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...
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Hunar Ghar is Thriving!

By | Education, India | No Comments

Since opening Hunar Ghar in August 2007 with four classrooms and 60 children in kindergarten and class 1, and 3 teachers we’ve achieved a tremendous amount:

of free, quality education
free days of learning provided & free meals
children currently enrolled
full time team at Hunar Ghar
Read More


No rest for the Hunar Ghar Project Manager!

By | Community, India, School Management Committee | No Comments

Kanan Silvera is the Hunar Ghar Project Manager.  Here she describes a typical busy day, rich with interactions with Hunar Ghar students, teachers at the school and members of the community.  Kanan’s busy schedule reflects the breadth of the work being undertaken by Educate for Life to ensure that the health and educational needs of the Bakhel community are met.

On cold morning the 12th December I was in field for household survey piloting.  While returning to Hunar Ghar I met Hunar Ghar’s 3rd & 6th class students, they were going Mandva.  I ask myself that during class time why they are going Mandva? I asked Bhuvnesh about this and he replies me that today is Friday and at Hunar Ghar every Friday is Community Learning Day. Oh no how I forgot this day. Friday morning is special day for every person working at Hunar Ghar. Yes its Community Day.

We are dedicated to offering continued learning opportunities throughout the years for teachers and children. Community Learning Day represents a unique approach to learning in community.   Read More


Safer Motherhood

By | Health, India, Safe Motherhood Programme | No Comments
At Educate for Life, we want to make sure that babies in Bakhel have the best chance possible to reach school-going age.  In July 2013, we started a Safe Motherhood Programme which supports mothers throughout their pregnancies, at childbirth and then during their baby’s first year.   Our aim is to improve maternal health, birth outcomes and child health as well as helping the community to access essential government health services. Over 100 women have now benefited from the programme. Read More