A Transcontinental Collaboration: Abako Foundation and Mantra4Change

August 5, 2019
Carlsbad, California

On July 26, 2019, Abako’s Executive Director, Dr. Lety Banks, and the Program Director for Mantra Social Services (Mantra4Change), Ms. Vasundhara met in Bangalore, India to explore potential areas of collaboration. As a result, on August 14th, 2019, an Agreement of Collaboration will be signed between the two NGOs that fuses values and aligns education priorities for underserved communities.


Effective immediately, this agreement will allow 10 low-income and under-resourced private schools in Bangalore to receive a grant of USD 15,000 to set up tinkering labs for students. Three team members from Mantra4Change will oversee this massive project: Aileen Chen and Anjali Nambiar, Program Managers, and Shekhar Suman, Makerspace Initiative Project Lead.


Low-income private schools offer an affordable alternative to parents from poor socio-economic groups whose aspiration is to see their children receive formal school education. These schools are able to satisfy the one demand our Government (Public) Schools can’t - an English medium education. In many instances, where parents aren’t able to afford the fees, school leaders sponsor many of these students themselves. Low-income private schools, the ones Mantra4Change works with, are, in reality mostly under-resourced - whether it is about qualified teachers or infrastructure. Because of this, the quality of education is adversely affected. However, they have been instrumental in the crusade to providing education to children from low socio-economic backgrounds. 


Mantra4Change, an organization that works towards transforming schools, has been running its Makerspace initiative since 2018. The idea is to supplement concepts taught in the formal education system with an element of fun, investigation, discovery, and relevance. 

“Makerspaces are rich learning environments which enhance students’ critical thinking, scientific temperament, and curiosity on how and why things are made. They can vary in size and complexity but are essentially a gathering point for tools, projects, and resources that enable students to become makers. At Mantra4Change, this is one among many projects that are aimed at transforming school education and improve student outcomes,” says Shekhar Suman. 


Under the terms of the Agreement, Abako Foundation will fund the tinkering labs, and Mantra4Change will identify project schools, create lab budget, and oversee implementation. Both parties, Abako Foundation and Mantra4Change are committed to improving the quality of education for all children and both welcome this collaboration.


About Abako Foundation

The Abako Foundation is a US-based NGO that believes education is a universal right and a public good. For Abako, what happens in the classroom is key to guarantee a quality education for all children; therefore, Abako is committed to supporting and strengthening teachers and school leaders to facilitate teaching and learning that guarantees a quality education for all children.


About Mantra4Change

Mantra4Change is a Bangalore-based NGO working to improve the quality of education for every child. Through its programs, Mantra4Change works closely with school leadership, teachers, students and parents across under-resourced schools to drive systemic transformation of education.