Registered in 2017, rZamba is a Kargil-based charitable trust that was co-founded by five friends, Saldon Sal, Syed Murtaza Agha, Fayaz Ali, Ali Asgar and Marzia Bano, who wanted to contribute and bring about a change in state of education, health, and waste management in Kargil. rZamba means ‘bridge’ in the Balti language and the organization has been striving to become a bridge of growth and change between people, resources, systems and the community as a whole.
In 2017, rZamba started an initiative of building toilets and spreading awareness about health and sanitation for girls in schools. During these interactions, rZamba recognized much larger and deeper problems in the education system including lack of literacy, low pass percentage, low self-esteem among students, lack of efficient school staff, among others. This encouraged rZamba to kick start the School Transformation Program in 2019 that is meant to improve the quality of school education in Kargil.Learn More
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“Thanks to the people at rZamba, a lot of the fears I had in talking about my periods went away. We learnt that getting our periods does not make us dirty. This is a natural process of the human body. Talking about periods shouldn’t be taboo, and in society, we need to have more frank discussions about the same. In our society, girls are shy about talking about their periods and relentlessly teased even though it’s a natural process. For example, if a girl gets her periods in the playground, I’ve seen boys laugh behind her back. Today, I’d like to tell these boys to move with the times and change their mindsets.”
“Back in late 2019, we invited the rZamba team to our middle school in Choskore Lobar village, where they helped us set up a library. Residents of this area largely come from economically weak and socially backward backgrounds. It’s a remote area and difficult for teachers to get here. Internet connectivity is very poor, and online education offers no solution. They don’t have the resources to acquire books from outside. Working in close coordination with the students, we created books appropriate for different age groups. We could see a marked improvement in their English language skills each week. This intervention proved invaluable for us teachers as well.”
“This winter I got an opportunity to actually help my son with something related to his studies through project-based learning approach. I’m illiterate but this winter I stayed up until 1:00 am with my child to help him complete his village water map. I got an opportunity to share so many stories about our water sources from my childhood to him and it was the first time we did something together since he started going to his school. This initiative is catering to so many underprivileged families living in remote corners of Ladakh like ours which is a very good deed and actually helping the needy.”
“I haven’t learnt and have been taught the way I’ve experienced during this winter ever. I would love the teachers back in my school to create such project-based learning opportunities in our school also. I came to learn so much about my own village and his history. So many basic concepts in Math and science are clearer now after having done hands on projects with our facilitators during these two and a half months.”
“It was so heartening to see the community members keeping the Imambargah warm and comfortable for us, encouraging us to give our best and engage the children efficiently. The value of community participation and the impact it creates for wonderful learning experiences to the children is commendable and we witnessed it for the first time in a very long time during these winters.”