NEW PROJECT! - Savugampatti Boarding

May 2017 - we know very little about this project; the building is under construction and the first intake of 50 children are temporarily living nearby.  I am waiting to hear who will be in charge (hopefully one of my friends!) and  I am VERY excited about this project, as it is in, or very near to Batlagundu - my home in India.

This project is going to be supported by Boughton School and the children there have already collected over £120.00 in pennies! The children are also collecting stamps.


UPDATE! September 2017    Such good news!  My friend Igna is in charge of the children in the Boarding. She is lovely - very smiley!  She sent just a short message to say that there are 50 children in the initial intake and that "They are all from very poor background.  We have to meet all their needs".  Plus she sent some photos!

So . . . . . . they already have school uniforms, school bags and books.

The youngest children look to be about 4 or 5 and the oldest look about 12 or 13.

Yoga is one of their school lessons!

They do look reasonably healthy as well which is very good news. I can't wait to meet them all in October! 

October 2017 - So. . . . . . .  first of all, I found out that the new Boarding is not on the Batlagundu campus, but it is only a short distance away (the buildings in the background are in Batlagundu.)   As you can see, it is still being built.  They expect to finish it in March 2018.

We went to have a closer look.  There was a big digger, moving the soil, but all of the other tools being used were very basic.  The ladies were carrying the bricks on their heads and mixing the concrete by hand.  When finished, they will have 200 children there; 50 boys from year 1 to year 5 and 150 girls from year 1 through to 'A' level students.

The children did a little performance for us - singing and dancing.  It was very good.  I learnt a little about some of the children; some have had quite difficult lives.  The little girl in pink on the left was found alone in a nearby town. She had been abandoned. However, she is very happy here and has made lots of friends.  She is very clever and a very good artist.  She drew a beautiful picture of a peacock, which will be on the poster the children have made for you, Boughton School.  The tall girl in the middle in blue, I met five years ago when she was at Karisalpatti.  She is also doing very well.  As well as Sr. Igna, the children have a warden and a lady who cooks for them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The children at Boughton School had made a huge poster for me to take plus they gave me a left over piece of the mural they have in their hall.  The piece of mural will be kept safely until the Boarding is finished and it will then be put up in their hall.                                                                                                                  

Everyone thought that the poster you had made was 'Super!'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 So they have made one for you!  I had taken some paper and crayons and so we tore the paper up into rectangles and all of the children drew a picture and signed their names (both in Tamil and English, if they were able to.)    When I get back, I will stick them all to a big piece of paper with a photo of the Boarding in the centre for you.

June 2018 - message from Igna.   "Our building construction is almost over. Coming Saturday 23 June we are going to bless the building and next day we will take the children there. Now we have got 110 children. From first standard (year 1) to twelfth."    

She also sent some photos!  First of all, of what she spent our 2017 money on.  It is a very modern steam cooking system and it is HUGE - but as they will eventually have 250 children to feed, it needs to be big.  These vats will have pressurised lids on and the pipes will bring in the steam to cook the food, from the machine outside.

She also sent photos of the new building - hardly recognisable from the photo of the building site from last year!  First, the outside.  The white tanks on the roof will be for water, so the bathrooms will be under them.  Can you see a long grey 'thing' against the back wall?

 Not quite finished, but it will be the longest sink you have ever seen!  The children will use it to wash their hands before and after their meals and to wash their plates.


The bathrooms - how modern and lovely do these look?  These are for the girls.

  This is the main hall.  I'm really looking forward to seeing Boughton School's mural and poster hanging there!

 The centre of the building has this really nice feature - it's open to the sky.  So the children can be 'outside inside'?


Igna is going to send me some photos of the blessing on Saturday and  I have asked her for a 'group photo' so that we can see all of the children who will be living there.  Here it is!  These are the actual children you are helping!

Above, you can see the Parish Priest blessing the main hall, but sprinkling it with Holy water.  He blessed every room and even went up onto the roof!  You can see Sr. Igna cutting the ribbon to officially open the new Boarding.  Lots of other Sisters came to the Blessing.  Afterwards they all had tea and cake.  So they should!  Quite right!

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