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Honoring Urvashi Sahni

Many of our partner projects around the world have been founded by and are run by amazing women! We give tribute to all of them today and every day for their dedication, passion, strength and perseverance in their efforts to provide a quality education for children and women everywhere.  Because of these women - girls are not afraid to dream anymore, children feel safe again, and communities are changed.  One of these outsanding women is Dr. Urvashi Sahni, the Founder and CEO of the Study Hall Educational Foundation in India, and a member of Mona Advisory Board. She is amazingly accomplished, has a heart of gold, and is tirelness in her efforts to educate "India's daughters."

 

Urvashi Sahni is a social entrepreneur and educationist of 29 years standing.  She has founded the Study Hall Educational Foundation which runs 3 k-12 schools in and around Lucknow, in India.  One of these schools – Vidyasthali, is a rural school and it serves 472 students from 55 villages.  The other school Prerna serves 730 girls from urban slums and Studyhall serves over 2000 children from middle class Lucknow. She has a Masters and a PhD from the Graduate School of Education in UC Berkeley. She was the first graduate from  the Graduate School of Education, Berkeley to be awarded the prestigious International HAAS award for her contributions to Education in her home country.  Her Schools and programs reach out to over 14000 students in rural and urban areas, the majority of these come from extremely poor and challenging backgrounds.  She has worked in curriculum reform, teacher education and school reform all over the country. She uses drama and the arts extensively in her work and has directed and produced several plays with young people.

 

She has presented academic papers at all the major universities in the US, including Columbia, NYU, Chicago, and Berkeley and has given Keynote addresses at international drama and education conferences in Edinburgh, Jamaica, Plymouth, Toronto, Northern Ireland and New York.  She was awarded the Asoka Fellowship in the year 2010 for her work with Digital Study Hall, a program that uses technology to reach out to thousands of teachers, teacher-trainees and students from underserved areas. In 2012 Dr. Sahni was invited as a Guest scholar by the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC and is now a Non-resident Fellow with them. She was invited to be an honorary member of the Clinton Global Initiative founded by President Bill Clinton in 2013 and is now a member of Hillary Clinton’s CHARGE commitment to ensure that more girls complete secondary education around the world. She was invited by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India to be a member of the core team to conduct a national evaluation of the KGBVs.

 

She has recently been invited by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan to join her advisory council, and is heading the education and skill development sub committee and has been nominated to be a member of the national resource group of the Mahila Samakhya, a nation wide agency for women’s empowerment run by MHRD, Government of India.

 

Dr. Urvashi Sahni is a leading expert in school governance, curriculum reform and teacher training with a special focus on girls education and the use of technology in education and has partnered with UNICEF in her efforts and recently received a reward from President Clinton for making a commitment to engage with girls through the Girls' Empowerment Program. She also recently launched the India's Daughters Campaign against child brides. And these are just a few of her accomplishments! 

Mona doesn’t do what so many organizations do.Rather than tell us what to do, they provide a broad framework and then partner with us for the long haul. Mona’s funding model is a great example of how funding can have impact.