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Providing Books + Literacy Materials for Tuition (Free Tutoring) Centers ~ Tamil Nadu, India

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Authors Gail Tsukiyama and Mary Roach joined teacher Gnanasekkaran and young readers at the free after school tuition center in Ellandoppu. This is one of 22 centers constructed and run by Save Int’l and Tamil Village Outreach. WaterBridge Outreach is partnering with these nonprofit organizations in its books + water programs in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. The residents of the villages where these tuition centers are located are either Dalits or Irulas, scheduled communities or castes formerly known as “untouchables”, a word that relates in many parts of India to the deeply rooted notions of “purity” and “pollution”. There was, and often still is, the idea that to be in contact with the “untouchables” pollutes the “purity” of “higher” communities or castes. Many of these residents have long experienced discrimination, live isolated lives on the edge of communities of the scheduled castes and for the most part, they are desperately poor. The free after school tuition centers play a crucial role in helping the children learn English and in preparing them for the 10th Standard exam. Curt Degler, president of Save Int’l, observes that learning English and passing that exam is essential if these Indian children are to have more of a chance in life.

In the photographs children are seen taking turns to read with Gail and Mary from books chosen and donated by WaterBridge Outreach. “The children loved the books and I was really impressed by the way the boys and girls had no hesitation in taking their turn to read out loud in English”, said Gail. “At home and in school they speak Tamil, so I was surprised to see the extent to which the after-school tuition centers are helping them learn English.”  

WaterBridge Outreach has also completed water and development (school washroom) projects in several villages which also have tuition centers. By focusing on book and water projects together, WaterBridge Outreach continues to promote literacy and encourage children to become lifelong readers while trying to alleviate environmental challenges: hence our banner, “Books + Water- Nourishing the Mind and Body”.

 

UPDATE MARCH 2021

 

Curt Degler, President of SAVE Int'l, shares that:  "Our free coaching program started ten years ago and has been a resounding success with nearly 100% pass rates vs 70% for the average and many of our students ranking in the top ten exam scorers in their respective High Schools." The State of Tamil Nadu revises course syllabuses every few years and in 2020 WBO provided funds for the purchase of complete sets of the new syllabus teaching guides for the critical Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams.  

COVID-19 Support

COVID-19 Support

Working with Curt Degler of South Asian Village Empowerment International, we helped to fund a rice distribution in Tamil Nadu in some of the villages we've both visited and have books and water projects in. Good quality rice was provided for 100 families during this difficult time of the pandemic.

Mobile Library

Mobile Library

This motorbike mobile library serves villages in a remote rural area south of Chennai. Mr. Venkatesan is the librarian-teacher who takes the books from one village to another on his 100cc motorbike

Tuition Center Roof

Tuition Center Roof

A second initiative that was enabled by JosephJoseph participation in the London Color Run (see Anna Nagar water project) was a partial reconstruction of the Kazhanipakkam Assembly Hall to include a steel sheet pitched roof over the whole building and the installation of lighting and security gates. This area provides additional space for children attending the free tuition (tutoring) school located on the main floor.

Free Tuition Tutoring Center

Free Tuition Tutoring Center

WaterBridge Outreach provides books + literacy materials to after-school (free) tuition centers run by Save INT'L near Mamallapuram, India. These centres play a vital role not only in helping the children learn English, but also in preparing them for their national 10th grade exams and future life.

Bore Well and Hand Pump Repairs

Bore Well and Hand Pump Repairs

Our 2nd water project in Anna Nagar saw us working with Save Int'l again to overhaul an old government installed bore well with non-functioning hand pump that has not worked for many years. The well required a deep cleaning to be reactivated and working with Save Int'l we hope to convert the well into a electric powered submersible pump with water holding tank.

Dalit Toilet Complex Rehabilitation

Dalit Toilet Complex Rehabilitation

In many parts of India the Dalits – the community or caste originally referred to as the “Untouchables” – still suffer discrimination. WBO, working with Curt Degler of Save Int'l, has engaged over the years in numerous literacy and water infrastructure projects that express respect for the human dignity of the Dalits while also meeting basic needs. Much needed repairs and rehabilitation of the water system that supplies the Dalit toilet complex have now been completed.

School Washrooms

School Washrooms

Lack of sanitation facilities is a serious problem in schools in many parts of India. This lack of basic infrastructure can have a negative impact on childrens’ education, especially on the education of girls. In collaboration with Save Int’l, WaterBridge Outreach is constructed new toilet facilities at Melaiyuur School in Tamil Nadu.

School Washrooms

School Washrooms

When the elementary school in Karanai desperately needed toilets for the use of the children, WBO partnered with Curt Degler, executive director of Save Int'I, to provide basic washroom facilities for the school. Otherwise, like almost half of the population of India, the children would have to defecate in the open. The lack of basic sanitation is only too often a source of diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid.

Bore Well + Hand Pump

Bore Well + Hand Pump

The attitude and spirit of the villagers in the Irular tribal enclave at Kazhanipakkam make this project a very special one. These smiling Irular people have very little of their own and they were delighted when the new well and pump made water available in their village instead of a long walk away.

Water for 4 Schools

Water for 4 Schools

Thanks to the initiative and generosity of students at Holy Names University, Oakland, California, four schools in remote rural areas now have clean drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis System

Reverse Osmosis System

In 2012 residents in Ellandoppu had no clean water for drinking, washing pots, and general sanitation. The already toxic state of the water had deteriorated further after the infiltration of salt water from the sea following the devastating Indonesian earthquake and tsunami in 2010. The solution to the water problem was the installation of a reverse osmosis system.

Reverse Osmosis System

Reverse Osmosis System

North Mamallapuram Dalit School ~ this small school serves primary students from poor Dalit families. The two classrooms are very basic with cement floors and battered old wooden desks, yet made bright and welcoming by displays of the students' work. A reverse osmosis system has been installed to provide students and teachers with purified drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis System

Reverse Osmosis System

After 10+ years of constant use the reverse osmosis system in Salavankuppam required a complete overhaul. Working with Curt Degler of Save Int'l we provided funds for this much needed work and are happy to announce that the ro system is now providing clean, purified drinking water to the residents.

Bore Well + Hand Pump

Bore Well + Hand Pump

Funds raised by the company JosephJoseph, through their participation in the annual summer “Color Run” in London, allowed us to construct this bore well and hand pump in Anna Nagar, India.

Bore Well + Hand Pump

Bore Well + Hand Pump

Thanks to a generous grant from the Sonoma Women's Giving Circle, WBO worked with Save International to install a 150 ft well with hand pump in the rapidly expanding enclave known as Jeeva Nagar. The majority of newcomers are victims of what is known as “the illegal bonded labor segment” – the bonded laborers in this “labor segment” are perhaps best described as modern-day slaves.

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