The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries across all continents. The closure of schools and other learning spaces and the move to providing education online amidst the pandemic has greatly affected the access to education for children from vulnerable communities. We have seen in our service villages that a majority of children do not have access to a smart phone or a computer, and the internet connectivity in these regions is patchy and unreliable.
Over the last year, Shanti Ashram has implemented an innovative and comprehensive response to the digital divide caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adopting technology has enabled us to engage over 35,000 children through 184 online programs since June 2020. Our sessions are both complementary to their formal education and supplementary to their development and well-being. The sessions focus on the areas of education, health, nutrition, leadership building and peace education.