Tag Archives: help children

A new well for the village of Eachamballam

17.03.12 - fine lavori (9)

Eachamballam, the new well

Malar Trust donates a new well to the  Eachamballam village

To be honest the well existed already. The drilling and the purchase of the tank had already been made years ago by the Panjayat. Then, for some reason, work on it had stopped.  Pipes, the pump, the motor, and connection to electricity were all missing .

After our friend Kutti, who lives in Eachamballam, told us about this, we decided to step in and finish the job. 40 Eachamballam families  will benefit from the new well that is located in the courtyard of our after-school program.

Thanks to Giovanni of Malar Trust Italy for his active participation in the work and to our friends  Ezio and Marina who raised money for the implementation of the well

Eachamballam, the new well

from the left: Sekar (trustee), Giovanni (Malar Trust Italy), Kutti (activist), Mani Rupakanthan (managing trustee)

 

Daytime care for Poonjeri orphan children

Malar Trust helps orphan children from the Poonjeri Irula community: a new day care project started

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The children taking part to the project

Last February, after a couple of Italian volunteers spent a few weeks in the Poonjeri Irula community an anomaly caught our attention: there was a group of children wandering through the village streets during the day, apparently without attending school and unsupervised by adults. The investigations unveiled a critical situation. Coincidence has it that within the timeframe of a couple of months, a number of children aged two to thirteen lost one or both parents, leaving them in a state of semi-abandonment.

After this discovery, Malar Trust India staff organized a meeting with the community. This resulted in the decision to launch a project similar to the day care center Panjartheerthi: a meeting point where an assistant welcomes the children in the morning, checks that they are clean and have school uniforms in order, prepares breakfast and sends them off to school.

Malar Trust has rented a small room with kitchen and hired a second shift teacher from the kindergarten Malar Trust has run for years as a chef and supervisor. A second woman in the village bathes the children and accompanies them to school.

The day care center for orphans of the Irular community of Poonjeri was inaugurated in February. This center welcomes about fifteen children with family problems plus two girls who have been granted access to the canteen even if coming from families with both parents on the advice of the pediatrician who reported symptoms of malnutrition.

IP food Feb 2016 (7)

Children ready to go to school after breakfast

All the children received a backpack, exercise books, school uniforms and clothes. Since February, members have started to regularly attend school and even follow the Malar Trust afterschool program .

 

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Medical Camp in Peryar Nagar

medical-campFollowing the Dental Camp that was held a few weeks ago, the medical staff from the Chettinad Hospital in Kelambakkam, a pediatric hospital south of Chennai, held a Medical Camp in Peryar Nagar.

With the help of Raj, a friend who works in the hospital and the mind behind this Medicine Camp Day, two doctors (a pediatrician and a general practitioner) and four nurses spent the day in our center visiting 50 children and 30 adults coming mainly from the villages of Periyar Nagar and Ecchamballam.

Peryar-Nagar-Medical-camp-2015-3The camp was open to everyone, regardless of whether or not the children attended our day care or after school programs. The most common problems encountered were caused by the lack of vitamins, specifically of Vitamin A. Children who attend our centers were in better condition than others probably thanks to the daily nutritional supplements we have been administering for a couple of years in our kindergartens. Together with our contacts in India, we have already planned to increase the amount of fresh fruit in our younger children’s daily meals.

At the end of the doctor’s examination, biriyani rice and small prizes were this web given to all the children. To close off the day, one of our teachers organized a dance show.

Donation to the Manamathi public school

The Manamathy Government Primary School

The Manamathy Government Primary School

The Manamathi public school, attended by many children of the surrounding villages where we have our nurseries and after-school programs (Periyar Nagar, Kamaraj Nagar, Ecchamballam and Panjanthirthi), asked us a little help to buy some items and primary needs equipment that are not provided by the Government and that each school must therefore buy – if and when they have the money to do it!

Unfortunately our resources are not usually sufficient to fund the improvement of the basic equipment given to state run schools, but for many reasons this is a special case, and we have therefore decided to donate various everyday items that the students needed such as mats, baskets, dishes, glasses and water containers.

Some of the children of the school with the two teachers

Some of the children of the school with the two teachers

This is a small gesture that is first of all a way to maintain good relations with the teachers of a school attended by a large number of our children, but it also allows us to ask the school’s principal a special commitment to these children. Most of them come from backgrounds defined by difficult situations and have not had the chance to attend school on a regular basis in the past years, meaning that they often need to be tutored with special care in order to be integrated in the school system and improve their academic performance.

Challenging new programme launched in Panjartheerthi

After eight months since we opened the Tuition Center with Save International, for Irula and Dalit children of Panjartheerthi, we now need  to improve children attendance at school: to convince the about 30 children to go to school regularly is the aim of this project.
Malar-Trust-Group-picture-of-Panjartheerthi-Irula-students

Group picture of Panjartheerthi Irula students

We recently met the Head Teacher of the local school and she is desperate to improve attendance. In order to keep the school open she needs at least 20 children but despite the 35 children enrolled this year (31 of which are Irula), there are only very few children at school when there is a government inspection. She says the children do not come school, often she goes to look for them around the village in the morning. She finds that the children are often not clean and are hungry, sometime away with their parent when they find jobs away from the village. Conditions in the village are very basic.

It is interesting that most of the children do come to the existing Tuition Center regularly, perhaps this is because of the daily snack we offer? What else we can offer to encourage better school attendance and improve the lives of these children and their families?

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Children having breakfast before going to school

We thought that if we offer a place where children can come in the morning, get washed, have clean school uniform and a good breakfast, this may help.  Obviously this service will be for the children who do really go to school.  We met with the families, parents and children and they agreed to try this service.

Luckily we soon found a small house to rent very near the Irula village, with a kitchen, bathroom, store room and a small terrace in front of the house where the children can sit and eat. We hired two young women from the same community, one to cook and the other will help the children to wash and dress, both will wash all the school uniforms.

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Children go to school after breakfast

On November 17th we started with 26 children attending the first day.  After two weeks the project is a great success.  The Head Teacher can hardly believe such a quick change to school attendance.

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The Tuition class in the afternoon

Also because the house is so close to the village we decided to use it to run the afternoon tuition session.  We hired a new teacher, Mrs Rajeshwari, and left the other teacher, Megala, to continue with the Dallit children at the other building. The Head teacher, cook, other helper and tuition teacher will work together as a team to provide the service and check the attendance at breakfast and afternoon tuition also match with the daily attendance at school.  Our hope is that this service for school children will greatly improve the lives of the families in the Irula community and help them continue to develop new opportunities.

 

Launched a new coaching program for 10th standard students

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TVO request for MTI support to its coaching class in 4 villages

Also this year we decided to continue and even improve our collaboration with TVO (Tamil Nadu Village Outreach), sponsoring its program of coaching classes that help students to pass 10th standard exams.

TVO is a local NGO supported by the American Association Save International and this year the number of classes supported by malar Trust pass from three to four, being Arunkundram village added to  Ellandoppu, Mullipakkam and Karanai.

After three years, the benefit of this project is definitely proved: the number of students that last year passed 10th standard with excellent results has been impressive: especially in Elandoppu, and thanks to the capability of its teacher Gnanasekharan, a vast number of students passed the exam scoring more than 400 out of 500 total marks.

Malar Trust will pay for the salary of all the four teachers, while Save Int’l will pay for extra things like coaching guides, stationary, transport and students awards.

The project, for the duration of eleven months, worth about 1 lahk and is granted with Malar Trust Onlus funds

MTI runs a new Tuition Center at Poonjeri Masima Nagar

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To the Tuition attend about 30 children

From the beginning of October MTI runs a new Tuition Center in the Irula Community of Poonjeri Masima Nagar.

The Tuition Center had been operating for years by a local association that for unknown reasons stopped funding the project and paying for the teacher salary. The place remained closed for months until the local community, a group of Irula families living in the neighborhood of Poonjeri, asked MTI to include their Center within its projects.

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Poonjeri, Masima Nagar Tuition Center

Masima Nagar so becomes our fourth Tuition Center in Poonjeri, after the two dalit Centers inTKM Street and Mettu Street and the Irula Education Center on the ECR but the small building is not enough to accommodate the over 30 children that attend, especially during the rainy season

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Paula and Frederik Paula Weerkamp attending the inauguration

At the inauguration, where two tourists attended, we distributed notebooks, pen and pencils. A new teacher has been appointed, she is the daughter of a woman that we already know, she received a small loan from us to develop her small business, 15.000 rupees that she used to buy a second hand weel cart to sell fruits and vegatables on the road.

About 30 Irula children will benefit from the project.

Tuition school for Irula children of Panjartheerthi

No interest, poor attendance at school and very low marks is the performance of the about 30 Irula kids attending the governmement primary school of Panjartheerthi and secondary school of Manamathi.

Panjartheerthi is a very small village near Manamathi, very isolated, no shops, no public transport facilities and no proper road connecting the village to the outside world.

In the village there is a small government primary school and a balwadi but the most of kids now attend the Manamathi private English Medium that offer school bus facilities at reasonable price. For the others, if they wish to continue to go to school after 5th class, they are forced to walk 5 kilometers to the Manamathi secondary school unless the family can affor a bycicle.

The government primary school was about to close three years ago, as the number of chldren was not enough to justify the cost of a teacher, when the local Comunist Party decided to offer a small plot of land to a bunch of Irula families rescued from slavery. Now are the children of these families to keep the primary school alive: 31 kids out of 35 are Irula. But is very difficult to convince these children to go to school regularly.

To offer the kids a little support, we decided to open a Tuition center for them. we found the place and the teacher and also organized a afternoon snack to every child that attend the Tuition.

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The Panjartheerthi Community Hall built by Save Int’l

The Tuition is run in collaboration with  the American Association Save Int’l that offered Malar Trust to share a place in the village Community Hall, where a Tuition school for Dalit children is already on going. Malar Trust will pay for one extra teacher and a daily snack to all the children (a total of about 50 between Irula and Dalit)