Reality Gives


Reality Gives is a community-based education NGO founded in Mumbai’s Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums and home to over a million people. It envisions a world where underprivileged communities have equitable access to opportunities and resources, and believes education is the most powerful tool people can use to break the cycle of poverty. Through its school, youth and sporting programmes, Reality Gives has reached over 7000 children and young adults since 2009.

Using quality curricula developed through a blend of local and international expertise, its focus is on bringing quality standards from leading domestic and overseas institutes to India’s slum communities, all the while monitored closely by a Director of Education recruited from Harvard University. There is another unique aspect to Reality Gives’ approach: it hires and trains staff locally to deliver its programmes, with the vast majority of its teachers, sports coaches, and operational staff coming from the communities they now serve.

Karthika Nadar (photographed above) exemplifies this ethos. Her story began when she joined Reality Gives’ Girls Football Academy when she was 17.

Employed as a compounder at a local pharmacy at the time, she worked unsociable evening hours for a very modest salary. Her dream had always been to become a teacher and provide education to the community.

Quickly developing into a popular leader at the Academy, she then signed up to Reality Gives’ Youth Empowerment Program (a curriculum of English, Computer and Life Skills classes which aims to help young adults tackle the world of employment). This proved to be a turning point for Karthika, who fulfilled her ambition by graduating from the programme and joining Reality Gives as an IT teacher. From the Community Centre where she once studied and now teaches in, she describes the programme as “the chance I needed to develop my English and begin my career. More than just learning, I began to feel strong.”

To hear more or get involved, contact Reality Gives’ Andrew Derlien

Email: [email protected]
WhatsApp: +44 77564 17072

You can donate to Reality Gives in seconds at
www.realitygives.org/take_action