Remove Poverty’s Underpinning: Rescue and Educate!

edith wilkins child rescue from povertyCharacter Education, Social Emotional Literacy and Emotional Intelligence are “hot” terms used in the world of Education today.  The definitions and structures of these initiatives are by no means new.  Philosophers, Sociologists and Educators have focused on this for centuries as being a critical component of our success as a species. 

Arun Gandhi child poverty rescueIn a recent conversation with Arun Gandhi he shared that his Grandfather believed in educating the whole person, not just on one aspect. He believed academics needed to go hand in hand with character/value education – not one versus the other.  Grandfather was concerned that the main focus of education was becoming career focused while the issues of morals, ethics, culture, respect and responsibility were being ignored. Gandhi believed that values and academic focus needed to be balanced – building successful citizens for a more peaceful and sustaining livelihood. 

The AVANI organization does the tireless and honorable work of rescuing children from labor camps, or abusive and dismal situations including brothels and sex trafficking. These children deserve nutrition, education and a chance at a better life.

Anuradha Bhosale AVANI Kolhapur India Gandhi WorldwideAVANI is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by instilling healthy lifestyle changes and encouraging realistic and achievable goals. Supporting the children’s’ academic schooling as well as focusing on social justice issues and cultural arts. Many of these children have been so stripped of a fair childhood that they need to be taught their own rights.   These kids need to build a new perspective of who they are and who they can be.   They are also learning the responsibilities necessary to become a successful part of society.  AVANI is committed to the vision of promoting both economic self-reliance and spiritual uplift through educational programs that encompass both practical vocational training as well as Gandhian philosophic teachings to enhance the mind and spirit. Academics and character values alike! 

Today 43% of India’s children are malnourished and 20 million children are out of school. 

We must work together to break the cycle and help set forth a new cycle for those less fortunate – or as Grandfather called it –  Sarvodaya  – “the welfare of all”. 

Please help us continue this important work as we all work together to break poverty’s vicious cycle.



Joanna Gandhi Board member rescues children from povertyJoanna is an elementary school teacher in Winnetka, IL. She has taught in public schools for 17 years. She received her BA in elementary education in 1988 and MA in educational leadership in 2001 from National Louis University, Evanston, IL. In the early 90’s Joanna developed a curriculum and taught refugee children relocated in Chicago through Traveler’s and Immigrants Aid (now known as Heartland Alliance). This project was developed to support new families and offer early childhood schooling during their acclimation period. More recently, Joanna has worked with Northwestern University’s Master of Science of Education program. She taught a seminar class and supervised pre-service teachers in this program. Joanna is currently working with the Courage to Teach program, a program (based on the book by Parker Palmer) designed to enhance the personal and professional renewal of public school teachers.

email: joanna.Amaral(at)

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