English Learning Buddy Program

The Problem

In addition to being the world’s most widely spoken language, English is one of India’s official languages. Yet only around 30% of people in India speak the language to some extent.

Many girls living in India’s urban centers, like New Delhi and Mumbai, are afforded the opportunity to go to school. Some schools teach the basics of English, but even if girls are introduced to English in school, this language is new to them: most families, especially those living below the poverty line, speak Hindi or Punjabi. So these girls often don’t have anyone at home to practice with regularly, leaving them without conversational English skills.

The ability to speak English is a marketable skill. It opens up more opportunities and career paths that can empower girls to transform not just their own lives, but also the lives of their families and their communities.

Our Solution: Girls Educating Girls

We developed the English Learning Buddy Program to provide girls in India with the opportunity to practice their English speaking skills.

The program connects girls from low-income families in India (“Learners”) with native English-speaking girls in the United States and Canada (“Buddies”). Participants’ grade levels range from 7 to 12.

Learners and Buddies of similar ages are paired up for a 10-week period. They meet weekly via video calls to follow a structured lesson plan and read stories together. Many girls also chat about their everyday lives, share their experiences, and form lasting bonds.

Buddies that wish to continue volunteering with OneProsper after this 10-week period can also sign up for the English Learning Buddy Ambassador Program.

Connecting & Changing Lives

In addition to achieving the primary goal of helping girls in India practice their spoken English, our solution is unique because it:


Positions Girls as Role Models

Gender roles in India are becoming more egalitarian as women become more involved in politics and the workforce, but many families still adhere to traditional gender roles in the home. By having girls work with their peers, our program shows Learners that girls are powerful, intelligent, and capable of leading.

Cultivates Prosocial Behavior

Through this program, Buddies in the United States and Canada gain valuable experience as mentors and teachers. They also participate in a rewarding volunteer program that enables them to change lives. This experience promotes empathy, concern for others, and a fulfilling opportunity to have an impact on the world.


Fosters Cross-Cultural Friendships

Buddies and Learners come from vastly different regional and cultural backgrounds. Interacting with each other regularly and building friendships allows both sets of girls to broaden their awareness and develop an appreciation for cultures that they may not have otherwise encountered. This enriching, mutually beneficial experience helps girls nurture important skills like empathy and acceptance.

Our Impact

connected as Buddies and Learners
of volunteer time
across U.S., Canada and India

Since its inception in August 2020, the English Learning Buddy Program has paired nearly 2,500 Learners in India with Buddies in the U.S. and Canada — and counting. These girls have spent over 5,000 hours together practicing spoken English and building lasting relationships.

Join Over 290 Other Schools

OneProsper partners with nearly 300 schools across the United States, Canada, and India to connect Buddies with Learners.

Is your school interested in getting involved? Email our English Learning Buddy Program Director, Emily Neapolitan, at emily@oneprosper.org to learn more.

Hear from the Girls

The English Learning Buddy Program benefits Buddies and Learners in numerous ways. Here are some testimonials from girls on both sides of the screen:

Meet the Buddies

Meet the Learner

You Can Change a Girl’s Future

Our work depends on you. Every donation makes a difference, whether an individual gives $10 or a corporation sponsors an entire family.

Visit the How to Help page for more information.

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