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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Pratham USA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations, Primary & Elementary Schools

Mission: Our mission is ?Every child in school and learning well?. Recognizing the importance of early interventions, we focus most of our programs on pre-school and primary education. We believe that by providing children with a good education, we create opportunities not only for them, but also for their families and communities.Seeded by UNICEF in 1994, Pratham began in the slums of Mumbai. Currently, we serve underprivileged children across 21 states in India.Pratham?s programs are unique because they are scaleable and low-cost. We also work to improve existing systems rather than building parallel ones.

Geographic areas served: India

Programs: Read india is a remedial learning program for children who don't know how to read, write and do arithmetic and are lagging in school. Currently, read india can be replicated and scaled-up with school and government partners. In this phase, a "learning camp" model has been adopted. The model is piloted with a few thousand children, replicated in groups of schools, and subsequently scaled-up, in partnership with state governments, to reach millions of children.

the vocational skills training program prepares india's youth for success by teaching relevant skills for today. The program allows them to choose their path in areas as diverse as banking, agriculture, or restaurant and hotel services. Through pratham usa new entrepreneurship program, they can also learn what it takes to start their own businesses.

aser - annual status of education report and second chance - each year aser collects data on more than 600,000 children, between the age of 5-16, and covers close to 16,000 villages. 25,000 to 30,000 volunteers from more than 500 partner organizations participate in the data collection covering about 577 districts of the country.

pose - pratham open school of education, second chance lends educational support to adolescent girls and women to assist them in completing their secondary education and earning their diplomas.

Community Stories

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I think Pratham is one of the organisations which is on a mission. Low cost-big results. A very dedicated lot of people are involved and it is eye opening to visit their schools.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Once you are introduced to Pratham first hand in India it is hard not to get involved in helping the organization carry out its mission: Every child in school and learning well. I was introduced to Pratham in December 2005 on a visit to Mumbai. Visiting India for the first time it was very clear that India is a country of contrast: the very rich right next to the very poor. The post secondary education system is set up as a pure meritocracy, yet the poor are not afforded primary education to enable themselves to even get to the level to test for entrance into these universities. What is powerful about the work that Pratham is doing is that Pratham helps equalize the playing field and enables underprivileged children to receive an education and have more opportunities for their future. After visiting Pratham, supporting the organization was an easy decision.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

What really attracted me to Pratham was its focus on the efficiency of its funds utlization and on improving the effectiveness of its programs. I feel it brings necessary private sector discipline to a public cause. Leveraging off volunteers and government infrastructure (where possible), Pratham strives to keep overhead costs to a minimum. It is reassuring to know that only a minimal amount of the money donated will be lost to friction. Additionally, it is refreshing to see the close cooperation between Pratham and policy think-tanks such as MIT's poverty action Lab to constantly monitor Pratham's programs and finesse it to make them more effective. This hard-headed approach to its mission makes me comfortable that my donations will not be lost in a sea of good-intentions but will actually be put to work to deliver results

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pratham is unlikely any charity. In most charities, people donate the gift of money. While useful- this gift is finite. However, with Pratham, the gift given is the ability for a child to read. This gift is one that lasts forever in a child's life, opening many more opportunities for them throughout their entire lives. Through Pratham, almost 20 million children have learned how to read thanks to the generosity of its patrons.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

Education not just helps a person how to make a living, but also how to live. I have found Pratham to be very effective in educating and providing right guidance to less fortunate amongst us. I got a chance to visit few of Pratham projects around Ahmedabad, and got first hand view of how enthusiatic teachers were, how knowledgeable and dedicated its support staff is and how excited and interested were the kids going to Pratham schools. In addition to being a donor, visit to Pratham projects has inspired me to be a volunteer member of Pratham team delivering education to needy and underprivileged kids. I hope to participate in near future. I would strongly recommend Pratham as a first choice for charity.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pratham for me is a charity that embodies everything I believe in. It is not only a charity, it is more than that. Educating the children of India is investing in the future of an economy. It is a stepping stone where educated children can become part of a productive labourforce in the future. The assessment and monitoring of Pratham's effectiveness is very impressive, everything is accounted for and statistics produced by independent organisations such as the MIT Poverty lab. Its success in such a short time just says it all!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pratham has inspired me in so many ways - and not just to raise money or other typical ways a ngo involves people, but it has changed the way I think and feel. I am connected in a deep and meaningful way with other expat indians, the village school children and also non-indians, who give their time and energy to make india a better place. They all are individuals who have shown me how to be and act as a 'world citizen' and I can not thank Pratham enough for this fundamental mind - and heart - shift. In addition to that, the Pratham slogan - every child in school and learning well - is to be exemplary of Pratham's multi-layered approach. Not only do they want every child, no matter what sex, caste - in school, but they want them to be 'learning well'. Its not just about a symbol, but about true education and empowerment. As we hear so often from politicians making promises: children are the future. At Pratham, these really are our children (metaphorically, at least) and as guardians of their planet and future, we really make itqwg our responsibility to provide them with the key to an empowered life filled with opportunity for self-improvement, achievement and friendship. All the while creating a sense of belonging, connectedness and purpose for ourselves. Thank you Pratham!!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having had first hand experience with the wonderful work that Pratham provides for the children of India, I cannot stress too much what an awesome charity this is. The strife of the volunteers and workers alike can be easily seen in the infrastructure and capabilities of this organisation, not to mention and most importantly the estatic smiles of the faces of the children.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Pratham is a path to success for kids that donot know how to find the path. The teachers and the staff give of themselves over and beyond the call of duty to bring hope and education to the children. Most of the efforts is based on a kind heart and groups of vollunteers that commit time and money to the cause of Pratham. I am thrilled to give a hand and help when ever possible.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

If Education is a Passport to Success - then Pratham Program is their VISA stamp...Pratham is about 4 S's Pratham is about SCALE, reaching tens of millions of kids in India across all states... Pratham is about SUSTAINABILITY, with lowest overhead cost of any NGO (The kids does not go to school, the school comes to the kid!) Pratham is about SIMPLICITY, whose success can be measured, monitored, replicated and rewarded. This is core IP of Pratham! Pratham is about SUCCESS in the smile of a child's eye, and thirst of knowledge to become 'street-smart': achieve the wisdom of when to say NO and when to say YES!

5

Donor

Rating: 5

Pratham USA with its grass root initiatives in Indai understands the importance of education for children. Every child has the right to education and dream big. Pratham, through its education projects, delivers this to children in India. More than 92 percent of the donations made to Pratham go directly to these projects in India benefiting children. One of the best charities in India. Please take a look at their IRS 990 and you will be assured that your donations are benefiting to improve literacy and reduce child labor in India. Please visit my page http://www.firstgiving.com/gautamsachdev

4

Donor

Rating: 5

Pratham has been an important organization in our lives. Education frees us and brings beauty into our lives. To be able to give that gift to others gives me such joy. And Pratham does it all with such a dedicated team and uses all its resouces well.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pratham's impact is hard to overstate. Using relatively limited resources (annual budget is under $20 million) Pratham has managed to reach tens of millions of children and has brought India appreciably closer to the 60-year aspiration of ensuring universal childhood literacy in India.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am impressed with the tremendous impact Pratham's work is having on an entire generation, and with how effectively funds are being utilized. It is highly gratifying to know that I have a role in shaping and fulfilling the dreams of this generation.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An extremely well run organization with low cost overheads, makes it possible to go the extra mile in its mission of educating the illiterates and impoverished in India. Recommend it very highly. Harvinder Arora

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Pratham is very efficient and don't waste too much on admin cost. They do very grass root work and help to get the education to those kids who don't have access or cant afford it.. Great work,, thanks.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pratham's mission of 'Every child in school and learning well' and its execution of its programs is absolutely commnedable. Having worked in the slums and rural areas in India, i am very familiar with the daunting challenges of effecting change in extremely abject conditons. Pratham's fast track literacy pack is India's hope and our hope for millions of disadvantaged children half a world away.

2

Former Volunteer

Rating: 1

Very Disappointed by this charity organization!! This organization needs serious help and intervention. The organization was started with a great intent and vision. However, as 2010 approaches, Pratham is still far from achieving its original goal of seeing all children reading and reading well. The organization has started to take short cuts to meet its vision. The curriculam has been modified (Read India) to quickly hit the numbers, rather than to really teach children quality education. The leadership is weak, power centric and there are little or no avenues to provide feedback to the people at the top. This organization has the potential to achieve very great results; if there is better mechanism for selection of leaders (rather than simply looking at who will write the biggest check). The volunteering opportunities are not very structured; and volunteers can be better leveraged.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Pratham when I was in middle school, about 6 years ago. Although I was young, the Pratham family took me in as one of their own and allowed me to volunteer with them whenever possible. It has been a rewarding 6 years with the organization. I even had a chance to visit a Pratham school in India, and it was an experience I will never forget, the amount of hard work and dedication volunteers put into the organization here and in the schools in India is just amazing. And everything seems to pay off when you see kids in school learning and growing to be a part of the educated society around them. Pratham is a wonderful organization that I see myself being a part of for a very long time, until all of India's children are in school and learning well!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to the Pratham organization during its early years in Houston and have seen enrollment of students in India grow from a relatively small number to more than one million. It has also expanded to many states throughout that country. The program not only helps children scholastically, it teaches them social skills and encourages creativity. Equally important, Pratham trains teachers from the community, giving them a sense of purpose as well as respect. Education improves the lives of the children and their families, giving them hope for a better future. Pratham can be proud of its accomplishments, and I recommend the organization for the InDiya Shine Award.