June, 2022

Education support for poor adolescent girls


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

Our adolescent girls (79 Adolescent girls) are currently undergoing civic education training. The curriculum is designed to prepare them to become agents of positive social change on social inclusion and constitutional literacy issues. They will join community civic action groups and undertake civic action projects in their Mohallas following this training.

· A series of sessions on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights were offered to adolescents. Each session was designed to create a learning journey in which participants learn how to negotiate personal decisions on gender, sexual and reproductive health rights, and early and child marriage.

· We believe young people's voices, ideas, and actions have been critical in social change and transformation. By aggregating youth voices, supporting youth-led events, and on-the-ground movements, we have also positively impacted youth lives this year. This year, 29 girls who graduated from the School Saheli project have joined Community Civic Action groups and are currently engaged in community action projects.

· Conducted career counseling sessions with students to equip them with critical life skills for navigating the job market

· seven mentors trained on three modules on Civic Education, Aspirations and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights

· Regular monthly Meetings with parents.


• 79 SS adolescents continue in Education.

• This year's school dropout rate was 2.63 percent.

• We have developed a cadre of 23 mentors/leaders who have demonstrated their leadership skills through their engagement with adolescents.

• Zero underage marriage and child labor during the reporting period

Challenges faced and next steps

Covid related challenges

As a result of conditions created by the first and second wave of COVID-19 in the project target area, adolescents face an increased risk of exposure to harm. The pandemic increased economic and social stressors within families, which further caused more adolescents to be exposed to violence at home after extended lockdowns also. Additionally, a marked increase in child marriage risk was reported last year, and the same trend is seen with the present COVID-19 occurrence.

Mitigation strategies Apnalaya sought to mitigate the risk adolescents faced during lockdown by strengthening the parents' involvement program and enhancing phone-based communications with adolescents and their parents, and counseling the parents whenever necessary. The Apnalaya team also trained mentors in Apnalaya's child protection policy.

Stories from the ground

Rehan* currently is in 10th standard. He had three siblings. Even though his parents did not pursue higher education, his father understood the importance of a good education. He was determined to send all his children to school, but Rehan* was rebellious. His parents would send him off to school each morning, but he would often play instead. Sometimes he would return home early, complaining about the teacher or the classwork. Even on the days, he did go to school, once attendance was taken, he would sneak out. So, despite his parents urging him to go to school and stay there all day, Rehan* did not comply. As a result of regular interactions with Rehan*'s parents, Rehan's mentor learned that Rehan* frequently skips school classes. Immediately after this matter came to Apnalaya's attention, a mentor and Apnalaya staff regularly visited Rehan's* home to talk to his parents and discuss resolving Rehan's absence problem. Apnalaya staff also invited Rehan to participate in the Sunday life skill sessions and encouraged Rehan to spend time at the Apnalaya office and speak to the Apnalaya team about day-to-day issues he is dealing with in school. They also counseled the child on the matter. In the process, nine other adolescent boys in his group met Rehan and his parents, as their scholarships depended on Rehan continuing his education. The team also discovered that Rehan* has difficulty adjusting to his current educational environment and cannot concentrate and learn in the classroom. In no time, Apnalaya staff also helped him change institute and enroll him in a private tutor class where the tutor gives special attention to Rehan*. Now he will be appearing for the 10th board as a private candidate. Over time, Rehan's behavior improved, and his attendance jumped from 30% to over 90% by the end of the year. His demeanor changed, too

29 September, 2021

Supporting education of adolescent girls from vulnerable communities.


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

Major Activities:1. 212 phone-based interactions with 127 adolescent girls and 420 home visits were conducted between January to June 2. 13 mentors trained on 3 modules on Nutrition, Aspirations and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights 3. Three life skill sessions on Aspiration, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and Nutrition were organized with 13 adolescent’s groups. 4. Meetings with 56 parents. 5. 5 new career mentors from the community also known as Career Sathi were selected to carry out career counselling sessions with 85 adolescent girls Milestones: 1. 127 SS adolescents continue in Education. 7 drop-outs prevented during the reporting period 2. Zero underage marriage and child labour during the reporting period Major Event:1. A 5-day workshop on career counselling was organized for career sathis/ mentors to enable them to guide adolescents enrolled in the project.Areas covered (cities, states, regions etc)  Total 13 clusters covered from Shivaji Nagar, Govandi, Mumbai  The number of people impacted?  127 Adolescent Girls and 13 Mentors   How were they impacted or helped?  1.127 girls are continuing their education since January 2021.  2. No child labour and child marriage cases were reported during the reporting period from January to June 2021.   3. The mentors have become leaders in the community and are helping solve community problems and are responding to all child protection related cases in the community.

Challenges faced and next steps

1, Due to the pandemic and lockdown many students from the cluster groups had returned to their villages as their families had no other means for survival in Mumbai and it became quite challenging for the team to put all the students together. 2. As a result of conditions created by the first and second wave of COVID-19 in the project target area, adolescents face an increased risk of exposure to harm. The pandemic increased economic and social stressors within families which further caused more adolescents to be exposed to violence at home after long lockdowns also. Additionally, a marked increase in child marriage risk was reported last year, and the same trend is seen with the present COVID-19 occurrence. How did you overcome it? The team maintained contact with the students in their villages, encouraged them to take part in online sessions, and trained the rest who didn't have access to the internet or smartphones once they were back. Apnalaya sought to mitigate the risk adolescents faced during lockdown by strengthening the parents' involvement programme and enhancing phone-based communications between adolescents and their parents, as well as counselling the parents whenever necessary. Further Apnalaya team also trained mentors on the Apnalaya child protection policy. Goal/aim/activity plan for the next 6 months for this program?1. To ensure that all students continue in education and don't get married before the legal age2. To provide career counselling support so that make the correct choices regarding further education and employment3. To complete the remaining social education sessions.

Stories from the ground

Saba* is the eldest among her siblings; she has a younger brother and a sister. Being the eldest daughter, she was also responsible for doing all the household chores and taking care of her siblings. She cleared the 10th standard with good marks and wanted to get admission to junior college to complete her higher education. Saba was interested in studying commerce and dreamt of becoming a Chartered Accountant in future. She applied to many colleges online but her name got selected only in one college in Sanpada which was 15-20 km away from her home. Being raised in an orthodox and conservative family her parents strictly refused her to take admission in that college, as in their community girls were not allowed to study outside their community or study in colleges that are very far from home. Saba then by the first week of January informed her mentor that she is not able to get admission in nearby colleges and informed her that her parents are not allowing her to take admission in colleges that are far. The mentor was very much aware that how important it was for her to get admission to a college and challenging oppressive cultural norms are also not so easy. The mentor from the very next day, went along with Saba for admissions and this continued for 2-3 months but still, luck was not on its way. After failing miserably for offline admissions also, Saba’s mentor decided to directly persuade the Principals of different colleges and after her diligent persuasive approach, finally in Chembur, Saba was able to get her name on the admission list of 3 colleges but all the colleges were charging high fees. The mentor with Saba went to her home to inform her parents about this, Saba’s father straightaway conveyed that he cannot afford high fees and decided to stop the education of Saba conveying that in their community completing 10th standard is enough for a girl to get married in a good family. The mentor informed this matter to Apnalaya staff, then Apnalaya staff with the Mentor met the parent and counselled and motivated them to allow Saba to take admission in Junior college and reminded them that Saba is a very bright student and supporting Saba in education will only help the family to get out of poverty. Finally, after contemplating this deeply, Saba’s father agreed and paid for the fees of college. Now Saba is happily attending her online classes. After Saba’s case, the mentor also continued to help other girls in buying second-hand books as many girls in her group were struggling to buy school textbooks due to the poor financial condition of their families.

23 March, 2021

Supporting adolescent girls of Shivaji Nagar to continue their education


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School Saheli programme is a cluster scholarship programme for adolescent girls in Shivaji Nagar. The intervention is designed as a cluster scholarship model, wherein, a group of 10 girls is led by a Youth Mentor from the community. The groups receive monthly scholarship and if anyone drops out, the scholarship is stopped for the entire group. Therefore, ensuring peer support and mentorship. Along with the scholarship, groups undergo training in Apnalaya’s Life-skill curriculum and meets every week.
Currently, the cohort has 122 girls, in 13 groups led by 13 mentors.
Programme Report/Update
The year started with the COVID-19 outbreak which was declared a pandemic in March. Mumbai went on a lockdown, schools shut down, uncertainty regarding future of children and their families seeped in and Shivaji Nagar became a hotspot. Due to very less economic activity, the lockdown had a huge impact on the community and marginalized it even more.
Therefore, from March till May, 2020, 42,179 ration and sanitary kits were distributed to 18,910 households. Simultaneously, process of Direct Benefit Transfers was initiated where 2185 families received direct bank transfers during the period of lockdown. As the relief work was initiated, the team kept in touch with the students of the School Saheli programme and ensured that the students do not drop out.
Once the lockdown eased, activities were started on the field. School Saheli model is a cluster model, wherein each mentor leads a group of 10 girls and is supported by the field staff of Apnalaya. In the reporting period, 454 phone calls and 244 home-visits have been conducted by mentors and the field team.
Since September, the Life-skill sessions have started with students of the School Saheli programme. 13 youth mentors have attended 3 Training of Trainers to facilitate the sessions.
Six sessions on Aspiration building have been conducted with 111 students. The sessions were conducted via online and offline mode, for online session Zoom application was used. The mentors facilitated sessions by sharing white board, break-out rooms and polls. Also, centre sessions were conducted by following all the social distancing norms.
Due to the lockdown, we have seen an increase in child protection cases which are also becoming a reason for drop outs. Since March, the programme has observed 13 possible drop outs, of which 5 were prevented, but 7 drop-outs could not be prevented as they were due to migration, child marriage case and a child abuse case.
Currently, the School Saheli programme has 78 students who are in the process of enrolling in 11th standard, but due to delay in admission process at the state level, students are finding it very difficult to continue which is a major challenge faced by the programme in the current year.

5 August, 2020

Providing gender sensitivisation to the adolescents and their parents


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Providing gender sensitivisation to the adolescents and their parents

The aim of Apnalaya’s Youth Fellowship Programme is to support adolescents and young people from Shivaji Nagar to:

  •    Access financial support to continue secondary and higher education/professional degrees

  •    Undergo a Life Skills and Citizenship curriculum that equips them with skills to manage identity, diversity and conflict; understand the basics of governance and take up civic engagement as responsible citizens

    Young people enrolled with the programme have participated in regular sessions on appreciating each other, relationships and empathy, self-exploration and identity and stereotypes. They have negotiated within families to allow them to participate in outdoor overnight camps to experience learning amidst a collective. These adolescent and youth groups from across 12 slum clusters in Shivaji Nagar are now going through an intensive process of understanding self, society and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) before they get into the basics of understanding governance and civic engagement. Apart from engaging with the youth (HE fellow), the program also engages with the parents in order to sensitise them as well in the areas of gender equality and financial literacy. This parent engagement aims to not only help the parents become more aware themselves but also helps the entire family as a unit to improve their overall understanding of issues that create impediment to their growth.

During the period January – March 2020, we conducted the following sessions with the parents of our Higher Education Fellows.
Gender training sessions for the parents were conducted on 6th February 2020. This session specifically dealt with the topics of

  1.    Analysing Discrimination and Violence 

  2.    What do the Laws say?

    The main objective of the session was to enable parents examine the meaning of gender based violence (GBV), their types, learn styles of responding to such situations, understanding legal aid as our right and finally understanding pertinent laws.

Learning Points – After discussion with parents, it was noted that many times the parents didn’t see these GBV as violence as such and accepted those as their obligation/duty/fate. Under reporting is also very high due to social stigma attached to such violence.

Action Points – Though laws such as POCSO act were discussed, some parents wanted more details about such laws on GBV to further increase their understanding. Facilitators and curriculum design team will incorporate such information details going forward. Also information about other NGOs working specifically in these areas could be shared with parents to strengthen ground support.

19 November, 2019

Students engaged in sessions and activities


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Students engaged in sessions and activities

22 July, 2019


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Program Update

Apnalaya has supported the beneficiaries of this program through financial sponsorship, so as to ensure that they remain in school and pursue higher education. Some of these fellows also took up civic action projects on various issues pertaining to Shivaji Nagar slums. Total 340 students were supported financial in 2018-19, education material including books were given to these students. Of these 108 participants were trained on citizenship curriculum which included Life Skills, Gender Concepts and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The SRHR sessions took plan during Jan to Mar period. Felicitation of 100 students who successfully completed their 10th, 12th & graduation was done during Youth Action Event.

Story from the field

Mohamed Fakruddin Sayyed (14-years-old) enrolled in Apnalaya’s youth fellowship programme in June 2018. His parents, who are disabled, migrated to Shivaji Nagar 15 years ago. With no source of income, Sayyed started working as a rag picker as a kid and was not enrolled in school. When his neighbours and community members saw the state of the family, they decided to sponsor his education, but they could not support him after the 9th grade as the expenses increased. They then referred Sayyed to Apnalaya for the fellowship. When Apnalaya staff members went to his house, they saw that their financial state was extremely poor; their house was barely 10*10 feet and the family was struggling with even the bare necessities, which the neighbours help with. After the staff got him registered and started supported him through our fellowship, they realised that he is a brilliant dancer and a bright student. He has attended many Life Skills sessions of Apnalaya including our Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) session. Sayyed attends dance classes whenever it is organised by Apnalaya and will be taking part in our upcoming talent show! “I want to become a professional dancer when I grow up,” said Sayyed.

What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?340
What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date340
Village/City/State where project is locatedShivaji Nagar, Govandi, Mumbai
Total Budget for the project for FY18-19960637
Total Expenses for the project YTD946019