Buddha’s Smile School has started with the construction of a small day care center for children in the age of 0 to 3 years old. This new center will enable girl elementary school students to attend classes on a regular basis rather than intermittently stay home to care for their younger siblings.
Rajan Kaur Saini, founder of BSS explains: “On days when the parents of many of our older girl students find work, they insist that the older daughters stay home from school in order to care for younger siblings. That means many of our girl students fall irretrievably behind in classwork.”
One example is Buli (7), a student of the Bengali refugee community. This school year Buli did not come to school regularly. Only twice a month her mother allowed her to come to school, because she had to take care of her baby brother while her mother collects garbage. That’s why the school decided to put Buli off the school list, so another child can come to school. Buli came to school since Nursery and loves to come to school. When the new day care center is ready, Rajan will have to convince Buli’s mother to send Buli with her baby brother to school again.
Therefore BSS has asked their donors to help build a day care center. One foundation who responded is Amistad International. Amistad’s executive director, Karen Kotoske “We are very enthusiastic about helping this urgent need. Building a small day care center is urgently needed so that BSS elementary girls don’t have to miss classes. The BSS board of directors has made a good strategic decision. A day care center will help to keep their younger girls in school so that they can at least complete elementary school.” Human Y Terre, a NGO from France, is helping BSS with the operational costs of the day care center.
The design for the center will be a 950 sq ft. room for the main child care with bathrooms, wash-up sinks and mattresses for children’s naps. There will also be an assembly space for the elementary students and possibly a small office for BSS staff. The expected opening of the day care center will be in the summer of 2016.