When I was at the New Life Centre School in February, there was a sports day held for our benefit. The visitors from England could hand out the prizes to the winners. Several of the games were entertaining to watch, the biscuit game where the children had to eat a biscuit off a string and then run to the finishing line. It struck me then how inclusive these games were as it wasn’t necessarily about being the fastest or the fittest, everyone had a chance.
The game in the photo was the most intriguing though as the cyclists had to pedal as slowly as possible without falling off. The winner was the last cyclist to cross the line. This was not only amusing to watch, but also extremely skilful, as some of the students were barely advancing with their bikes in an attempt to win.
This game turned the idea of fastness on its head; the slowest won.
In the West, life seems to be always at an increasing pace - unless you fill your days and minutes with activity, you are missing something.
Winning isn’t always about being first and speed does not always produce the best results.
The New Life Centre school will be 10 years old next year, and it has been a long struggle for Alindra Naskar to educate the parents and the children of this poor area, but in establishing the school slowly Alindra has provided a firm foundation for the future of this school.
If you support Alindra you will enable this school to grow at a pace which ensures its continuity, not only for these children, but for their future children as well.
The workshop has had its first successful trainees in the Government Grade 3 carpentry & Joinery Exam. The young men concerned are staying at the workshop to continue to practice and improve their skills, and also to learn important new skills like “How to price a job”.
The workshop now has 9 trainees and is gradually earning a good reputation in the local area. Sadly, even this can prove to be a potential pitfall. All of the trainees are living in difficult financial circumstances but when their carers, it could be an uncle, aunt grandparents or in some instances a single parent, see how busy the workshop is and how well-equipped they are becoming, they don’t believe that the trainees are not being paid! This can cause a lot of aggravation at home. It would be great if they could be paid but that is just not a realistic possibility. They do get a very small amount of money sometimes when they have planed wood using the planning/finishing machine, but this is infrequent, and in other respects they are not skilled enough to work on paid tasks, not yet anyway. The trainees do get money for lunch about 45c (30p) per day, otherwise they would have none. This money comes through Hand in Hand Sponsorship – we are always on the lookout for new sponsors!
The trainees have some smart new uniforms of which they are very proud. They have also got some new power tools – a router and a sanding machine. They are taught the basic hand tool tasks but there is a lot of kudos, and effort saved, by using powered tools. It also will allow them to extend the range and style of their work, and of course are very useful new skills. These are exciting developments coming soon, once they have been trained! They have been helped to purchase this new equipment by donations through GlobalGiving. Thank you for your support!
It doesn’t seem that long since we returned from Rwanda, but it is seven months since our last visit so it is time to start thinking about our return this year, probably at the end of October.
I have recently received news that for those children that are in secondary classes, and whose parents can afford the £10 per term, they are receiving a daily lunch which has got to be a huge boost for the School and students alike.
On this next visit, it is once again intended to take a small group of volunteers and along with the help of the usual very enthusiastic local labour force, we will continue with plastering and laying of cement floors in the old classrooms, we will also be painting in some of the newer ones that have good walls. There are still two very old rooms that need windows and doors to make them more inhabitable. Toilets are still of great importance, but it does seem to be very difficult to get this part of the project “off the ground”.
There are still not enough water storage tanks; it is very disappointing to see the rain water that goes to waste daily, even during our short visit.
Teaching English vocabulary is high on the agenda this year and it hoped that at least one of our volunteers will be trained in this skill.
All of the above costs money and although we try and encourage volunteers to pay (or earn) their own expenses we still need donations to help pay for the local labour and materials to carry on with this work
All the monies that are donated are accounted for on this very worthwhile cause. If you have already donated to this project in the past I thank you, but more is always welcomed and much appreciated.