We're on a mission to transform the opportunities of a rural village in India

Real learning

We go beyond academic attainment to
holistic personal growth

Inspirational healthcare

Our programme for pregnant women is the first of its kind

Community change-makers

Local insight + our professional oversight = successful and sustainable change from within

Detailed, long-lasting support

Trustees Ed & Ash's deep relationship with the school
bring consistency, accountability, and strong leadership

Building for the future

By acting locally, ecologically, and sustainably.


Our action-research school creates durable community-led change.




Three pillars of meaningful, sustainable support.

We’ve integrated them to create a community project like no other.

We think schools are about so much more than just education, they’re about changing lives. There is also far too little (read virtually none) quality education available in rural India.

So we created an action-research school-cum-community centre in rural India to demonstrate how quality education can be provide in the most challenging of circumstances to the people that need it most.

Our school, called Hunar Ghar, serves the community of Bakhel; a remote subsistence farming village and one of the most marginalised in India. They are afflicted by complex poverty including severe malnutrition, poor health, poor economic status, lack of political influence, high child mortality, and high child labour rates. Government efforts to change this are advancing too slowly.

It is the privilege of Educate for Life to work with the community to identify their problems and be a part of a transition away from poverty, by providing our own services and empowering the government to meet their responsibilities.

We run a school, and we provide health and community support. Our one team does both, ensuring deep integration between the two leading to high levels of complementary benefit making real change happen faster.

We’re a tiny team making a big impact, and you too can be a part of that change. Immerse yourself in our website then, when you’re bursting to get stuck in, contact us and immerse yourself in our deeply rewarding change process.

How it all began

Educate for Life is run by us; two friends, Dr Akshay Patel and Ed Forrest. We both had unusual dreams as teenagers – to build a school in rural India.

When we met at university and discovered our shared aspirations we set up Educate for Life and started on a journey to bring high quality education to the world’s most marginalised communities, so that no child should miss out on a secure future through the misfortune of circumstance.

To raise our first funds we tried to get 1 million people to give us 2p each. The BBC ended up covering this, and coming out to India in 2007 to document us building the school.

Recently at Educate for Life...

Are Health Camps an Effective Strategy? – Hunar Ghar-organised Eye Camp for Children and Community

By | Health, India | No Comments

Organising health camps is one of the strategies adopted by government and non government organisations in India. I have generally observed that many times, a health camp run by a private hospital. The poor attend the camp with the aim of free check-ups and free treatment. When they do not get free treatment or relief for treatment expense they sometimes stop showing interest, whether it is beneficial for them or not. And the most important gap observed in remote rural area is organisations stop doing follow-ups, despite it being a key way to help rural people understand and access the right kind of care. So for us while organising health camps doing follow-ups becomes one of the important section in quality of health camps.

Either aimed programme without quality services or an activity without follow up will never improve the health status of the community people. This will not develop trust between the community and the organisation. Therefore as an organisation we had organised an eye camp and at the same time we have not ignore to maintain quality in it.

We conducted one day free eye camp in Hunar Ghar premises on 20th November. It was organised by Global Hospital, Mount Abu. Before camp we took up publicity through three different strategies; first was announcement in different hamlets, second distribution of leaflets and third team divided in two pair and conduct home visit to give information about eye camp. Two days advance of camp we started publicity.

The camp programme began on time, as a result of two days publicity we were able to mobilise 96 patients. All the patients were registered with their name and address. The camp on until to 2:30 pm. Of the patients seen 20 were registered for further treatment or cataract operation. 200 children of Hunar Ghar School were seen during camp. Free medicine was distributed to all patients. Spectacles also provided from hospital.

Doctor teach some exercise for all to improve vision and recommended to do this exercise with children every day at least for 5 minutes which will help children and for all for good vision and for good eyes.

I have never been at any health or eye camp of our projects before. I was both nervous and excited for the camp. One by one people came to check their eyes. Some old ladies and gentlemen had come to the eye camp by themselves; some were watch by their children.

After the screening when some refer for operation quite a few people asked me again and again ‘Do really operation doing for free to me?’ The happiness in their smiles and blessings they give me, I will not forget. This was a precious moment to me.

The eye camp program for the community has increased the trust on us and our work. The people from the community are demanding for more such program.


Incense stick making unit: A new start in Women Economic Self-Empowerment

By | Community, Income Generation | One Comment

Hi friends, this blog especially for those who are interested in knowing what’s going in Women’s group. Today I am sharing with you progress we achieved to start Income Generation for this groups. This can be more exciting for all of you.

As you know that from 2012 two Women’s group are running in Bakhel village. And from last two year women have been saving money regularly and this money come from their household income. Within SHG as an organisation we have taken this opportunity to become generators of income to live a self sufficiency and sustained live. This journey starts from November 2013. Read More

Homali devi

Mobile Clinic + Hunar Ghar = Complete Community Healthcare

By | India | One Comment

For all those who been following progress about the mobile clinic and Hunar Ghar healthcare reading this can be exciting.

In February we had an annual review meeting with Global Hospital’s mobile clinic team. The meeting was really fruitful and we identified several areas which needed immediate attention from both side. In the upcoming months we plan many healthcare activities. Outcomes of this meeting: Read More

Hunar Ghar Exposure Trip

Student Exposure Trips to Learn From the Community

By | Education, Exposure trips | One Comment

On a sunny morning the 28 March teachers Shantilal and Prakash took students of standard 4 and 6 on an educational exposure trip, while students in other classes peeped through their windows in envy – learning under the deep blue sky and open fields is always an alluring prospect. Fortunately these other children needn’t be envious for long – every class in Hunar Ghar goes on a exposure trip every month. It is striking how quickly a child’s engagement with the syllabus changes when they know they are going on a exposure trip – an effect we appreciate: making memorable experiences where the children are engrossed in the lesson and learning. Read More

Musical theme composition with Hunar Ghar children

By | India | 2 Comments

शिक्षा और सामाजिक विकास के क्षेत्र में 2008 से कार्यरत एक संस्था हुनर घर जिसके अथक संघर्ष ओर समर्पण से शुरू हुर्इ कहानी आज अपने आप में व्यापक जनभागिता वाले सामुदायिक प्रयास में बदल चुकी है। सदीयो से अशिक्षा ओर अज्ञानता के अंधकार में जी रहे अरावली पर्वत माला के दुर्गम और दूर दराज के ग्रामिण एवं आदिवासी बालको के जीवन में शिक्षा और ज्ञान की नर्इ रोशनी लाने वाली संस्था के रूप में नाम कमाया। इच्छा शकित, अपूर्व लगन, अथक मेहनत, र्इमानदार प्रयासो , और गंभीर सामाजिक सोच के सहारे एक शिक्षित समाज की पुर्नस्थापना की ओर बढती यह संस्था अपने आप में अदभुत है। जहा वर्तमान में 194 आदिवासी बच्चे अध्ययनरत है। इसी कडी को आगे बढाते हुए आप से पुछा जाये कि एक बेहतर ओर आनंदित करने वाले सप्ताहांत का पैमाना क्या हो सकता है।आप थके हुऐ हो निरस भाव आपके मन में चल रहा हो तभी आपके पास अपने मित्र का फोन आये ओर बोले कि आज हुनर घर विधालय में अलग देश से आये हुए लोगो के द्वारा संगित कार्यक्रम हैं ओर वो बात पानी की बुंदे से उमडती सौंधी खुशबु को छुते हुऐ दिल को छु जाये तो कैसा प्रतित होगा।शायद हर कोर्इ इसको सोच सकता है। Read More


Personal Home Visits During Pregnancy Help Bakhel Women Feel More Supported

By | India | One Comment

Every pregnant woman hopes for an uncomplicated pregnancy and a healthy baby. However every minute of every day somewhere in the world, and most often in a developing country, a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth.

Many women have difficulty accessing quality health care due to poverty, distance, lack of information, inadequate services or cultural practices. All these difficulties are faced by Bakhel’s women. As you all know we are running our Safe Motherhood & Childhood Programme in Bakhel village. Sam (our intern who started this programme in co-ordination with Ash & Ed) already shared about this programme in her past blogs. Today I want to share with you some news from our latest home visits. Read More


A Survey To Understand Our Self-Help Groups

By | Community, Self Help Groups | 2 Comments

When talking about community development in India we often hear about Self-Help Groups (SHGs). Usually composed of just women, many organisations, including Educate for Life, support marginalised people to form SHGs. Activities range from saving very small amounts of money to trying to solve community problems through collective action. In today’s blog I will tell you in how our  Self-Help Groups are working.

In Bakhel we have two self help groups called Sundhamata and Ambamata (these are names of local gods). They were both formed with Neha’s support in 2012. In total there are 26 women members. Since then they have conducted many meetings and exposure visits with very active participation of all members. Vishnu Priya is our health coordinator leading meetings twice a month. Read More


Celebrating Sportsmanship

By | Education, India, Sports Tournament | No Comments

Although Kanan has already shared it with you, I take immense pleasure in sharing more about the two days sports event that happened at Hunar Ghar last week. Anything I write below or any of the pictures simply don’t do justice to what I felt during those two days.

We at Hunar Ghar celebrate sportsmanship every year through our annual sports tournament where we invite teams from local government schools to participate in the event. This provides the children at these schools a very rare opportunity to come out their school and meet children of same age from different schools and make friends. Not to forget it also gives the teachers from different school who are busy through the year handling 60 kids at a time or making rounds of government offices to keep the officials happy to come together for this event and enjoy a much more relax and high adrenaline atmosphere. Read More