Panikhali Rural Development Society
In 2016 we came in to contact with a new organisation called Panikhali Rural Development Society (PRDS) who had been running a project in the village of Panikhali and surrounding villages since 2006. We were immediately drawn to the project due it’s nature in providing education to children from some of the most marginalised families in the community. In early 2017 we funded much-needed repair work to the school building roof and installation of fans and lights to benefit the children who attended the school. After the repair work was complete we agreed to fund the PRDS project in 2017 which would include pre-school, follow up coaching and numerous outreach programmes in the local community. In 2018 we were delighted to once again agree to support PRDS in their work and extend our programme with them where we are now working with them in three communities.
In the summer of 2017 we began to support follow up coaching for Class V-VIII students in a neighbouring village called Boria after the local mothers had been requesting coaching for the older children in the community. We were delighted to be able to extend our work to this new community with PRDS.
In January 2018 through our work with PRDS we got to know of a community located near Panikhali Village that was requesting an education centre be provided for the children and young people in the area. After meeting with community members and working closely with PRDS management we officially opened our third centre with PRDS to be called Alor Disha which translates from Bengali as “Moving in the Direction of Light”. The centre has proved to a great success with large numbers of children and young people being supported in their education with the programme we have implemented here with PRDS.
We now work with PRDS in three villages to support the pre-school and follow up coaching of students in each community. The number of students currently enrolled in all three PRDS centres is now 611. We also extended our student sponsorship programme to students in each of the centres in the latter stages of their secondary education. PRDS works closely with mothers in the local community and surrounding villages by forming groups that meet regularly to discuss issues faced and plan awareness programmes to address these issues.