November 5, 2009
This year we had some changes in the home stay situation. The big boys are now sleeping in our room (the TV-room) and Rachel has moved to the room of the volunteers on the second floor in the front part of the building. Bina and her husband are now sleeping in the big room with the smaller children.
In May 2009 two other children came to stay with us, Rajan (10 years old) and Shivani (7 years old). Rajan is a nephew of Vinod and comes from Bihar where he had no opportunity to go to school. Shivani comes from Rishikesh. She is the eldest of 4 children and was helping her mother by taking care of the other children. In this family there is no father to support them. In October Manish was brought to Ganga Valley School by his father. Working as a porter, his father was not in a position to send Manish to school.
Unfortunately, two children had to leave our home stay, as their parents wanted them to start working. Rohit is now helping his brother in their teastall in Ram Jhula, while Ajay is selling necklaces and ice cream in the street. We are very sorry that these children don’t have the chance to enjoy childhood any longer, but there is nothing we can do about it. We don’t have custody over the children who are staying with us and their parents can take a decision like that any time. We hope they enjoyed the time that they were with us.
About our visitors and volunteers
In summer Om and Rasina from Sweden came to visit us. When they left, we received a huge donation for which we are very grateful. We will keep the money for future plans as probably we will need more classrooms in the near future.
Our first volunteer was a man from Australia. Nathan arrived in Ganga Valley School on July 8th, 2009. He brought 2 suitcases of clothes for the smaller children, which were collected by Jeff and his wife. We want to thank both Jeff and his wife and Nathan as well for surprising us with such nice clothes which we found folded so neatly in the suitcases. After 2 weeks his brother John also came. Together they made nice open cupboards for the children’s room and also some shoeracks which we placed under the staircase in front of the children’s room. John had to leave already after 2 weeks and Nathan left at the end of September to go on a tour through India and Nepal by motorbike. Nathan intended to come back before he leaves again for Australia to make a kitchen rack and bookshelves.
Since October the school gets some extra help during the week from Griet and Tien. Griet is teaching English to the young boys. She also gives a special art class for the younger children. In this art class the children create presents for the customers who are buying in our shop. This way we can show our clients our appreciation for their contribution. The children not only learn English in a playful way, but they also develop their creativity.
Tien, Griet’s husband, has set up the computers, so we have the maximum benefits in the English and typing classes.
Kees and Inge, our volunteers from last year, are back since the beginning of October. They have rented our guest apartment and a lot of special educational activities are going on there.
They started again teaching the eldest children maths and English with a special system which is called “LOCO”. The children like very much to work with this system and it really puts them to work. With this system the children can check themselves whether they made any mistakes. Inge brought many exercises for both maths and English grammar. Most of the original exercises can be used, but Inge also made a lot of exercises for this system herself.
This time eleven children (Deepesh, Sahil, Ashish, Vipasana, Laxmi, Anjali, Vandana, Ganesh, Renu, Raj, Shankar) don’t only learn English vocabulary, but also grammar. Kees and Inge think its important that the children really apply the grammar and they brought many boardgames to make the children speak English correctly with the grammar they just learned.
Kees and Inge have also arranged for typing classes for Deepesh, Sahil, Ashish, Vipasana, Laxmi, Anjali and Vandana. We have placed our computer in their classroom, so now 2 children can take a typing test at the same time. At this moment the boys can already type all the letters. That is not an easy task, because Inge has blinded all the keys with coloured tape! Yellow means that all these keys have to be typed with their small finger, green means use your ringfinger etc. The children are not allowed to look at their hands or at the keyboard, but they use a master sheet which mentions all the letters and which is placed on the table, just above their keyboard. The children learned the letters row by row (4 new keys at a time) and so far nobody has made more than 4% of mistakes. Inge told me that in all previous typing courses nobody made more than 0,5% mistakes at the final exam. We will let you know the result of our children in our next newletter.
The results in typing class are very promising for the boys and therefore we are planning to make these children familiar with Word and Excel in February 2010. The children will be able to practice Word & Excel for one month before Kees and Inge go back to The Netherlands. We even have applied for internet in the classroom, because so many professional teachers of English as a second language put their material on the internet free of charge, so it can be used by other teachers.
October is the month of festivals. The children have been really happy celebrating Dusera and Diwali. They all received new clothes, many sweets (which we made ourselves) and gifts from Inge and Kees.
There was very special food and in the evening we all went to the roof for fireworks.
At the moment the children are rehearsing for our annual function. As usual, there will be a variety of performances, not only singing and dancing, but also a play (including hoopdance). The function is planned for March 2010.
We are planning a picnic on Christmas day. Kees and Inge will organise a big hoolahoop contest with prizes. They are already making new hoolahoops, so there will be enough hoolahoops for all children.
There was very special food and in the evening we all went to the roof for fireworks. At the moment the children are rehearsing for our annual function. As usual, there will be a variety of performances, not only singing and dancing, but also a play (including hoopdance). The function is planned for March 2010.