thebigword empowers orphaned youths through free English communication program in India

Leading language solutions provider, thebigword, is supporting young adults from a Pune-based orphanage through an English communication program that aims to provide them with personal and educational growth.

The orphanage, Sparsh, was founded in 2008 by Mahesh Yadav and his wife Sujata Yadav, with a mission to create awareness about AIDS following Sujata’s personal experience of her parents’ struggle with the disease.

After her parents’ passing, she was unjustly ostracised by her village due to misconceptions about the disease. Mahesh and Sujata, determined to change attitudes and support those affected by AIDS, initiated an awareness campaign across rural areas of Pune. Sparsh is now a Pune-based a non-profit organisation which is dedicated to rehabilitating orphaned children with AIDS who have been disowned by their extended families.

thebigword is providing the free Business English communication lessons to three young adults from the Sparsh orphanage, who are graduates of Marathi-speaking schools. Recognising their career aspirations and language barriers they may face, thebigword are focusing on teaching the students 18 to 20 hours of English, conducted through weekly hour-long sessions at thebigword’s Pune Office.  

Along with English lessons, the team at thebigword is helping these graduates hone their technical skills in cloud computing, programming and networking.

Notably Nilesh Dorik, who himself came from a Marathi speaking background, provided a session on career development to inspire and motivate the students.

Nilesh Dorik, Global Head of Business Transformation and India Country Manager at thebigword Group said: “Every business is a human endeavour to do net positive contributions to the communities it operates in. thebigword, for instance, not only breaks language barriers worldwide but also gives hope, skills and opportunity to the less privileged in the society. I am truly inspired by the enthusiasm shown by these young adults who are showing us how resolute individuals forge the path towards reshaping their destinies.”

The program began with the students at a beginner’s English level, focusing on tenses (simple present, simple past, and continuous). The goal is to equip them with language skills crucial for future career prospects and each lesson follows a pre-test and post-test format to gauge progress. Additionally, students receive homework assignments and reading to further hone their English abilities.

Despite challenges such as monsoon season and travel, which sees the students commuting over an hour and a half by bus to attend the sessions, their dedication remains unwavering. thebigword is honoured to offer a stepping-stone towards expanded opportunities for these motivated students.

Beyond individual development, Sparsh envisions that these students will eventually become English trainers, passing on their newfound knowledge to younger children in the orphanage.

thebigword has partnered with Sparsh since March 2021, originally visiting to celebrate Holi (the festival of colours) with the children and donating story books, toys and clothes. Over the past two years thebigword staff, including CEO Josh Gould, have visited the orphanage more than 4 times and have made substantial cash donations as well grocery items and daily essentials which have been donated.

Mahesh Yadav, co-founder of Sparsh said: “thebigword India has been supporting Sparsh  for the past 2 years and have been taking care of our children, extending their  support and have been taking care of their wellbeing. Never in all these years have I seen the CEO of a company visiting our orphanage and having food with the children, he encouraged our children and also guided them of how they could excel in the future. I am extremely thankful to thebigword India team for all their love and support.”

This new program, as well as their continued support to Sparsh, underscores thebigword’s commitment to community growth and empowerment. By providing essential language skills, thebigword aims to equip these young adults with valuable tools for success in their personal and professional lives.

Jyotsna, one of the students adding the class added: “I would like to express my gratitude to Rashmi and Gazal at thebigword for their efforts in teaching us English. They also have helped build the confidence we were lacking through the classes and have also taught us basic etiquettes of the corporate world. These sessions are really helping us and we can’t thank them enough.”