Tiny T.E.A. is an English medium preschool that provides free early childhood education and nutritious snacks for children whose parents work as tea pickers or daily labourers on tea estates. Our primary goal is to equip children with essential skills that foster active listening, effective communication, building friendships, sharing, collaboration, and taking responsibility for their actions. We aim to enhance their academic performance when transitioning to Grade 1 primary school while nurturing their physical, mental, emotional, and social development to create a strong foundation for their lifelong journey.
Our preschool also serves as a source of inspiration for lifelong learning, helping children develop resilience to overcome challenges and seamlessly adapt to the school environment, enabling them to benefit from their education quickly. We encourage a lasting interest in various activities, including music, dance, singing, reading, gardening, art, and cooking. Furthermore, we prioritise the holistic well- being of our children, addressing their social and emotional needs while ensuring they receive a nutritious snack.
Tiny T.E.A. operates from a modern, purpose-built facility with ample natural light and an extensive outdoor play area, complete with a designated playground. Our services are delivered by two locally recruited teachers, with daily support from a local volunteer who assists our teachers. In addition, we offer dedicated volunteer accommodations to welcome international volunteers who engage with our children, share their skills, and converse in English. In summary, Tiny T.E.A. is committed to enriching children's lives by fostering holistic development, lifelong learning, and social and emotional well-being, all within a nurturing and well-equipped environment.
Our ParenTEAr Programme empowers parents to contribute to their children's education actively and significantly since their children benefit from our free preschool services. This programme encourages parental involvement in maintaining the safety and child-friendliness of The Cloud, our facility. It also ensures that parents play an essential and supportive role in their child's educational journey.
Under the ParenTEAr Programme, one parent of each Tiny T.E.A. child is required to dedicate two days a month, covering a minimum of 5 hours of voluntary work. These parental volunteers are involved in three main areas:
- The Centre, Preschool, and Office Maintenance: Parents assist with cleaning and maintaining the facility to create a clean and organized learning environment.
- Outdoor Centre Maintenance: Parents contribute to the upkeep of our outdoor play areas and designated playgrounds to ensure they remain safe and enjoyable for the children.
- Kitchen Support for the F.O.O.D. Programme: Parents play a role in our kitchen, helping with our food programme to provide nutritious snacks for the children.
In addition to these regular activities, ParenTEArs also participate in our quarterly Shramadana campaigns. During these events, all ParenTEArs work alongside our volunteers and staff to maintain high-quality standards and enhance the beauty of The Cloud.
To recognize and appreciate the valuable contributions of ParenTEArs, we have implemented an award system to keep them motivated and ensure they feel valued for their efforts. This programme not only benefits the children but also fosters a sense of community and shared responsibility among parents and volunteers.
The F.O.O.D. Programme is a well-structured initiative that focuses on offering more than 100 registered children who actively participate in our Y.E.S. (Youth Empowerment Service) after-school programme a daily nutritious vegetarian meal free of charge. We firmly believe that enhancing the health of these children directly contributes to their academic success, including improved memory and faster information processing.
As part of our programme, all children enrolled in the after-school programme receive a freshly prepared meal as soon as they arrive at The Cloud after their regular school hours. The F.O.O.D. Programme operates from 1:30 pm to 2:45 pm, and we maintain flexibility by occasionally extending it to 3:00 pm, considering that some children may be delayed due to their lengthy school hours. This comprehensive approach to providing nutritious meals has led to notable benefits, including improved nutrition levels among school children, increased participation in after-school learning activities, and a significant reduction in the financial burden on parents.
The Y.E.S. programme operates during the school term for students in grade 6 and above attending any of our nine local partner schools. The programme is held daily from 2:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., following regular school hours.
Y.E.S. is dedicated to enhancing the practical skills, language proficiency, and academic performance of children. This is achieved through tuition classes, vocational training, empowerment programmes, and engaging after-school clubs. Our approach involves leveraging local and international volunteer programmes, which bring diverse experiences and knowledge to empower young individuals to realize their full potential. Furthermore, our array of creative and artistic projects fosters the development of essential soft skills and introduces children to new areas of interest.
At T.E.A., we maintain strict standards and criteria that we expect all our teachers and trainers to adhere to when delivering programmes and educating at The Cloud. Every team member, including employees, teachers, trainers, and volunteers working with young service users, follows these established standards. We have also developed clear guidance for trainers, which they are expected to follow diligently during their daily sessions.
Y.E.S. remains closed during school and public holidays throughout the school term. However, we extend invitations to children for one-off training sessions, social events, camps, and other special activities. Additionally, T.E.A. conducts outreach programmes at Tea Estate Child Development Centers to reach and benefit a broader range of children and communities.
WOW offers a unique platform for young individuals participating in Y.E.S. to gain hands-on experience within a children's rights-focused non-profit organization and actively engage in its daily operations. Each participant is paired with a dedicated supervisor, who conducts weekly meetings with them and fellow work experience colleagues. Through this programme, they collaborate with various teams and staff, acquiring valuable insights and skills in diverse areas, including office tasks, project work, preschool assistance, kitchen support, and outdoor/environmental projects.
A structured work plan is provided, encompassing the following key components:
- Project Work: Involvement in ongoing projects and initiatives to address various community and children's rights issues.
- Administrative Support: Assisting in administrative tasks to ensure the smooth operation of the organization.
- Kitchen Support: Participation in the kitchen activities to support the F.O.O.D. Programme, offering nutritious meals to children.
- Pre-school Support: Engaging in activities and tasks within the preschool setting.
- Outdoor/Environmental Projects: Taking part in projects related to the outdoor and environmental aspects of the organization's work.
- Other Tasks: Collaborating with international and local volunteers to help plan and coordinate volunteer activities and initiatives.
Participants are required to commit a minimum of two days per week to the programme, with a maximum of eight children enrolled at any given time. The programme features three distinct levels of involvement, and upon completing their chosen level, young individuals receive a certificate of experience to acknowledge their dedication and contributions.
The Saturday Service programme was created to benefit TEAchers, young adults, and members of the community. It serves as a platform for information, guidance, training opportunities, and a communal forum to enhance TEAching skills and foster community development.
The provision of Saturday Service is a collaborative effort, with coordination and support from sTEArs (Skilled TEAchers and Experts). Services are delivered through partnerships with local government entities, various civil organizations, and dedicated local volunteers. One of the primary functions of the Saturday
Service is to organize vocational training programmes and income-generating opportunities.
Initially, the service operates on two specific days each month, with future expansion dependent on the availability of resources. The sTEArs involved in this initiative bring expertise in their respective fields, including TEA Project TEAchers and Trainers, local partner organizations, government officials, international and local volunteers, and health sector professionals. They collectively deliver a wide range of programmes and activities designed to benefit the community and advance their shared goals.