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...
SDG blog image

Can we ensure inclusive and quality education for all by 2030?

By | Education, India | No Comments
The UN Sustainable Development Summit is taking place from 25th-27th September 2015 and countries are expected to adopt a new sustainable development agenda and a set of 17  sustainable development goals that build on the eight  Millennium Development Goals. The new goals are laudable but are they realistic? We consider the new educational targets… Read More


Back to School?

By | Campaign, Education | No Comments
Do you remember going back to school as a child? For us, it was simply part of growing up, but for 537 children in Bakhel, a remote community in rural India, going to school is not part of childhood.  For them, and 59 million children worldwide, education remains out of reach. But you can help change that. Take a trip down memory lane and raise awareness of children around the world who won’t be back in school this week. Share your old school photos on social media using the hashtag #backtoschool and tag your friends to encourage them to share theirs too!  Read More

Mumbai Visit

Mumbai School Visit

By | Education, India | No Comments
Last week Hunar Ghar Principal Chandrakant Sharma and two teachers from the school, Gopal and Prakash, visited three schools in Mumbai.  Their visit was organised by Amisha Modi from Adhyayan following on from our whole school self review led by Adhyayan earlier this year.  We continue to be supported by Adhyayan to improve the quality of education at Hunar Ghar. Here Chandrakant shares how meeting other teachers and visiting their schools has provided useful insights into different teaching methodologies and ways of learning which can be used to improve educational quality at Hunar Ghar… Read More