The school at Sarberia started on 5th June 2005 with only 39 children and in this academic year 2012 there are about 300 hundred children and many more are seeking admission.
The Vocational Training Centre was built by Hands Around the World volunteers and local builders in 2008. This building is now used for school classrooms in the morning, but in the afternoon, there is also a sewing and embroidery course for the local women and a computer course for the young men who have little hope of employment after they have attended the government schools, and left with no qualifications.
Men with vision like Alindra Naskar are always looking for ways to improve the lives not only of the children whose potential has yet to be realised, but also the adults who have not had the benefit of a good education. As someonewith a medical background, he is also keen to provide Sarberia with a Health Clinic, where locals can be treated inexpensively, but also learn about hygiene and good health practice. He is concerned about the disaffected youth in the village who have dropped out of the government schools, which is why he began the computer course tomotivate them, as well as providing picnics for the old people to gather and share their concerns with one another.
Alindra writes ‘Our challenge is not only to educate the children but also educate the family as a whole by educating the parents from where the children basically grow up in life. Hence the parents need to be educated in healthy living and understand the value of education. In this way the children and parents are equally a priority for us in order to achieve the success the children so rightly deserve.’
Sponsors and donors so far have enabled Alindra to achieve this much, and he is extremely grateful for all the help and support he has received. He will not rest however until he has improved the lives of the villagers of Sarberia, whom he serves tirelessly.
I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to meet such an inspirational man, the type of person that you only tend to read about.
Wouldn’t you like to walk hand in hand with Alindra Naskar?
During the past few months, despite the financial constraints, the project has been moving forwards.
The Centre is well on the way to becoming an approved training centre and will be registered by Teveta. This will enable examinations to take place on site avoiding fees for external examinations and the transport costs.
The newly appointed manager is busy making best use of current resources.
Although not yet complete, the new workshop is being used to train students in carpentry. Chickens are being fattened and sold to the local community to bring in extra funds. It is clearly recognized that this is a partnership, the local people will do what they can to generate income locally, but they also need our support.
This project faces major challenges, but the local people are determined to make a difference to the local teenagers. Any funds they receive are being carefully allocated to bring maximum benefit – the priority at the moment being to ensure that there are sufficient materials for the tailoring and carpentry classes.
Some tailoring students have completed their courses and are currently producing items for sale, while waiting to sit their examinations. Similarly, as the carpentry students become more proficient, they expect to sell some of their work to raise additional funds.
The three Dogba School classrooms have been structurally finished and all are in daily use for teaching. The village children - pupils at the school - took responsibility with their parents and the headteacher for clearing the site of building materials and creating attractive and dry learning spaces. The recent flooding did not enter the building though dugouts were used to ferry pupils to the school.
There remains only the essential plastering and painting of the structure to provide the best chance of sustaining its use for many years to come. Funding of £2000 is currently being sought for this purpose. Can you help please?
In order to support the staff and provide a basic level of sustained income, volunteers will visit the community this summer and will be taking a tractor and farming implements, computers and bicycles to facilitate secondary school attendance. All considerations of making financial donations to this next development will be most welcome.