Due to recent donations and support, we have been able to offer more assistance to Auxillum School in Kochi. Auxilium English Medium School ISCE serves children from KG to 9th standard.
Whilst primary education is free in India, there simply is not enough space in government schools to provide a decent education for all children. In the extended metropolitan area of Kochi, where we work, the population is 2.3million. It is difficult to work out how many children are in the area, as per the last census in 2011, only children up to the age of 6 were counted. Up to the age of 6 alone, there were 190,000 children in the area.
However, there are only 34 government schools in the area, meaning there could be over 5,500 students per primary school. As such, many families send their children to private-aided and unaided schools to give them a better quality of education.
At Auxilium, the school does its hardest to keep school fees as low as possible. They focus on trying to provide better teachers and smaller numbers in the classrooms. This does mean that the school is short of funds to run. As such, recent donations have helped to kit out the school hall to enhance teaching experiences for all years. A projector screen was installed to help the students to study online classes & also make presentations clearly. We also installed a podium and amplifier so the school can host functions and gatherings. This will enhance lessons and presentations done in the hall but also allows the school hall to be booked for external functions to bring in some much needed funds.
With the left donations, we assisted with tuition fees for 25 children, where it was well known to the school that their parents were finding it very difficult to make both ends meet and may have had to pull their children from the school. It has been a big relief for them that their children will get knowledge without the financial constraints.
None of this could be possible without your support. We are looking to continue offer these tuition fee scholarships as well as more services and features to support local schools in the area trying to offer children a decent education.
Thank you again
Through our healthcare projects, we aim to better the lives of children facing various difficulties in the communities we work in. Our donors and supporters enable this through their support and sometimes, things come together in such a way that a group of people from one side of the world can positively change the life for someone elsewhere.
One such child is 14 year old Nikhil, a student attending Cottolengo Special Needs School in Fort Kochi, Kerala, India. Nikhil has advanced Cerebral Palsy and is currently facing many challenges. He is physically handicapped and has extreme difficulty moving from one place to another. Nikhil was being placed in an improvised plastic chair with the legs cut short, crudely attached to a metal frame that sits on two mis-matched tyres. Nikhil has extremely limited muscle control, and as a result was constantly falling or slipping out of his chair. He needs constant supervision to be readjusted and pulled into an upright position to remain even slightly secured. In terms of safety, the chair presents many problems & makes his posture extremely harmful to his neck & spine which is critical to anyone suffering from Nikhil's condition.
On the other side of the world, a group of people came together to fundraise for Nikhil, in memory of their beloved friend and daughter who tragically passed away far too young and had volunteered in India with Nikhil. Their funds along with the support of the Charitable Trust enabled us to buy a proper wheelchair for Nikhil.
The Cottolengo Sisters made a good effort to visit the orthopaedist for Nikhil, got a consultation for the new wheelchair with specifications immediately after receiving the funds. They went in a van with the help of 2 drivers. Now the modern wheelchair with a chest belt and foot-rest, makes him conveniently settled & he is happy with smiles. He has a plastic table to have food as well. A fully functioning wheelchair has now improved Nikhil's personal comfort, health and safety in numerous ways. It perks up his spinal and neck support, scheduled physiotherapy, enhanced transportation around the school, enabled pressure area care, and greatly increased hygiene levels. Feeding has become easier, as Nikhil is better supported with his upgraded modern wheelchair. The long term impact of Nikhil who obtained a new wheelchair is undoubtedly & overwhelmingly a positive gesture to this poor boy.
Thank you for supporting this project.
All the best
New Year started with a bunch of excellent & vibrant volunteers for the health projects. We started with the forenoon session from 10am to 3pm at Cottolengo special school with arts and physiotherapy and from 3.30 to 5.30pm at Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity on physiotherapy and feeding. A backdrop was painted for Cottolengo Annual Day to be celebrated on 20 February while Mother Teresa volunteers work hard to make a difference with bedridden kids, who haven’t seen the sun often.
Moving forward, we are looking to raise funds specifically for Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity. The goal of the project for Mother Teresa, Missionaries of Charity, is to organize a local doctor to come on site and evaluate the health and well-being of the girls there. Once the doctor has given their advice, our goal is to help in the implementation of new hygiene standards, feeding practices, and general treatment and care of the girls and facility.
300 rupees to see a private dermatologist per child
250 rupees to see a private gynecologist
100 rupees per tablet prescription needed to treat scabies
1000 rupees for a feeding specialist
Thank you for supporting this new initiative!
GVI India Director
Merry Christmas from everyone at SDPY School, Auxillium School, Cottolengo School, GVI Kerala India and the GVI Charitable Trust!
We tried to write Merry Christmas in Malayalam but unfortunately the characters were not recognised by GlobalGiving reports! We are all sending you our best Christmas wishes.
It's been the season for celebrations in Kochi!
First we started with the 10 day Onam celebrations (Harvest festival). For this, we helped the students make hand made colour flower presentations for their teachers during GVI arts and craft activities, the flowers each had a special message on congratulating their class teachers for their hard work and efforts with them. Also in the communities traditional boat race, GVI were invited as VIPs and one volunteer was invited to give a public speech about her experience of Onam as a foreigner in Kerala which was filmed and aired on Asia Net TV station.
Next it was onto Deepavali (Diwali - the festival of lights). The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
Then finally, last week ‘Times of India’ came to the SDPY school and did a story about the school, GVI and the work being done – how fantastic is that! All down to your support for these amazing children in 2013.
Now the school holidays are upon us and many of our festivals come to an end, we pass across our best holiday and celebratory wishes to all those celebrating Christmas. We hope you have a safe and peaceful holiday.
We have been busy working on lots of different projects in the area recently. GVI Kerala has had two sports volunteers who did football coachings in Sneha Bhavan and Auxilium; Construction project were undertaken over at Vypeen island for septic tank construction; teaching English is continuing at SDPY, Auxilium and Don Bosco while arts projects are in full swing at Cottolengo!
We have been conducting some wonderful workshops on personal hygiene, pollution and cleanliness at Cottolengo school which was well received by the community. This project deals with children with different afflictions; Downs syndrome, Autism, ADHD, Cerebral palsy, physically and mentally affected children were found much improved with their behavioural activities after GVI’s presence. Arts project were combined for the kids for the betterment of their brain and motor cells to make them think, count, concentrate, remember and express through various art forms. The sisters running the centre were proud to see improvements in the childrens partcipation, clapping hands, dance, laugh and taking more responsibility and control of their own lives.
Thank you for supporting this project, as you can see we are working on lots of different issues to support children in the area and none of this would be possible without your donations.
India Program Manager
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