Twenty years ago Alice Project’s adventure started. The "headquarter” was located in two rooms of a private residence, near Sarnath Stupa. In those small rooms we started training for the future teachers of the Alice Project school. The course was attended by 25 people of all ages. The youngest was a 17 years old boy, who is now principal of our schools.
We think that the final evaluation of these twenty years, in spite of few failures, is positive. Thanks to our work in Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Bodhisatta, the level of alphabetization in villages, around the three schools, increased notably. Very successful was the literacy project for adults and child laborers that we run for some years at Sarnath school. It is not is not easy to evaluate the social impact of Alice Project in the rural area in which we are working.
Awards and rewards
During all these years, we received rewards and encouragement for our educational project: from the Dalai Lama, who visited the school in Sarnath for three times; from Sanskrit University (two awards); from Italian President Napolitano who awarded Valentino with “Stella per la Solidarietà”. Many articles in local and international newspapers and about ten theses have been written by Italian and Foreigner University students. A book was written by Gloria Germani for the editor, Terra Nuova. Recently, the national French television dedicated fifteen minutes to Alice Project in a National program. After that, a new NGO (two are in Italy) called “Alice Project” was registered. An Italian writer and psychotherapist, Andrea Bocconi, defined Alice Project as the “Montessori of XXI century”.
The response to Luigina’s training in Italy and India is also quite positive.
The school, after working for some years in the juvenile home in Varanasi, has adopted an orphan boy, at the end of his traumatic permanence in the re-education structure that lasted eight years. That boy, after completing the XII class, in our school, now is in Yoga Bangalore University for a degree in therapeutic yoga. He is going to finish the second year and he said that he does not regret for accepting our proposal. Thanks to our help, many of our students and teachers have achieved a specialization at the famous school of Yoga in Mungher, Bihar. Some students got the qualification in ayurvedic massage.
Two students were sponsored for a biannual course of Tibetan language. Nowadays both of them are teachers. One of them is the manager of a hostel in Nepal, where he implements the educational method of Alice Project. Recently, we helped other two students - without economical resources – to complete a two years course for becoming teachers in special schools (For mental and physical handicaps).
Since July, after the specialization, one of them is working as educator in the same Center in which he studied, getting a good salary. The other one teaches nearby his village, in Arunachal Pradesh. Two students (Chakma) have studied Eastern Arts in a private atelier in Nepal. Now they are working as teachers in Bodhgaya. Some ex -students teach in private schools in their villages.
About ten Chakma ex-students are pursuing the military career. Other Chakmas (six) preferred to dedicate themselves to the monastic life. Few chakmas moved to South of India in order to get a job, in the industrialized cities. All of them show a positive and professional behavior. This year, one Chakma - ex-student - got University degree with the highest marks. Now he wants to continue his studies to become a University professor. Another one, after the degree, preferred to dedicate himself to social work, “To help Chakmas to become recognized as Indian citizens and get out from the poverty in which they live”.
We want to underline that our schools could survive for such a long time not only thanks to the special education that we propose, but also for the academic results achieved by our students. Since some years, students of high school achieve high results than those of other private and public schools. For example, this year 100% of students passed the state level exam and 90% of them got the “first division”. So the scholastic results show that the combination of education (self-consciousness, meditation, introspection, concentration …) and instruction is a successful formula to improve students’ behavior and also their scholastic performance.
Which is the future?
What will be the future? This is a question that we usually ask, especially in the light of the economic crisis that is spreading in Italy and in Europe, which caused a significant decrease in economical help for our schools. There are some friends who are supporting us since the birth of our Educational adventure. They are those who allow us to survive since now, together with other new friends that we have met during the journey . To be sincere, we did not imagine the responsibilities, the efforts, the energies that this vision would have required to be implemented. Anyway, we believe that it was worthwhile trying to find a new way to educate the young generations. Let us say that if we will succeed to help only few children to get inner peace, it is a great achievement. The future depends on the generosity of people who believe that our Educational research is worthwhile.
Friends of Humanity received some news from its local partner Alice Project in India!
According to them, "most of the students who are recruited are in extremely poor conditions. Many of them are orphans that do not have either mother or father. Their family conditions are very poor. Farming is the only source of their income. The students are very interested in staying at the school hostel. No one wants to leave it. But, of course some of them are turned away, because when they finish the primary level, for the further studies they are compelled to go to other schools which are very rare in our area. After completion of the course in this branch project, students are given options for higher studies which are faciliated in the main project in Sarnath- Uttar Pradesh and in Bodghaya, Bihar."
What about the families ?
The organization has a familiar relationship with the families of the students. They often come to the school and are always ready to give their cruicial help and support to us. They are very interested in the project and the education which we are giving to their children.
They are trying to run afternoon classes for the parents, which can be a very good way to involve them and all the villagers with their children's education.
There are several activities which we are organizing with the hostel residents such as: games and sports, karma yoga, prayers and spiritual teachings, picnics and tours.
What do the students think about the hostel ?
They love and like the hostel very much. They are very happy to live in it. Students see it as their second home. They feel that the teachers and staff members are like their own parents who are always ready to help and support them with their every step. A 12 year old boy says "the hostel is a very homely and a comfortable place for me" while another student comments, "it is a kind of boon - an oasis for me."
When asked what students would be doing if the hostel did not exist, a 10 year old girl responded, "I would never get such a golden chance to be here and learn all these things which our teachers are teaching at the school." Another student answered "My precious time would be spent in playing, working in the fields and with animals. Or I would just spend my time wandering in the village with my village friends." " I am very lucky that I am here."
Future of the Hostel?
We hope the hostel develops every year, so that we can make it beneficial for as many students possible. The future of the hostel is bright. Of course for completion of our dream we will need the kind help of all our supporters as we are receiving till now.
Thank you for your donations and continous support!
Friends Of Humanity Team.
Thank you for your generous support and contributions to the Alice project in Boddishatta, India. This project, launched in 1994 by Italian teachers Valentino Giacomin and Luigina De Biasi, aims to provide school to 125 disadvantaged children with poor educational prospects in a community plagued by poverty, illiteracy, and a lack of infrastructure. The addition of a girls’ boarding school in 2010 provides 20 girls from remote villages with education, food, lodging, and health care.
In 2013, the donations Friends of Humanity has received has faciliated the branch school in Bodhisatta to welcome 20 girls, ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers, covering grades 1 through 6. At a monthly cost of 508 CHF, the school provided not only education, but shelter, three daily meals, clothing, laundry, toiletries, school supplies and medicine.
The education of girls is one of the main purposes of the Alice Project, particularly in a traditionally male dominated society. Most girls come from very poor families, some are orphans. The school provides these girls from otherwise illiterate families not only with an opportunity for education, but a safe and nurturing environment in which to thrive. It empowers them with a foundation for a better future for themselves, as well as the opportunity to be a positive influence in the lives of others.
Your kind donations will help the girls to have a better and brighter future.
Thank you again, and we look forward to your continued support!
Friends of Humanity
1. The project
Many children in that area don't have access to education as the nearest school is much too far from where they live.Alice school would like to welcome 125 children. In 2011, FOH has started to support this school for 20 months, a sewing course has been launched for girls and access to drinkable water is put in place. In addition, in 2012, we will support the running cost of the girls hostels of this school that welcome 20 young girls. The children that receive this education will have access to the higher education system and help their family and the whole community to access a better level of life.
2. The objective to keep in mind
Alice Project is a research project for the education of children and teachers. It is based on the integration of our inner and outer worlds. The project aims at enabling the transcendence of borders we artificially create and the awakening and nurturing of the understanding of self. Alice Project is based on the concept of unity of the Body, the Mind and the External world.
Children are encouraged to know and understand their own traditions and through these traditions the universal truths are conveyed. They are invited to coherently integrate the values of their traditional culture into practical action in their daily life, sharing their wisdom with people of their villages. In this way, Alice wants to induce two changes: in the internal environment (individual psyche) and external environment (society, Mother Earth).
Don't forget that:
CHF25 = Hostel for 1 month for a girlCHF50 = Education for 8 months for a child CH150 = Education for 2 years for a child CHF300 = Boarding school for 1 year for a girl
Thank you for your support.
Friends of Humanity Team.
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