BUDS has been running two PACE centers since December 2018 in the urban slums of Sarai Kale Khan and Mori Gate. The primary focus of the PACE centers is to provide another chance for education, to those girls who have never been to school or dropped out. The program runs in partnership with Nirantar, a resource center for gender and education, that provides us with the necessary course materials and holds timely workshops and training for the staff to build their capacity and strengthen their pedagogical and academic skills.

The center is a safe growing space for girls, where they learn by experience and exposure. At both our centers, we have a teacher and a mobilizer who facilitate classes in the center and are very popular in the community. Currently, we have  51 and 45 girls at our Sarai Kale Khan and Mori Gate centers, respectively. Apart from providing functional literacy and numeracy, the center also teaches basic science and social science topics and also touches upon matters such as sexuality, gender, reproductive health and helps from a feministic perspective. The chapters highlight female importance and the role of a woman in a society. It breaks the age-old practices of patriarchy and stimulates the girls to critically analyze the constructs of power, caste, and creed.

Over the past year, the girls have visited places such as the Railway Museum, Mughal Gardens, World Book Fair, India Gate and many more. They also went for a heritage walk through the streets of Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Basti, enabling them to explore the place like never before. The purpose of these visits is to provide the girls an opportunity to venture out of their house and get a break from their usual routine. Visits, such as those to the bank or police station, are a great learning experience for these girls. The visits also facilitate learning through fun methods, for instance, when the girls were taken for the movie screening of Chapak, a Bollywood film which portrays the life of a real-life acid attack victim.

BUDS staff facilitated discussions, where every girl had a chance to share their experiences and their feelings. Our PACE girls have also been enrolled in the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to receive a formal education and certification on completion. A total of 66 girls from Mori Gate and 28 girls from Sarai Kale Khan were sponsored and enrolled by BUDS in 8th, 10th &12th  standard. About 34 girls have appeared for their final examination in April 2020. PACE also has 20 alumni from the Mori Gate center, who were part of the program run from December 2017 to September 2018. These girls have been in constant touch with BUDS. The girls also attended a two-day Alumni Meet, organized by Nirantar. Jyoti, one of the alumni, was also selected for a tour guide workshop held by Open Eyes and is now enrolled in a driving course, run by Azad Foundation..

PACE is one of our most prized programs and each learner is a lifelong asset to BUDS. It is indeed our privilege to work with these girls, who are immensely talented and offer us something new to learn every day. We plan to continue our interaction with them, after the program terminates in the month of May 2020, by enrolling them in the various skill training program BUDS runs

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