To educate Rotarians on how to get approval for global grant for basic education and literacy (BEL) projects, the Rotary Action Group – BEL of RID 3232 conducted a month-long online training programme, Project Vidyarthi – Local and Global. “Many Rotarians think that literacy projects are about buying notebooks, stationery, or classroom furniture. But there is so much more to literacy. You could teach through yoga or by singing. Vidyarthi will help Rotarians access resources from across the world to understand and plan holistic literacy projects” says Vasanthi Ranganathan, who audits BEL projects as a cadre member. She cited RC Johannesburg, RID 9400, that had implemented a GG project on nutrition to increase cognitive ability in students. “While the scalability and outcome of the project matter, Rotarians must also understand how their project will be monitored and evaluated.”
Open to Rotarians and non–Rotarians, the 30-day and 90 hours programme included sessions on various BEL projects that highlighted their key features through dance, music, relationships, communication, religion and values which helped to design wholesome learning initiatives.
The online programme raised ₹7,700 through the sale of Vidyarthi mugs, a special memento, which will be displayed at the literacy projects of RCs Chennai, Mambalam and Ambattur. DG J Sridhar announced a Vidyarthi Endowment fund of $25,000 to be used for literacy projects in the district. The event had 115 speakers and all the 60 sessions were uploaded on YouTube.
In his message, RI President Shekhar Mehta said that such training programmes should be held frequently, and not just in September (BEL month) as this will help Rotarians and clubs to understand and plan literacy projects holistically.