DAYA is committed to helping disadvantaged children achieve their dreams through quality education, particularly by attending a higher secondary school or what is equivalent to 11th and 12th grade in Western countries. The higher secondary school DAYA children attend is located in Balasore and run by a Catholic Ministry that also has living facilities for the students who travel from a great distance. To understand why this is a worthy cause supporters must first understand the challenges and opportunities in the present education system in India.
In the public school system in India many schools are severely overcrowded and typically only students from wealthy families who can afford additional after school programs will be academically competitive in the classroom. Those students who cannot afford the additional attention of after school or supplementary programs often fail 10th grade or cannot afford the costs of high secondary education (11th and 12th grade, referred to as +2 in India).
As a result of these hardships students who fail or drop out usually take small jobs, for a very small income, and are then stuck in the working poor class. Widespread poverty is a huge issue in India and we believe education is a way to keep future generations from becoming stuck in this all to common rut. DAYA strives to encourage at-risk students to make it through the 12th grade, and then continue their education by attending a university. In particular, DAYA is focused on helping students get higher science degrees as it will give them greater opportunities later in life, potentially as a doctor or engineer. Students passionate about other subjects such as English or History are also welcomed, however, hard sciences and STEM careers are encouraged during the higher secondary school. After passing 12th grade, students can either apply to attend a university or take professional courses in trades such as architecture. Any of these options will significantly improve the students quality of life and help stop the cycle of poverty in rural India. The cost to send one student to higher secondary education for one year is 300 USD.