Reach Education Action Programme (REAP)
A literacy movement for empowerment
Reach Education Action Programme (REAP) was born out of a need to combat illiteracy and ensure every child is in school. For millions of children out-of-school and in child labor, education is still a distant dream. Yet, it is a known fact that primary education is the key to development and that the future of the country is shaped in her classrooms.
Illiteracy needed a frontal attack. REAP launched a full scale campaign for its eradication covering the length and breadth of Mumbai city and surrounding rural areas upto Nashik, through a non-formal education programme which literally takes literacy to the doorstep of the poor.
Through a dynamic vision, grass root commitment, aggressive innovative approach, REAP set on a task of social transformation through 4 E’s – education, entitlement (of rights), employment and empowerment.
From a modest beginning of 15 literacy centers in 1998 REAP made giant strides and within a short period expanded its network to over 450 centers by 2005 covering more than 10,000 learners. These include children on the street, slums, rag-pickers, child laborers and tribal children. Every year about 3500 children are mainstreamed in formal education. REAP also networks with government schools to upgrade quality education and prevent drop-outs.
REAP soon grew into a literacy movement for empowerment. Beginning with adult literacy, awareness programmes, human rights, skill training, income generation and currently 100 Self-Help Groups, women are trained to be agents of social change in their community. From being penniless to deciders of their group’s income and marketing is a success story of self reliance and development.
To ensure quality education, sustainability, advocacy, on-going training and research, REAP began its own four Teacher Training centers to train new teachers for it’s ever expanding ‘footpath university’. Skill training in Para Nursing and Beautician for self-employment opportunities is an additional component offered to dropout girls.
REAP also conducts a boarding for tribal girls in Dolkhamb, Shahapur Taluka to encourage them to complete high school.
REAP is a story of growth and dynamism; of commitment and search for answers for solving tomorrows problems today. Its strength is its ability to take risks for the poor, its wide out-reach, its great team work and its desire to give the ‘best to the least’.
REAP was awarded the international 2005 Opus Prize for outstanding humanitarian work on 7 th November, 2005, at Marquette University , United States.