STOP International Project 2
In July 2006 13 volunteers from varied walks of life and backgrounds paid their cost of travel to India to begin work on a new dormitory at the Love home orphanage in Madhakondapalli Village, Tamil Nadu. STOP International established this home in 2004. With increasing numbers of children needing care, the home needed a new dormitory building to accommodate them.
The local building contractor, Solomon, and his team had completed the foundation of the building and the task for the volunteers from England was to build the walls to lintel height in the two weeks. The plan was that the contractor would finish the work by installing a roof that required the walls to “cure” for a few weeks beforehand. The volunteers made up of a retired doctor and his wife, university students, school students, one brick layer and teachers changed hats for the two weeks and turned into building site labourers. They mixed mortar by hand, carried bricks, erected bamboo scaffolding, emptied trailers of bricks and generally mucked in up to their elbows.
Before the mortar was mixed by hand, the coarse sand had to be sifted, dry mixed with cement and buckets of water added and then mixed using a back breaking technique with an Indian spade. The mortar was then carried in shallow metal bowls to supply the brickies as layer by layer of bricks were carefully but skilfully added.
The walls went up quickly and looked sturdy and straight. By the end of the two weeks the target height was reached and the contractor was both surprised and impressed. He then set to work and cast the concrete roof, plastered, plumbed and painted the building to completion.
In February 2007 when a group of Stanborough School students and teachers travelled to India on another project, the completed building looked magnificent. It was dedicated and then opened by David Balderstone, a STOP International Trustee. The building now is part of the Love Home orphanage which cares for 17 children. Paul the Director and his wife Shiney are grateful for the new building which meets their present needs.