Starting Young - An 11-year-old Discovers Philanthropy
(anonymous author), As told to Nicole Sanchez
Can Keep Children Out of School but. You Can't Keep
the School Out of Children
In 1985, Inderjit Khurana saw a problem and found
a solution. She knew that many children in and around
the city of Bhubaneswar, India couldn't go to school
because they had to work and care for their younger
siblings during the day. So she decided to "bring
school to the children" who spent their days earning
pennies by sweeping and by shining shoes. How? By
starting a school on the train platforms of the city.
Over time, Ruchika Social Services
was created to set up and run more train platform
schools. Since the first train platform class met
in 1985, the organization has grown to serve more
than 4,000 children on train platforms and in surrounding
was 11 years old, I helped organize an event at my school
for Youth Philanthropy Worldwide and the Global Fund for Children.
That's when I met Mrs. Inderjit Khurana and learned a lot
about how she was helping children in the slums of Orissa,
India stay off the streets and attend school. I thought Inderjit
was amazing. She started a school on a train platform. Now
there are lots of schools like the one she started.
the Youth Philanthropy event, I went to my sixth-grade teacher,
Zindy Mooney, and told her about the amazing woman I had met.
Mrs. Mooney set up a date for Inderjit to talk to our class
about what type of help would be most effective for the train
platform schools. Our class decided to have a toy drive and
an ice cream sale. The toys we collected would be used to
create a toy library, so children at the schools could borrow
toys to play with. The money we raised would go toward other
things that the schools needed. We raised $300, collected
nine boxes of toys, and found a donor to ship everything to
this experience, I felt a great sense of accomplishment in
myself. All young people in this world want to do something
that will make them be remembered. I, personally, chose a
way that would be beneficial to others. Like Inderjit Khurana,
I strongly believe that no one should miss out on a fulfilling
Far Can a Dollar Go?
the United States, young people (ages 8-21) earn
and control $211 billion per year. (This does not
include their influence on the spending decisions
of the adults in their lives.)1
of the world's population lives on $2 or less per
day. 1.2 billion people survive on less than $1
is the cost of one mosquito net in Tanzania, which
can prevent the transmission of malaria, one of
the leading killers of children under the age of
five in the region.3
per month pays a teacher's salary, buys all classroom
supplies, and provides transportation to and from
school in Afghanistan.4
costs 25 cents a day for the World Food Programme
to feed a refugee.5
The ASTONISHING POWER of Kids
At Youth Philanthropy Worldwide (YPW), we inspire
young people (ages 8-21) to contribute to the global
community. That's a lot easier than you might think.
We've found that many American children and teenagers
have no idea how much money they, as a group, control.
Nor do they know how far one U.S. dollar can go in
the developing world. Once they learn a few basic
statistics, the response is often the same: "Why didn't
anyone tell us sooner?"
National Harris Interactive YouthPulse Study
, September 3,
2 UN Millennium Report of the Secretary
General, April 2000. "
We the Peoples: The Role of the UN in the 21st Century
3 The Economist. "
For 80 Cents More
." August 15, 2002.
The Afghan Women's Mission
United Nations World Food Programme
. -Nicole Sanchez
platform schools in India have inspired many of the young
people with whom Youth Philanthropy Worldwide works in the
United States. Students in the U.S. are now helping to create
a mobile library, which will deliver toys and books to their
peers in Orissa, India.
For more information on the Ruchika Mobile
Library, please contact Youth Philanthropy Worldwide's executive
director, Nicole Sanchez, at
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