Nav -Jeevan Sanstha is in existence today because of Mrs.I.S,Wilkinson from Nagpur India and Ms. Annelies van de Ven from the Netherlands.† Though the project is only 6 years old, the seeds were planted in 1980. At that time, Mrs. Wilikson, a high school teacher by profession, managed an orphanage in Nagpur. Annelies adopted two little girls from this orphanage, and when her daughters grew up Annelies asked Mrs. Wilkinson what she could do for Nagpur as thanks for giving her two beautiful children.† Iris had always felt very strongly that the section of Indian society most in need of help were slum/street children.† Orphans belong to an institution where they are cared for, but slum children, by virtue of having parents, are not considered society’s responsibility and are doomed to live a life in abject poverty and ignorance just like their parents.†
The two ladies came up with the idea of starting a school for slum children, and a vocational training center for slum women in Central India.† While Mrs. Wilkinson registered Nav-Jeevan Sanstha in Nagpur in 2003,†Annelies simultaneously launched Stichting Nav-Jeevan in Holland as a non-profit. To date, Stitching Nav-Jeevan remains the main sponsor for the work carried on by Nav-Jeevan Sanstha (NJS).† The foundation raises funds by giving information and lectures. Since 2003, 100% of the donations go to NJS.
Initially it was difficult to convince the parents of the importance of education for their children.† Being uneducated themselves, the parents couldn’t understand why it would be useful to send their children to school rather than out on the roads to beg.† To them it seemed a loss of income.† Finally what changed their minds was that the children receive a free meal and medical care.† When the school began we were caring for just a few children, but today all 220 of our students still receive free food, medical care, and an education
Today NJS is housed in a beautiful building with all modern amenities thanks to the efforts of its Dutch partner. NJS is also currently in the developing stages for implementing a women’s vocational program.
Who We Are :
NJS is a nonprofit school and hostel registered with the Charity Commissioner. We are dedicated to providing slum children and women with the basic necessities of food, shelter, and clean clothes as well as education and vocational training. We do not have any religious affiliations and pride ourselves on inter-religious tolerance and education. In our curriculum we teach the kids about all the major world religions and how important it is to respect the beliefs of another. We feel that in a country like ours, where caste and religion have been the cause of so much strife and division, this is very important.
Our main focus is to empower slum woman and children so that they can positively impact their lives, their community, and the world by being upstanding and educated citizens.
What We Do :
While the lack of basic necessities like shelter, food, clothing and medical care hurts every human, it is most threatening to children. Children living in poverty are at high risk of growing up as hardened criminals as these are often the only role models they see in the slums. While children are negatively affected, women too suffer. The women in these slums do not have the skill sets to provide for themselves let alone their children. This only perpetuates the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and crime.
We believe that what we provide for the woman and children is theirs by right and not an act of charity. Food, shelter and education should be the right of every human being.
We currently have 100 children living in the school dormitory. Another 100 commute daily from their homes to the school on our bus. With parental consent, and often encouragement, we bring street children out of the slum environment and into the NJS campus environment. We think it is important that our kids know there is more than the squalor and poverty that has always surrounded them. We also encourage people from different walks of life come and address the children on the various vocational avenues available to them through education.