Deprived Shia Ithna Ashari children in India can now apply by smartphone for aid to pay school fees.
The initiative has come from Education Promotion Institutions of India (www.EPIIndia.org) with the support of the Khoja community.
And EPII is calling on community members to make donations to support the scheme.
Under the new framework:
• Shia Ithna Ashari Students apply for aid using a smartphone
• Institutions verify applications and seek funding from donors
• Donations are collected and fees paid to school bank accounts.
Priority to orphans
To qualify for funding, students must be between five and 18. Household income must be less than 10,000/- to 15,000/- rupees per month.
Priority will be given to orphans, disabled pupils, Sadaat and girls.
Students must provide confirmation by a verifier (such as an alim or trusted prominent community member in the location) that they are ‘practising Shia Ithna Ashari momin/Jafari and deserving aid’.
Fees will only be paid direct to the bank account of approved schools that meet EPII’s quality standards.
Students can make the application with a smartphone at EPIIndia.org.
Organisers said: “This is an endeavour in good faith to assist deserving Shia Ithna Ashari aspirants and is subject to back-to-back funding by prospective donors. This effort will need time to start working and hence we request patience.
“Filling in the form in no manner implies that the funding will be approved and/or offered. Applicants will be contacted at the discretion of the facilitation team on a need basis. Your educational and career decisions should therefore not be dependent on any anticipated funding by the way of filling in this form.”
All applications will remain confidential.
EPII is calling on donors, community members, aid organisations, teachers and mentors to support this effort in any way they can to ensure community children are not deprived of education because they are unable to pay fees.
Please visit EPIIndia.org to find out more and donate.
Plans are underway to expand the scheme to Higher Education, Career Counselling and Mentoring.
EPII is supported by Education Promotion Trust (Al-Imaan), Students Welfare Trust, PEWT Mumbai, WIN educational Trust, Tauheedul Muslemeen Trust, KSI Jamaat, Tanzeemul Makatib and the Jaffery Welfare Trust.
International organisations supporting the cause of community education in India are Comfort Aid International-USA, NASIMCO-North America, The World Federation, Lady Fatimah Trust-UK and Foundation of Light-Canada.