In collaboration with charities and volunteers in India, Charity United provides education to children who would otherwise not have access to receive it.

Our project improves education quality in poor areas, with the aim of giving all children an equal opportunity for a good future.

Funds raised are used for materials, supplies, logistics, infrastructure, and training. They may also be used to provide food and essential survival needs for children and their families, concurrent to giving them the basic educations necessary, to provide them with a route out of poverty.

By working with other like-minded individuals and groups, we are also able to help young volunteers bring change to their communities and environments. We provide training and assistance to volunteers and slum tutors, training materials, classes, school supplies, books, educational infrastructure, and more.

Program Introduction

Charity United was founded to make the human rights of the child a reality. It designs its charitable programs around the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1989.

While Charity United grants attention to every right of the child, it pays particular attention to the right of the child to education, as covered in articles 28 & 29 of the Convention.

Indian girls in a slum

Girls like these won’t have an education unless we bring it to them.

Roughly one billion people in the world live in slums. Most of these are children.

Charity United’s Slum and Underprivileged Project is primarily focused on education. Education is the route out of the slums and opens the door to a future. While governments make every effort to provide high-quality education to all children, we must recognize that this is a daunting task, and is, at times, overwhelming. Charity United recognizes the responsibility of citizens in making human rights a reality, and thus seeks to lend support to this effort.

Through surveys of slums around the world, Charity United has located key areas in need of support, in accordance with Articles 28 & 29 of the convention.

Charity United has isolated section 3 of Article 28, raising literacy levels, as a primary focal point to bring about the needed change that will allow further education to occur.

Charity United, therefore, brings a unique literacy program to slums and underprivileged children in order to provide equal opportunity to both girls and boys who are not able to afford high-quality education in existing schools.


William Tucker, President of Charity United, works with a local tutor to educate children in a slum in India.

How our program works

Our program works in several steps, and is designed while keeping the organic learning system of the child in mind. It has been specifically developed to be both cost-effective and easily executable in any situation.

It consists of several phases:

  • Phase 1 consists of spoken English, and teaches the child or student to speak
  • Phase 2 consists of learning the alphabet and learning to read
  • Phase 3 consists of learning to write
  • Phase 4 consists of learning correct grammar

This sequence is never violated or mixed. Each step is completed fully, before moving on to the next. This follows the natural sequence of learning for any child. A newborn is not taught grammar, or to write. He learns the words for basic objects first, then action words (verbs that describe action) are introduced, then he learns to read, this is followed by writing, and finally, he learns grammar. This is the natural way we learn to speak. This is how language is taught quickly, easily, and perfectly.

Phase 1. Building vocabulary for spoken English

Phase 1 focuses on building a basic English vocabulary. It is done on a step-by-step basis, with a gradient approach to language.

  Little girl in India

This young girl heard about our program and walked at least a mile through the wilderness to come to our class. She wasn’t sure if she was invited, so she stood there watching for a little while until we beckoned her over.

Step 1. Learning the names of things in one’s environment.

This step requires no materials. It only requires a teacher or adult proficient in English. It consists of taking a class of children who do not speak English, pointing at objects in the room or environment, and having the children say aloud the names of the objects in English.

The purpose is to build a basic vocabulary of objects, and to teach the students to pronounce the words easily.

This procedure is done at a minimum of half an hour at a time, once or twice daily. If done daily, it is preferable to have it done near the beginning of the school day and near the end of the school day.

One starts with very simple objects until the child or class is very familiar with the objects and has no trouble or difficulty pronouncing the names of simple objects. The key here is repetition. One can do this for half an hour, with as little as 10 or 15 simple objects to start with. It can be done inside a classroom, it can be done outside in the playground, or one can do it in any location.

One then gradually moves on to more and more objects until the class or child is thoroughly familiar with the names of all the objects in the environment. This builds the foundation of the language.


Building a vocabulary through flashcards, at one of the slums where Charity United’s educational programs are in operation

Step 2. Building vocabulary through flashcards

This step is entirely verbal; no reading is involved. This first step focuses on teaching words for things, not sentences.

Flashcards are made of words that are not easily available in the environment. These flashcards are big (minimum A4 size) and they have a word and a picture. Flashcards are made for kindergarten, 1st-grade, 2nd-grade, 3rd-grade, 4th-grade, and 5th-grade level words. These flashcards also have both the word and a picture of the word. For example, the flashcard for hat has the word hat in big letters up top, and then a large picture of a hat.

Starting with kindergarten flashcards, additional words (nouns) are learned. Again, this is done through the pointing method. The teacher points at a flashcard and says the word, the students point and repeat the word. One goes through a set of flashcards until the entire class can easily repeat and pronounce the words and knows the words by heart.

In the beginning, the teacher holds the flashcard and says the word, and the children repeat. Once the children begin to know the words, the teacher holds up the flashcard and asks, “What is it?” Once the students easily know the words for all the flashcards, one moves to the next set.

Children, students, and adults rapidly build a vocabulary this way, learning in a month what is normally covered in a year.

Once a basic set of nouns (objects) is known we move on to action words (verbs).

  Children receiving classes in a slum in India

Verbs are taught through a technique called mimicry (imitation). Children love this portion of the classes!

Step 3. Action words, verbs

Verbs are taught through a process called mimicry (imitation).

Again, the natural way one learns action words (verbs) in life is through copying the actions of adults, or mimicry.

The teacher starts by showing simple motions, like wave, clap, run, jump, crouch, shake, point etc., and speaking the word. The class or child mimics the motion or action and says the word out loud.

This is done for half an hour daily, to build a basic action word (verb) vocabulary, with as many action words as can easily be demonstrated, over and over again, and with a minimum of half an hour.

Once all basic action words have been learned and can be said easily, we move on to action word flashcards. Similar to the nouns, action words (verbs) are provided on flashcards that can easily be demonstrated in pictorial form. Flashcards are made for kindergarten, 1st-grade, 2nd-grade, 3rd-grade, 4th-grade, and 5th-grade level words.

Step 4. Articles

After nouns and action words are covered up to the level of the age group, the use of articles is fully covered. This is a relatively short step, as the English language has only 2 articles: the and a/an.

  Building his own school

The children at this slum got so excited about their new classes, they banded together to build a school. This boy is helping to clear the sand for a foundation. Naturally, Charity United stepped in to do the heavy lifting.

With the child or student now in possession of a vocabulary of nouns, verbs, and articles, it is possible to start to make phrases. The teacher chants out short simple phrases, not sentences, until the class is familiar with speaking phrases. We are focusing on spoken English here. One is teaching and exercising the mouth and vocal cords to easily speak short phrases.

Once the class can easily repeat short phrases by the teacher, we go to the second half of this step.

The class is now paired up in sets of two, and they give each other phrases back and forth until they can do so easily and swiftly with the words they possess. This is a critical step in establishing fluency in their spoken English. Do not underestimate the importance of this step.

Once simple phrases are complete we move on to spoken English. Special exercise sheets are provided where the child or student is given situations to describe in his own words. This builds both confidence and fluency in spoken English as well as exercising the child’s creative imagination.

Once one has reached this far, one has laid in the base of the English vocabulary, one has established fluency in basic spoken English, and the child or class now has the word knowledge needed to learn to read.


Learning to read, beginning with the fundamentals of the English language

Phase 2. Learning to read

Learning to read is begun after there is a good command of the vocabulary required, based on the age group involved.

Step 1. Learning the alphabet

If the English alphabet is not known, it is started with flashcards and learning the names and shapes of the English letters by heart. Writing is not started yet; this step is very fast if one simply sticks to learning to recognize letters.

Step 2. Learning the phonetic sounds of letters

The next concept gotten across to the class is “a letter is a symbol representing a sound in a language.” The phonetic pronunciations (spoken sounds) of each letter are now learned using flashcards. This is done until the child or class is thoroughly familiar with the phonetic sounds of each letter.

Step 3. Pronunciation reading books

Special reading books which exercise the pronunciation of English vowels, A, E. I, O, and U are used in order to teach reading. As the child or class is already familiar with these words from earlier steps in the program, all one is teaching is reading words which the child or class already knows. The child will understand what he is reading. Not understanding the words which one is reading is what crashes learning to read.

This process is started as a group, with the teacher reading aloud and the class repeating. Once the child or class can do this they get paired up and continue to practice until their reading of these beginner books.

Having gotten this far, the child or class is now proficient in reading basic children’s books. Flashcards are now used in order to increase vocabulary, and the children are given interesting storybooks to read in order to improve their reading skills. Children are paired up and read to each other in order to improve both reading and speaking skills. The teacher oversees this action by spotting any child who is having difficulty with a word and explaining the meaning and pronunciation.

Once reading is fluent and easy, we move on to the next phase, which is writing.


Introducing the new classes at one of the slums

Phase 3. Writing

With the child or the class now being able to speak and read, we move onto writing. Exercise books, pen, and paper are supplied, and the child is taught to write letters, then small words, then larger words, etc.

Learning to write is now relatively easy, as there is a language base and they are able to read, writing is the next gradient up.

15 minutes of flashcards is also done daily in order to increase vocabulary.

Phase 4. Grammar

Now that the child can speak, read, and write, we implement grammar. Up until now, we have not worried, as grammar can not be taught if you do not have a word base to implement it on. Reading will already have given the child a “feel” for how the words are used in context. Grammar is now the natural progression.

Special Grammar books have been licensed from one of the top boarding schools in the United States. These are easy to understand, and produce excellent results. As they are licensed, they can be produced locally at vastly reduced costs, giving the children in the slums equal access to some of the top educational materials in the world relative to their age groups.

Successes on the Ground

Poonam“My name is Poonam. I am a bachelor of Arts, second year, at Delhi University. I live at T9 Gyaspur Sarai Kale Khan. The area I live in has many slums; there is a lack of facilities, and there are no schools or educational institutions nearby. That is why many children are unable to take classes or get educated.

In our slum, the children want to study, and they have lots of drive, but they don’t study. This is because there are no schools nearby, and no opportunities to study. They do not have any opportunity. But, over the last month, conditions in our area have improved.

Charity United has started to make education available to the slum children. They did so by starting small classes in the open field. The main focus is to make equality a reality: that everyone has a right to education. Together Unique Coaching Center and Charity United have begun to make education available to the slum children. They are providing essential materials such as books, pens, pencils, blackboard, markers, etc.

After education was made available directly in the slums, the children have changed. They love the classes and are interested in learning. There is a new look on their faces. You can see the children walk around and shine.

The students are very excited about the daily classes. They always arrive before the teacher! Because of the methods used to teach, the students are eager to learn. They lose their sense of time! They will stay as long as we give a class. We could teach them all day without losing their interest.

Now the students are very interested, and come to class every day.

I am getting the training from Charity United. I have learned how to give a class, how to keep the students interested, how to deal with the children in a caring manner, and most of all how to get the students through their study difficulties.
The method is completely different from what I am used to, but it is amazingly powerful. The children change in front of your eyes.

Charity United and Unique Coaching have played a vital role in making our dreams possible.

It has become clear to me that their aim is to establish equality for all in the world, not just India. But they are doing this through action, not through words.

Thank you, Charity United and Unique Coaching Center.

Vipin“My name is Vipin Kumar and I live at slum Number 87 Gyaspur Sarai Kale Khan South Delhi.

When I started this programme, I did not believe that I would be able to learn to speak English. But now I am realizing that I will be able to learn English very well. Before this, I was afraid to speak English. I wasn’t able to speak even basic simple words. I didn’t dare to speak English in front of anyone. I was embarrassed and I thought that people would just laugh at me, so I didn’t even try to speak English.

But after just a few days on the programme, I realized that I can learn to speak English, that I will become fluent, and that I can learn to speak like a “gentleman.” Through the methods used on this programme, I have found confidence in speaking. And even though I still make mistakes, this no longer bothers me. I know that to learn English, I need to practice and not worry about mistakes.

I have learned how to communicate with others, I am no longer afraid to speak English. I no longer hesitate. I have gained the confidence to speak. I could never even look at others before. Now I can face anyone! I’m no longer embarrassed about making mistakes, I know you can’t learn if you don’t practice.

The conditions in our slum are completely miserable. Despite this, parents send their children to government schools, in hopes of getting them an education. For some reason, however, the children are not able to learn in those schools. Some parents try to get their children a tuition, but the fees charged are way too high for us to afford. At other times, the families are so desperate, that the children need to work instead of go to school.

Now I have started to teach in my slum with the help of Charity United. The changes in the children in my slum have been amazing. The programme is so simple, yet powerful. Hope has been restored to the children. You can see it in their eyes. You can see their dreams that had faded have come back to life and they again believe that a future is possible.

The parents are seeing this too. Because of the programme, they too have started believing in education. As the word is getting round, the parents are now sending their children to our class. Every day we have 5 to 10 new students.

Our students are doing fantastic. They are learning new words every day, and with the use of flashcards, we are laying in the foundation of their education. We make sure that the students understand what each new word means, and we are building their English vocabulary.

If you don’t believe what I am saying, please feel free to come to our slum. You can personally check the students and you will see that they are really learning! You will see them actually using what they have learned. The children are starting to speak English among themselves. They take pride in using what they have learned.

The only thing that is holding us back now is materials. We are teaching in a field, or under the bridge, if it rains. We need a safe place to teach. We also need access to safe water for the students to drink, and we need the same materials for every student.

With these simple basics in place, I am confident we can have a better future. Our slum, in time, will cease to be a slum, but a place worth living. I know we can do this.”

“Before we established the classes, the children did not go to school, and the parents were not sure whether the children should go to school or not. They did not understand how important it was to go to school, or why. How can parents know this, when they themselves have never had the opportunity to go to school or get an education?

Despite this, the parents have now begun to send their children to the government school. Parents can’t afford to send children to private schools or colleges. And because the parents don’t think it is important for girls to get an education, it is even harder for girls to go to college.

Once the girls finish their secondary education at 10th or 12th class, they usually can not continue to study, even if they want to. The lockdown has made this even harder. We were not able to get an education at all.

Thanks to Charity United and Unique Coaching Center, this has changed.

We now have the resources to study. The children are studying well, and are having fun doing so. We now have hope that we can do something with our lives. We know we can grow up to be good people and be something that families can be proud of!

What have the children learned so far?

They have learned so many basic things! We are understanding things better, we are speaking better, and we have gained confidence in studying. I have learned how to educate the other children in the village, I have learned the meanings of many words, and I can now understand what I read. I have more confidence in life, and get along with the village elders better.

The mentality and outlook of the children has completely changed! They have become interested in learning to read and write, and they have hope for the future. The change has been so great, that even the parents have hope for the first time. They have changed their minds about the importance of education. The parents are now supporting education as they have seen the changes in the children since we started this program.

What do the children think now? After starting the classes, the parents have realized that the children are really learning. Both the parents and the children have hope that they can learn to read well.

My own personal experience is as follows:

I have completed my 12th class in government school. I tried to get personal tuition, but it was too expensive, so I had to stop. However, thanks to Charity United and Unique Coaching Center, I was able to continue receiving an education. Thanks to their program, I am beginning to learn English. I am learning how to teach, I am learning how to speak to others, and I have a future.

We still have many challenges. The rains, for example, wash out our “schoolground” in the village. But with the things I am learning, at least we have a chance to change the future.

Thank you Charity United and Unique Coaching Center.”

How You Can Help

This program has been funded by donations and supported by volunteer work.  During the initial pilot stages of our program, we have helped 600 children in India’s slums. There are currently another 10,000 children on the waiting list to participate in the program.

This program provides children with the fundamentals of education that are crucial for success in any future schooling.

Program Summary

By getting this educational program available directly in the slums, we are laying the foundation of a successful education, providing equal opportunities, and salvaging the future of these children. With proper education, we are making the rights of the child a reality and working together to create a better world and an end to poverty. With your help, we can make it.