Construction of a School in Ranchi Catholic Archdiocese

Project location: INDIA, Lohardaga
Project start date: February 2007 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2005-41
Beneficiary: Ranchi Catholic Archdiocese


The Archdiocese of Ranchi comprises the civil District of Ranchi and the District of Lohardaga, in eastern India. Spread about an area of 5299 sq. Km. the total population of the Archdiocese is 2.796.892 of which the catholic population is 115.201. There are 33 parishes and a number of educational and healthcare institutions catering to the needs of the people irrespective of their caste or creed.
In addition to taking care of the spiritual need of the faithful, the Archdiocese also works for their, social, economic educational and other temporal development through various means. The Archdiocese, established in the year 1927 worked strenuously for the overall development of the people, most of who were the local tribes. It is through the missionary efforts of the Archdiocese, the people were able to make commendable progress in socio-economic and political spheres. In all the parishes of the Archdiocese, there are schools and in many cases there are health care facilities.
But the work done has not yet reached to the whole population and much more need to be done in the field of education and health care, not only for the Catholics but for the poor and the marginalized of the society, specially the Tribal population.
To address a major problem that the tribal and other less privileged sections of the society are currently facing, namely to receive quality affordable education, the Archdiocese decided to start Lievens Academy English Medium School at Lohardaga, a predominantly tribal district. The school was started in 1999 in a make shift building with just 50 students. Two years later a plot of land was bought and the construction work began. Already the fruit of this endeavor is seen. There are 750 students studying now in this school of which 80% are from tribal communities. This School promises to open to them a vast horizon of opportunities for their all round development and total emancipation.
In 2005 The Nando Peretti Foundation awarded a first grant to fund the construction of a lab, library, chapel, hall blocks and acquisition of land [2005-41].
In 2006, a second grant was awarded by the NPF for the renovation works of the Loyolla Hostel Building, a Residence for 300 Tribal youth of Ranchi [2006-50]. The Loyolla Hostel Building was planned and built in the early 1970s by the Jesuits, working in the Archdiocese of Ranchi in consultation with and with the approval of the then Archbishop of Ranchi. The Hostel was built for post-graduate students preparing for competitive examinations for various administrative jobs. It was felt necessary to help young, educated tribal men to gain entry into the Government services. The Jesuits managed the Hostel for thirty years, then they handed it over to the Archdiocese of Ranchi. When Cardinal T. Toppo took charge of the hostel, the building was in dilapidated and bad conditions. Soon after, the municipality of Ranchi served a notice on the Archdiocese, instructing him to renovate the building. The Archdiocese needed to run the Loyolla Hostel properly in order to help many more tribal students to gain entry to the administrative jobs. There were good possibilities of finding a job at that moment in Ranchi, but tribal students needed extra and special care to be able to compete with other students coming from families of non-tribal communities. The Hostel was expected to be seed bed of all the future elite of the tribal society and of the Catholic Church in the State of Jharkhand. The Hostel was expected to provide accommodation for up to 300 young male students, in their twenties, who would reside there. Young female students were coming for training to the Hostel too, but they did not reside there.

In 2008 the Nando Peretti Foundation funded the construction of a hostel for girls [2008-18]. From the very inception of the school in 1999, indeed there was a great demand for hostel facilities in the school, from parents for their children. Many of the students were coming from far off villages. Many more parents wanted to send their children to Lievens Academy, but the non-availability of hostels prevented them from sending them to school. To educate their children, some of them took rented houses near the school, away from their villages and farms, neglecting their cultivation. However, many parents did not send their girls to school if there were not hostel facilities for them, due to the social situation. Thanks to the NPF grant, the existing school building was to be extended for the accommodation of the girls. The Apostolic Carmel Sisters who helped the Archdiocese to run the school were expected to be in charge of the girls' hostel.

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