Julia is a current volunteer out in Kerala, showing us just what a difference a few donations can make to this project. Here is her update straight from the field .
SDPY is a school set in an idyllic environment in Kerala, India. Every morning my breath is taken away when the gorgeous backwaters open up in front of me - white birds standing gracefully in the reeds, Chinese fishing nets raised high, fishermen peacefully rowing their boats on the still waters. And then, opening the gates to SPDY, the action starts - beaming faces of children excitedly yelling 'Good Morning Miss' combined with head wobbles of teachers bustling to keep their students in some kind of order.
It is also a school with very few resources where classrooms have empty walls, where lined paper is a commodity, and the exercise ground is pretty much a mud patch. When we had an introductory class with the teachers of SDPY we spoke about GVI Kerala, why we are here and what our aspirations are. We were warmly met, and when we asked the teachers what they wished for they said a Globe would be nice.
The classes can be up to 59 students strong in a hall with three classes separated by wooden planks. And the teachers, naturally, struggle to keep every student motivated and focused. Can you imagine teaching a class of 59 five year olds? And on top of that, giving special attention to those who are struggling or need extra help? Not an easy task. Our volunteers are there for the teachers, taking students who are struggling out of the class, giving them focused attention, encouragement, and, of course. Stickers
GVI has worked with SDPY school since 2011 and is still a fledgling project - building resources takes time, and it is a process that needs to take time. Building relationships with the community members and reinforcing positivity are important building blocks to set a stable foundation and maintain a good working relationship. We are all just human, and without that connection we have nothing to build on. I am happy to be here, and have hopes for this place. I know it will be a challenge and I know it will take time, effort, probably a whole lot of sweat and maybe some tears. But I know it will be worth it and I know we will get there together!