SEEING so many happy and bright children on an overseas trip turned out to be a turning point for Baldivis resident Amy Nagatani.
Ms Nagatani (pictured right), a fourth year veterinarian student, is the founder and manager of a charity called Be Benevolent.
Through it, she runs a small tuition program in India for underprivileged students.
Five years ago, Amy went to India where she met many bright children.
The next year she went back, squeezing as many books, pencils and pens into her bags as she could.
“It was good to give those things to them but I realised it was not sustainable,” she said.
With that prompting, she had an idea for a more permanent solution.
“I hired out a classroom and teachers to teach a small group of children,” she said.
On her return, the first thing she did was register Be Benevolent with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
Her aim is to give the children quality teaching that moves away from rote learning.
“We don’t just want them to pass. We want them to be really switched on, especially in the areas of animal welfare, social responsibility and the environmental responsibility.
The tuition program operates six days a week from noon to 6pm after their schooling.
“We help with homework, teach problem solving and critical thinking skills,” she said.
“I send over games like Twister and get the students to play it in English. The focus is on developing minds.”
“We are a very grassroots charity. I think we are doing a pretty good job,” she said.
“We are always looking for people to give input on our tuition. We are flexible, nothing is set in stone.”
Ms Nagatani said they were looking for second-hand laptops and phones.
She said other ways people could help were through people giving their time at the class in Varanasi, India.
“Subiaco Rotaract have helped us greatly with three fundraisers already but teachers in any area are welcome,” she said.
“Even just likes on Facebook will help raise awareness of what we are doing.”
For more information visit www.be-benevolent.com, or like them on Facebook at www.face|book.com/bebenevolent.