The Anganwadi Project Ahmedabad and Anantapur, India

PROJECT OVERVIEW:The Anganwadi Project (TAP) is an Australian not-for-profit that designs and builds ‘anganwadi’ or preschools in disadvantaged communities in India. The Anganwadi Project sends professional volunteers to live and work alongside our partner organisations (Manav Sadhna in Ahmedabad and Rural Development Trust in Anantapur) and the community to build these schools for up to six months. The belief is that architecture and good design has the capacity to greatly improve the livelihoods and learning experience of those using the space. The anganwadis we have built are small in scale but their impact is far reaching; providing a beautiful and safe refuge for local children whose lives are often stressful and difficult. While our main clients are the children, the anganwadis have also served as community centres for pregnant women and new mothers to receive family planning advice and health checks, immunisation for new babies and street school for young girls.

CATEGORY: Professional SETTING: Rural STATUS: On-going

BY:The Anganwadi Project

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: The Anganwadi Project (TAP) focus heavily on the process of community engagement throughout all aspects of the project. Volunteers work with local partner NGOs and the communities for up to 6 months continuously on the ground. The intention of this longer timeframe is that volunteers can engage closely with the community and develop an intimate understanding of what is required for the school while also establishing relationships with the teachers, families and children who will use the school. The initial stages of community consultation and engagement flows through to the construction stage, where the community is encouraged to be part of the build and deliver the school alongside the volunteers. It is through this extended process and the direct engagement of the TAP volunteers that has contributed to the sense of ownership that community and teachers have developed for the school and in turn ensured the schools are maintained and used year after year.

PARTNERS: The Anganwadi Project (TAP) works alongside local Indian partners - NGOs Manav Sadhna (MS) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and Rural Development Trust (RDT) in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. Both organisations are well established within the communities they work with and focus on areas of health, education and the empowerment of underprivileged communities. Our partner organisations provide a connection for TAP to work directly with the people in the communities. We work closely with these NGOs throughout the duration of each project (which is approximately 6 months) from community consultation, design and planning of the new school and throughout construction.