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 Education  India Project #40972

Support Education in Rural India

by Auroville Unity Fund
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Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Support Education in Rural India
Distribution of worksheets and books
Distribution of worksheets and books

Covid 19 has had a big impact on mental health and well being all over the world but in particular people from marginalised communities. Here in rural Tamil Nadu, where we in Thamarai Educational Projects work, many people are at home now without work, concerned about the future. Families are together in small spaces where physical distancing is very difficult and the previous normal social activities such as education, sports are now limited. During our women's group meetings, mothers are reporting increasing levels of tension, alcoholism and domestic violence affecting the whole family. A recent survey by the Tamil Nadu Women's Collective in 62 villages in our state indicated that at least 81% of rural families reported some form of domestic violence(ref -The Hindu June 25th)

Since the beginning of lockdown, we have been reaching out to the children through learning calls each evening that are designed to connect children, check-in on how they are doing, and to have an interesting learning experience each evening. As restrictions are now lifting, we are ready to start small group classes in the local community center and other locations as our learning center is currently being built. We have designed 1-hour socially distanced classes that rotate with different children throughout the day and they will also have their evening calls as usual.

It is an exciting time for us all as we are building a learning center, sports ground, and a small children's play area. This has been delayed with lockdown but we now plan to be open by October.  This development is bringing hope to Annai Nagar village as you will see from the voices of youth and children in our annual report attached. It has always been important to us not just to identify needs and respond with services but to constantly ask how can we realise full potential. The most important thing that has helped us is a design tool called the Conscious Full-Spectrum Model that has come to us from the work of Dr. Monica Sharma and the Radical Transformational Leadership program, We see our work is about creating a counter-culture of health and well being and the thread that runs through all our work is this leadership program which is translated and delivered in Tamil. We see our work now is about enabling the incredible children, youth, and adults we work with to getin touch with what they really care about and supporting them to find their own agency to solve problems. The children in our after schools programs can each tell you what they stand for and are all working on projects that they care about and are delivering results.

It is wonderful to see how children, youth and adults come together on these programs and how equality is established in a non-hierarchical space where the child's voice can be as powerful as the village elder and how both can design equally meaningful projects. Recently ayoung boy took the courage to stand up in a session to tell the adults how difficult it was for him when he is asked to go to the liquor shop to buy drink, this really moved his parents who were present. This boy is creating well being as he is on the team designing the new sports ground in his village. Participants seethemselves as instruments of change and apathy & resignation transform into possibility. Village committee of children, youth, and adults has been established and we are working on numerous projects for the improvement of education, sports, clean water, and health in a mixed-gender, intergenerational setting where each one's voice matters.

In this time of COVID 19, the only immunity is community and we have to collectively find what we stand for and courageously create a future of thriving communities and a world that is lead by equity, fairness, and well being for all. Thamarai Edcuational Projects is committed to this.

 

 

Village support table
Village support table
new learning center front elevation
new learning center front elevation
Learning center back elevation and sports ground
Learning center back elevation and sports ground
Youth facilitators on calls with children
Youth facilitators on calls with children

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Thamarai team extends heartfelt best wishes to all at this challenging moment, our thoughts go out to the people who are ill, to their families, and to all of those risking their own health for the health of others around the world every day. Currently, all our team and the people we serve are well. There is sufficient food in the villages we work in at the moment and people are staying home and abiding by the directive of the Indian Ministry of Health.

Prior to closing the projects on March 25th, we carried out awareness training about the virus, how it spreads and how to build immunity through yoga and nutrition. Our after schools, sports, and health programs are closed until further notice, the 90 children between our 2 after schools were a little sad to be temporarily leaving their daily routine at the project but heartened to receive colored pencils, activity sheets, books and games to keep them occupied.

As most families do not have a computer at home and only half of our parents have android phones we are attempting to find creative ways to engage with the children and continue their learning and connections. On March 30th we launched a children's writing and drawing competition “my ideal world” for several age categories that will award a prize to all and from next Monday we start daily learning pods with voice call connection in groups of three children with their youth facilitator. These learning pods are designed to be a space where the children can nourish their hearts and minds. The calls are structured to give time on check-in for children to express their feelings, share their insights and the days magic moment and then to give 20 minutes each to creative learning and curriculum revisions. The call ends setting an activity plan for the children's next day with a short check out on feelings level after the call. Youth facilitator Vignesh expressed his excitement to be starting this new learning journey with the children and shared how it is stretching him in his growth both at the level of being creative with limited technology and holding the learning calls with sensitivity, commitment, and precision.

Our team at Thamarai is endeavoring to find novel ways to continue our commitment to the well being and full potential of all. We also continue to spread health information and are using this time to prepare for when we open again, creating new activities, reflecting on the learning outcomes of last year and what we will do differently next year. Sending heartfelt best wishes to all our friends around the world,

In service, Thamarai Team



yoga class
yoga class
planting fruit trees
planting fruit trees
Film making activity
Film making activity
Vignesh
Vignesh

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blessing of the first bricks
blessing of the first bricks

Sincere gratitude to all our friends around the world whose support and warm wishes have spurred us forward to the next phase for Thamarai Educational Projects, the development of a sports ground and Learning Center. We began with a sweet inauguration ceremony organized by our children with the blessing of the first bricks. The ladies of the village made sweet pongal on an open fire and the children decorated the site, planted trees, sang songs and rounded off with games and sports celebrations.

The inauguration was followed by soil filling and ground leveling then the first sports equipment arrived and now each morning and evening the ground is full of local youth and children happily playing.  Kavi, a local youth leader, and skilled cricket player has brought two factional youth groups together in a united team to manage the new sports ground and coach the younger children. In a climate where many youths have alcohol addiction Kavi proudly tells us that his village youth are different and pride themselves with their skill in sports, self-mastery and supporting each other rather than peer pressure.

We are now about to start building our new learning center which we aim to open in June 2020. The children and youth are actively involved in the design and are cocreating micro-projects such as tree house and garden development, water conservation and tree planting. They are also keeping track of fundraising activities and coming up with exciting ideas to generate funds. The building team is all local youth from Annai Nagar and neighboring villages.

We have recently launched the "Happy Sunday " program which is a joyful weekly morning exploration of arts and dance. We have also had the great pleasure of hosting a show with Clowns across Borders. Currently, children are finishing exams but next week it is holiday time so we will run a weeklong camp cocreated with the children which will include many arts, dance and environmental activities including several trips. We feel privileged to have this abundance and each other and look forward to all that this time ahead will unfold, We aspire for full potential and well being for all and hold a space of deep gratitude in our hearts for all of you that share this journey with us.

planting fruit trees
planting fruit trees
sports ground
sports ground
taewondo martial arts
taewondo martial arts

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Health education
Health education

Nourished by the support of our family of supporters around the world, who are a much valued part of our team, we have been very busy providing post summer holiday educational support to children in the villages surrounding Auroville. Our projects are in, or next to, the sections of villages that are most excluded,  we aspire to provide quality and holistic education that will foster equality, dignity and full potential for all children. We are very happy to see that children are also coming to the service from surround areas thus creating a space where children from all backgrounds learn together without discrimination. We all enjoyed a hectic activity based summer camp and are now back to school routine with daily after school support and weekend activity programs including environmental exposure.

Recently, Muthukumari, Thamarai's yoga and health trainer originally from Moratandi village, lead a health awareness program that included medical check up in 12 schools including with our Thamarai children. The health check ups indicated high levels of anemia. Muthu has been advising the schools on ways to increase nutrition and ensure safe drinking water and we have increased our attention on heightening nutritional value in our daily snacks for the children in Thamarai as well as exercise and yoga.

Savithri, who was a child in Thamarai in 2006 and now a postgraduate, is the team leader in our new after school facility in Edayanchavadi village, see photos attached. Savithri works fulltime now in Thamarai because she wants to give the present day children what she received in her childhood. The new after school was opened after a learning in action program where children and facilitators learned what fun floor construction could be during summer camp and the result is a beautiful mosaic floor with designs from the children. The children also created a gate with Vignesh for the sports ground that we are in the middle of developing. Soon we will have sports equipment and a regular daily program for all children. Our youth facilitators have also just finished a leadership program with Dr. Monica Sharma who is the author of Radical Transformational Leadership. We see them growing in confidence and the inner knowing that they each are an agent of change for society. Please see our most recent newsletter attached for other activities we have been up to.

You have all been part of this work, heartfelt thanks for supporting us to open access and opportunity to children and youth who may not otherwise have such opportunities, we aspire to create mindful abundance where there is scarcity and confidence and agency where there is disempowwerment. Thank you for being part of the Thamarai journey.

Clean up and Health campaign
Clean up and Health campaign
Gate making for the new sports ground
Gate making for the new sports ground
Our new after school
Our new after school

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Organization Information

Auroville Unity Fund

Location: Auroville, Tamil Nadu - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Auroville Funding
Project Leader:
Bridget Horkan
Auroville, Tamil Nadu India
$2,653 raised of $10,000 goal
 
59 donations
$7,347 to go
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