National and visiting foreign volunteers share their experiences


Student from Upenn

Calling Kedi a “school” is a misnomer—rather, the institution houses a community.

I was also surprised at the depth of the girls’ curiosity—a characteristic that I foundrefreshing, especially as a graduate of a standardized education system in America. These girlswere not studying to pass exams, or constrained by the rigidity of a common curriculum;instead, teachers go beyond merely passing information. In class, students ask probing questions and engage in intellectual discussions sparked by activities that the teachers organize.One day, when I was in the eighth-grade class, the girls asked me three very different questions,and were very determined to get answers: Where would the Earth fall if the sun disappeared? Why is milk white? Why do we get nightmares? I was stunned by their curiosity and inspiredboth by their knack for asking questions and the teacher's aptitude for harnessing their student's creativity.

Everyone at Kedi, including theteachers and staff, had imparted to me a lens to a different lifestyle, selfless warmth andcompassion, and insight into the beauty and peace of living with nature.

Bhavana and Suryakant

A couple from USA

Kedi School is a blessing for these girls who want to pursue higher education and have aspirations for their future.

During our 4 months stay, we became closer to faculty and students who we learned a lot from. It was an amazing experience, which we will never forget. We are very impressed with the efforts put in by faculty members and trustees in holistic development of the students. Students are provided with a well-rounded education focused on real life situations, culture, arts and academics. They can express themselves and really grow as an individual.

We were veryimpressed with the students’ curiosity and enthusiasm to learn new things, and this only provided us with confidence in Kedi’s techniques.

Faculty members are encouraged to implement and research new ways of teaching, thus connecting with each student through interesting learning.They are also encouraged to continuously improve their teaching based on students’ feedback.

Through our experience, we walked away with learning from the students. We learnt from them on how to be happy in all situations.

Amit Saraya

Finance expert

The school she built on that land is a dream school even for the privileged children! It is a De-Schooling school actually! This is a boarding school, where children -only girls- get complete residential facilities here which has almost become their second home. All their food requirements are met under top medical guidance. They learn most subjects by practical experiments and model making and fun, even Math, which has never been taught from the black board! Along with the syllabus, they keep learning various skills and talents that is going to stay with them and keep enriching the quality of their life.

"Let not the school interfere your education."

(*Kedi means a narrow pathway created by human footsteps in the nature.)


A home schooler, New Delhi

It was a new level of dedication they showed, one I had not witnessed in many privileged students from families like ours. That is the beauty of the [Kedi] school. The model of education stresses on the relevance of education. Since they come from places where education cannot be taken for granted and most students did not receive proper education before, let alone education of such quality, they valued it.

"The VI graders inquired about sun, so instead of answering, I gave them another question: what is the sun and why does it produce energy? They instantly answered that the sun was a ball of fire and that is why it give out heat and light. Telling them that the sun was not a ball of fire, I set them on a homework to find out what the sun really was…..

The next day just as I entered the building, these four brilliant girls ran up to me and started talking before I could even breath. They had found out that the sun was, in fact, made of Hydrogen and helium, and it was this turning hydrogen into helium that gave out energy."

Shraddha Jani

Educationist, India

How it differs from the regular schools is the curriculum, which is designed in-house, doing away with standard text books and tests/exams. It is only in the Std. Xth that the students are trained for the Board exams. The evaluation of the child is done through parameters other than the exams. Often some children repeat certain years.

Other curricular activities include debating, reviewing books, workshops, movie watching, out of state trips, medical camps. Visiting and staying with other tribes and documenting their songs, stories and sayings.

"The fact is that given the challenges we face; education doesn't need to be reformed -- it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions." Ken Robinson

What Ken Robinson says about building an environment where the children want to learn and can naturally discover their true passions, is what this school tries to emulate. And this is seen in the gradual change in the attitude of the girls as well as that of their parents.


Musician, Psychiatrist at present , France

I was impressed and rendered speechless of their incredible artistic performing abilities. These tribal youngsters could not only perform theater on stage, but they could dance and sing on a level that students of the same age in Europe hardly achieves, especially not every individual in the class.

Everybody told me that would be crazy and far too ambitious, but for me it was the one thing I knew how to teach.

I was stunned again, I don't know what I expected but certainly not a school build by NGOs, outside the cities, for Tribal girls, that was better equipped than my high school and that had, that was the most important thing, THE FAR BETTER TEACHING METHODS, which are up to date with what we nowadays know needs to be the way of teaching human beings.

In a boarding school, a well behaving, relaxed, friendly, helping and supporting each other community that as sad as it is to say, cannot be found in our schools. No girl wants the other to fail, they are not looking for credit themselves though, they just want to help - all of them.

All 69 girls are involved in it. Acting, singing, dancing, playing instruments, but also writing their own script, producing the set and costumes.

I myself did not speak a word of Gujarati, and yes basically I still don't but we get along and we, so just the girls and I, could even do some of the staging without anybody being there to translate. The easiest language certainly for me was music, which is universal.

My first experience with an NGO taught me a great deal about who I am and what I want to be doing in the future.


Law and Public Health Student, USA

I had the opportunity to see the villages where these girls came from. It was like I had landed on the front cover of a National Geographic magazine. It is a place where people still use the barter system, water is fetched from wells, and work starts from sunrise to sunset. It is a place where nature is revered and money is scarce. No one had cable television or the latest style in shoes.

I myself didn’t realize how much it actually meant that the girls were speaking English until I went to the village area. The parents of the girls kept asking me if they were speaking in English, as I discovered that English was reserved for the urban elite.

Kedi advocates a democratic style of teaching where girls are free to express their opinions and encouraged to speak their minds. Kedi uses alternative teaching methods, where hands on learning and emphasis on practical use of the material they learn is practiced.

When asked questions by teachers, the girls always selflessly chimed in to help their fellow classmates from failure.I was able to not only teach them, but learn a great deal from them.

The staff at the school is professional and knowledgeable in what they teach.

I feel that my experience here has been extremely valuable, as I have learned a great deal about the education system in India, tribal culture, and to my surprise, about the environmental movement in India.

I think one of the greatest strengths of this school is that the curriculum is appropriately tailored to the students’ needs. My time with Kedi was rich with experience and one that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and hopefully into my professional career.


Prof of Art History, Oxford Uni

I grew to appreciate the girls themselves; their indomitable spirit, the joy with which they danced the garba at festival times.

The development and responsiveness of the students in the classroom rested on their ability to listen and adapt quickly and independently to versatile teaching styles. Outside the classroom, the students displayed a vivid intelligence and a hunger for practice while completing daily tasks.

The experience of living amidst the girls while learning from them and teaching them was a relationship based on trust, friendship, hard work and true exchange that was in every way remarkable and amongst the most magical and fulfilling hours I have ever spent.

Tushar Patel

A well-wisher from USA

"If you think further, these tribal girls do not need education (may be from their perspective). They will be fine without it. They will grow up physically by nature, but not mentally, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. But, they will not know that. Life will be as usual for them, as has happened for last many years and generations. They will spend their lives in poverty, not knowing what they can achieve if educated."