As January runs away with us the project is back into the full swing of things in Kerala, India. Recent support for this project has helped us to further develop the sports program with a focus on providing sports shoes and clothing for children who could not afford them. Previously many of the children would need to play sports bare foot leading to injury, broken nails. Cuts and bruises were common, the new shoes help to prevent injury and enhance the performance of the children providing more enjoyment. The sports clothing means the children do not have to play in their uniforms making them sweaty and dirty, the sports clothes also bring a sense of team spirit as they have unified colours and numbers. India project manager Ridhi Patel explains: The donation money has been used for purchasing items that will be beneficial to the school and the children in the long term. The sports equipment is essential so the children have the right kit to play with. The sports coach is also important for the school to provide some structure to sports lessons. In the long term we hope to help the students become more active and confident, practise sports and participate in competitions, all of which is important for their development and growth. There are also a lot of talented children who need the right guidance and given the equipment they could grow up to be successful sportsmen/women.' Funds also enabled us to construct a fence around the sports field. The area in the corner of the sports field had been used to dispose of rubbish bringing a dangerous and unhygienic situation for children playing in the field. Often the ball would roll into the area where rubbish was dumped meaning that the children would be exposed to it. Fencing off the area helps to contain the game on the field and separate the children from this danger.
Thank you to everyone who has supported this project.
With support for this project the school has been able to hold several sports day functions for kids at the school, for the orphanage boys and girls that we are working with, as well as hosting other schools in the local area. First was the sports day for the school, where the kids competed against each other for ultimate glory (and bragging rights). Funds helped to to clean the soccer field and purchase drinks for the kids. The second was the A team playoffs with three other local schools, the A Team is Auxilium schools representative soccer team. Students and teachers came together for a fantastic, competitive and fun day. Thirdly was a games day held for the orphanage boys and girls, they were able to spend the day getting out of the classroom for some fun games together with all of the volunteers.
All of these things would not be possible without the donations received to be able to continue to give the school a greater focus on sports, and it is building more and more. With the donations also funding an excellent sports coach we are continuing to build a solid sports program. These sports days have also attributed to the schools identity both to the students and those in the community. We are building a good sense of loyalty and team work into the kids through doing these programs. Hopefully teaching them lessons you just can’t find in a book. The A Team day was something never done before and was an excellent way to network and build relations with our fellow schools, the kids had an amazing time and is a program that we will definitely do again. The school and students performed amazingly well on and off the field, and showed how a little hard work and want for it to happen can provide a great experience for everyone. In case you were wondering our Auxilium school finished a gutsy second! We’ll get em next time.
This month the classrooms received a much needed lick of paint creating a more vibrant and engaging atmosphere in which to learn. Donations to this project funded all of the necessary materials and GVI volunteers lent their hands to implement the work. In addition we were able to purchase a new set of dictionaries. The classrooms look so much better and with added educational paintings they now act as an extra resource to use when teaching the children. These additions to the school have provided a real boost for the students, as always thank you so much to everyone who has supported this project.
Donations to this project have recently funded scholarships for students at the Auxillium school in Kerala, India. The beneficiaries of these scholarships are students who have been identified as coming from poorer backgrounds, struggling to meet the demands of paying for an education and as such within risk of not completing school. Average income for families of the beneficiaries will be below 5000 Rps / £70 a month, security for their children's education will bring huge relief and we hope increased prospects for the future. As GVI Project Manager Ridhi explains, 'Having their kid’s school fees taken care of for a year is such a huge weight off their shoulders.
One of the main long term goals of the project in Kerala is to ensure that kids do not drop out of school as this is a huge problem in the state of Kerala. By donations we are able to keep the project going but more importantly help poor children and the community we are working with financially. As many of the parents are daily wage earners (i.e. fishermen, coolies, or auto rikshaw drivers), the families often have to borrow money from loan sharks to pay for school fees and end up in a cycle where they are in debt always. Some of the parents also have terminal injuries or illnesses that do not allow them to work and hence there might be no income coming in. In India there is also the tradition of joint family system and those earning money have to support all those living in the house. At times this includes their grandparents, aunties’ and uncles and other children as well. The pressure is huge on these children to perform as their families feel they are working hard towards paying their school fees and expect their kids to work equally hard in school and get very high grades. The donations thus reduce the burden from both the families who having a hard time paying fees and also the kids who are expected to get top grades all the time by their families.'
Donations to this project are helping to make a real difference to students and their families in India, many thanks to everyone who has supported us.
After months of planning GVI have started the first summer school in the Auxilium school. This Summer school is a great way for kids to be occupied during their summer holidays. A lot of them come from families who cannot afford to take them on holiday or they may not have toys to play with at home and so end up playing on the streets.
At the summer school they are learning English, taking Arts, Crafts and Music classes and playing sports. Other than this they are going to make new friends, improve communication skills and their confidence in English speaking and simply have lots of fun and games. 50 children are attending, they are divided into three teams - the youngest group called Tooti Frooti (Years 2 and 3), Chocolate Chip (Year 4 and 5) and Raspberry Ripple (Year 6 and 7). GVI Volunteers start at 8 am with aerobics and yoga. After this we have singing and by 9am we start English class. After English the children take arts and crafts, play sports or take music lessons. We are also using our local contacts to bring in people from different walks of life to guide the children- for example this week a gym instructor is coming to give the children education on the importance of eating healthy foods and exercising and keeping the body and mind fit. Thank you so much for donations to the project and support for the children.
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