Supporting 380 children at the Rishabdev Boarding in Rajastan, India
Project location: INDIA, Rajastan
Project start date: June 2010 - Project end date: June 2011
Project number: 2010-10
Beneficiary: Associazione Amici delle Missionarie dell’Immacolata
The school year June 2013-May 2014 has been an important one for the St. Paul's school and Nirmala boarding. The continuous support provided by the Peretti Foundation in the last few years has granted the security and stability for a continuous improvement in the living conditions of the children and in the quality of the school, these changes are tangible and result evident during our regular visits.
At St. Paul's school and Nirmala boarding the children, mostly coming from tribal origin with families living between 15 and 65 km away, are welcomed into a loving but strict environment. Their day is set as follows:
5.30 am Wake up call
6.15 am Holy Mass
7.00 am Morning chores and breakfast
8.00 am Assembly
8.30 am - 1.30 pm Lessons
2.00 pm Lunch
2.30-4.00 pm Homework and personal hygiene
4.00- 6.00 pm Sport and games
7.00 pm Supper
7.30 - 9.00 pm Homework
9.30 pm Bed
Every morning during assembly all children are inspected for personal hygiene and cleanness. Every day some of them are sent back either to clean themselves or wash their clothes, as each child does his own washing, or to the dispensary to receive medical care. Personal hygiene is an important part of their learning.
In the last few years the organizational changes of the school and the facilities provided by the funding have raised the standard of living of the children with better food (one kitchen is in operation for both boys and girls), proper toilet facilities, covered eating areas, heated water.
For any western visitor the basic life style of the children seems difficult to be accepted, they sleep on the floor side by side (some in their own classes), have very few pieces of clothing and no private property at all. But, in the context where they live, they are extremely lucky. They can eat and wash every day and, most of all, they are studying, earning their right for a better life! This in a loving environment where the fathers and sisters care for them.
During the school year St. Paul's school has received all of the government approvals to extend the tuition to the 10th class (today was only allowed to reach class 8th). So this July the school has opened with the class 9th running with the student from the previous 8th class. This is a tremendous achievement as it provides opportunities for poor children to carry on studying up to the age of 16.
The improved standards of the school, proved in the results of the St. Paul's school students, are attracting more and more pupils every year. In such a poor area this institution is becoming central for enabling poor children to study, the first step for improved life conditions.
Within the general growth of the school it is important to highlight the significant increase in number of the daily students (not staying at the boarding school but going back to their families every afternoon). This is a relatively new trend and it's the result of an increased awareness in the local poor communities (living in Rishabhdev area) of the need for education and the understanding of the increased quality of the school which makes it preferable to other government local schools.
For the June 2014 - May 2015 school year there are about 380 children in the boarding and over 500 for the school (including daily attenders).