On 10 February 2008 seven
International Baccalaureate students together with two Year 10 students and staff travelled to India for
two weeks to work on a STOP International sponsored Vocational Training Centre.
There were many tasks that
they undertook starting with painting the guardhouse. The students soon completed
painting a guard house which was started in the summer of 2007 and completed in December 2007.
Then they started digging
the foundation for a deaf school. This school is presently run in three rooms of a rented house by a local
teacher who has 18 totally or partially deaf children in his school, who
learn to communicate by reading, writing and lip reading. STOP International are
building a purpose built school for the deaf.
The next big task the IB students
undertook was to paint the orphanage building also started in the summer of 2007 and completed early 2008. This was designed and built for the 28
orphans of the Way To Life Children’s Home run by Pastor S Abraham and his small team of Selvi and her helpers. The local
contractor completed the construction and it needed to be painted inside and out. This was a
mammoth task as the building is large. However, the task was completed with
great efficiency along with the fun of an occasional paint fight!
Finally the students had to build
a power and generator house to receive the electricity supply from the local
council.To do this the foundation had
to first be dug. Then the foundation was laid
by the local mason after which the brick work begun. As with previous building projects, the students and staff teamed up carrying bricks, water, cement bags and laying the
bricks under the close supervision of the expert local mason.
Before returning to England, their expereince was further enhanced by spending a whole
day at the BESSO orphanage, which is also STOP International project, teaching
the primary age children Maths, English, crafts and writing. Then as a
recreation exercise they made friends with the children by playing cricket, football and
other games. The students all remarked afterwards that they found this to be the most
The trip to India was not all work. An overnight
sight seeing trip was organised to Mysore where they visited the world famous
Mysore Maharaja’s Palace, the Chamundi Hill named after Lord Chamundi, a Hindu
deity and took a boat ride through a bird sanctuary and a coracle ride in the
Cauvery River. They also spent the final day shopping and dining in Bangalore.
This trip will be
remembered for many things but above all the grateful happy children, who the
IB students went to serve.