The Yoga Mission is a charitable organisation running educational projects in three regions of India: Varanasi, Uttarkhand and Madhya Pradesh. Our main base is in Varanasi, where it runs three educational projects. Varanasi is a city situated in Uttar Pradesh, which is one of four Indian states which the UN has declared to be poorer than the 40 poorest African countries added together.
The Yoga Mission does not simply provide children with literacy skills: we offer a stable, nurturing environment for children who, for many reasons, are in need. An alarming report by UNESCO recently concluded that 90% of Indian children are illiterate, even those who attend state-run schools. Girls are the most likely to miss out on an education, and our mission is to reverse this trend by employing a largely female staff in order to offer a safe and non-threatening learning environment to female pupils. This has the added beneﬁt of providing jobs for local women (many of them former pupils themselves) so that they can support themselves, while being able to pay for their own further education.
In the city, by taking children off the streets and offering them stability and education, we show them the way out of the poverty trap, changing not only their lives, but all those around them. In this way we are improving the community one child at a time. In rural areas we aim to work from within the community for sustainable development based on ancient traditions, leading to conscious living, empowerment of women and education.
Real education is about bringing the knowledge out from within.