The nomadic classroom

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Read, Write, Thrive

‌ a literacy program for nomadic herding communities in Kachchh, India

Prepared by Carole Douglas Desert Traditions


Location Lakhpat, Jakau and Nakhatrana Talukas, Kachchh, Gujarat, India


Project Vision By the year 2020 members of camel herding communities of Kachchh will reach a standard of literacy in the Gujarati language which will enable them to thrive in a rapidly changing world.


Project Rationale •   Literacy levels are low amongst nomadic herding communities •   Children of herding families do not attend school on any regular basis •   Rapid development is impinging on traditional ways of life •   Little research is carried to date out on the educational needs of remote nomadic communities


One solution When people cannot attend school, then school will attend the people – the idea of the ‘nomadic classroom’ is born.


How will it work? 1. Rethink conventional education models 2. Facilitate discussion within communities 3. Establish needs, timeframes, budget 4. Keep ideas simple and appropriate


Who are the key players? •   •   •   •

Members of camel herding communities Community elders – to be determined Fundraising and fund receiving bodies Local support network: Nehru Foundation for Development Kachchh Abhiyan Local Rotary Clubs and others yet to be identified


Pilot program begins By mid 2014 Establish legal structures - fund raising begins By February 2014

Community discussions Kachchh – Manly June – August 2012

Develop strategic partnerships By September 2013 Rotary Sunrise Club Manly have agreed to partner Bhuj Walled City Rotary Club in Kutch. Letters exchanged.

Determine budget for first 2-5 years By January 2014 Carole’s visit to India in September 2013 will confirm partners and set initial budget.


Cycle of Change


‘Travelling families serve as a reminder that school based education is not an end in itself or a goal in its own right. It is a means of achieving personal balance, social adaptation, professional training and cultural development to suit the norms of society.’ Jean Pierre Liegeois, Educating ‘Travellers’: A Model for the World