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...

Visiting Hunar Ghar

By | Architecture, India | No Comments
Evan Warnock was awarded the Bristol Fellowship from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, USA, enabling him to spend a year studying how the spatial and architectural design of schools influences teaching and learning.  He has visited Finland, Japan and India as part of his research trip, and he is now spending his final months in Uganda.  Before leaving India, he visited Hunar Ghar and he has shared his reflections in his travel blog which he has given us permission to share… Read More


Introducing our new patron…Matt Barbet

By | charity news, India | One Comment
We are delighted that Matt Barbet, Presenter, 5 News, has agreed to become our patron. Matt filmed the construction of the very first classrooms at Hunar Ghar in 2007 for the BBC.  His time in Bakhel made a deep impression on him and here he shares what inspired him then and what still inspires him now about Educate for Life…

Occasionally, you just know that someone absolutely means it when they say they will get something done. That’s what I felt when I first met Ed and Ash. Read More