The Trust currently facilitates the sponsorship of over sixty individual children to attend fee-paying schools. These are children whose parents often cannot afford to buy them pens and paper so, although school fees are relatively low, gaining a good education at a private school would be completely out of reach without sponsorship.
The parents of the children we sponsor are often porters or housemaids who left school themselves with very little education. Through long-term sponsorship, the children will escape a future of this backbreaking work, and instead have the chance of a fulfilling career and the ability to lift themselves and the rest of their families out of poverty.
We collaborate with project directors on the ground who maintain good relationships with a number of municipal schools in Darjeeling, and take recommendations from teachers to identify those children who would most benefit from a chance at a private education. They also work closely with a number of fee-paying schools attended by sponsored children, to ensure that the children have enough support, and any individual tuition necessary, to make the transition and be successful. Wherever possible, sponsored children are placed in English-medium schools, as this provides the best preparation for a professional career.
It is crucial that sponsored children have the support of their families, and great care is taken to make certain that parents and guardians fully understand the long-term commitment required before sponsorship starts.
Sponsors receive annual reports from the school and regular reports and photos of their children through the Trust. The fees of £300 a year are donated to the school, and are used to cover costs such as school fees, shoes, a school bag, a plastic raincoat and wellingtons, and school uniform. Also, once a year, each child receives a small locally-bought gift such as a book.
The children whom DCT has sponsored for over a decade have now grown into young adults, and the Trust will be involved as much as is needed in helping them to make decisions about what to do next.
As a Trust, we are also committed to funding projects that support young people after the end of formal education, whether this be through career counselling or financial support for any further training they may need to allow them to earn a secure living in the future.
If you would like to find out more, or are considering becoming a sponsor, you can contact us at email@example.com.