We recently had a team of Canadian volunteers visit from Crescent School in Canada. Since I arrived in August they are the first volunteers to come to Chachiyawas, something they do on an annual basis to redevelop parts of the campus and provide resources and funding for special projects.
In mid-February there was an accident on campus, three staff members were involved and one died. The community here is tight-knit, so the effects resonated around the organisation. Several staff have since resigned or are planning to leave, seemingly on a daily basis, as they reevaluate their position here and their goals for life. So the campus had lost steam, energy and motivation.
The Canadian volunteers arrived while I was at workshop two weeks ago, and I don’t doubt they arrived in an atmosphere that was not terribly inspired.
But in the space of two weeks, they gave their time, resources and efforts to spark enthusiasm in the staff and redevelop areas of the school and grounds to create a more inspirational space. They’ve repainted the hostel resource room – complete with a picture-alphabet – and built two sensory boards, and also provided a brand new washing machine to replace the exhausted and rusting machine in the hostel.
Over at the school, they provided quality stationary for the classrooms and redeveloped and repaired parts of the childrens’ play area. Yesterday morning, the students planted over one hundred small hedge saplings around the playground perimeter that had been provided by the volunteer team, and we were given funding to buy five TV/DVD sets for use in the classrooms, a key component of effective special needs education.
Looking back at the difference before I left for the Indicorps’ Workshop in Maharashtra, and the campus as it stands now, and it’s extraordinary to see the new energy. I’m sure the entire staff – but especially I – are hugely grateful for their visit and donations in time and resources.