Mon expérience avec l’association ‘Tamil Nadu Village Outreach (TNVO)’

Sophie Marquet, teacher and students at Ellandoppu Village
Sophie Marquet, teacher and students at Ellandoppu Village, Tamilnadu India

J’ai participé pendant un mois (Janvier 2012) au projet communautaire de l’association ‘Tamil Nadu Village Outreach en ’Inde du sud. Ce projet créé il y a 7 ans par John(USA “South Asian Village Empowerment Intl “)  et Sonny (Inde), a été mis en place principalement pour aider les communautés pauvres, dites « intouchables », autour de la petite ville de Mamallapuram, près de Chennai, la capitale de la région.

Le projet vise particulièrement à aider les enfants des villages défavorisés en leur assurant une aide aux devoirs gratuite dans un local privé après l’école, et une préparation plus intense pour leur examens. Ici, l’éducation tient une très grande importance. Il faut avoir de très bonnes notes aux exams pour espérer être sélectionné à l’université, et aspirer à obtenir un travail décent. Dans ces villages, les parents sont souvent illettrés et ne peuvent pas toujours aider leurs enfants.

Primary school students at Salavankuppam Village Government School
Primary school students at Salavankuppam Village Government School

Le projet TNVO a donc pour but d’aider les enfants à obtenir de meilleures notes afin qu’ils puissent continuer leur éducation à l’université, comme les enfants des classes plus aisées.

Il y a au total 22 centres d’aides aux devoirs, dispersés dans plusieurs villages. Les professeurs, également issus des communautés locales, assurent un suivi scolaire gratuit à une vingtaine d’enfants, pendant environ 2 à 3 heures après l’école. Environ 450 enfants par jour sont concernés par le dispositif.

A local teacher and I discuss a library book while some Evening school student look on
A local teacher and I discuss a library book while some Evening school students look on

La démarche a déjà fait ses preuves. Les résultats aux examens de ces communautés se sont fortement améliorés et les enfants se sentent plus valorisés. Peut-être enfin l’espoir de pouvoir aspirer à une meilleure vie future.

 

Durant la journée, ces centres sont utilisés par la communauté, les femmes viennent y apprendre à broder et coudre. L’opportunité pour elles de pouvoir vendre leur propre création de vêtements, plus tard, si elles le souhaitent.

 

Le projet est essentiellement financé par des dons privés et des Organisations Non Gouvernementales (NGO) européennes et américaines. L’argent reçu sert principalement à construire et entretenir les bâtiments pour accueillir les enfants. Il permet aussi d’acheter des batteries pour assurer l’électricité lors des coupures de courant qui sont très fréquentes ici. En général, il n’y a pas de lumière entre 18 et 20 heures (économie d’électricité oblige). Cela ne facilite guère les études.

Les dons sont également utilisés pour diverses raisons : sponsoriser l’installation de canalisation permettant l’accès à l’eau potable d’un village, l’installation de WC dans l’école, ou de balançoires dans la cour. etc..

Il est également possible de parrainer un enfant et ainsi garantir son éducation. En moyenne, l’éducation d’un enfant dans une école publique coute environ 35€ par an.

Mon point de vue

Pendant cette trentaine de jours passés aux côtés des enfants, et des villageois, possédant très peu mais pourvus d’une grande richesse intérieure, je me suis rendue compte à quel point la société indienne, basée sur le système des castes ou communautés, est injuste et ne valorise pas le mérite.

J’ai visité plusieurs centres d’études. Et le seul fait de voir le sourire aux lèvres de ces enfants et leur reconnaissance envers leur professeur m’a tout de suite assuré que le projet de TNVO est plus qu’un simple projet communautaire et qu’il a un fort impact sur la vie future de ces enfants.

Les volontaires à long terme sont les bienvenus pour apporter leur aide, notamment pour l’enseignement de l’anglais. Et pour ceux qui ne peuvent pas venir si loin, le projet recueille dons et subventions et fournira un rapport prouvant l’utilisation de ce don.

Local school teachers, volunteers, and C. John Degler from South Asian Village Empowerment Intl appear her with me at the Salavankuppam Government Primary School

John et Sonny sont vraiment dévoués à leur projet qui les passionne et qui leur demande beaucoup de temps personnel. Je n’espère qu’une chose : que le projet TNVO se poursuive et qu’il continue à ouvrir de nouvelles portes à ces enfants des villages.

Sophie Marquet
seauseau@hotmail.com

Photographs and English captions by C. John Degler
curt.degler@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Volleyballs Distributed to New Nemmelli Volleball Team


John Degler presenting two volleyballs to the New Nemelli Village Team Leaders

As part part of SAVE’s and  TVO’s continuing program to support youth sports in the Tiruporuur block of Kancheepuram District, we distributed volleyballs gratis to the New Nemelli Volleyball team with the promise that when these balls wear out or are damaged we will replace them with new balls if the old balls are returned. We are hoping to sponsor some intervillage volleyball tournaments this summer when school is out of session, including the use of professional paid referees. Currently we sponsor Volleyball Teams with nets, balls and steel net standards in Ellandoppu, Panjanteertee, Edaiyuur, New Nemelli, Salavankuppam, Anandapuram, Vellankadu, Mullipakkam and Mundiritoppu.

From The New York Times – “Many of India’s Poor Turn to Private Schools”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/world/asia/for-indias-poor-private-schools-help-fill-a-growing-demand.html

The demand for private English language-emphasized primary and secondary education is also a common trend in the Tiruporuur Block of Kanchipuram District, Tamilnadu India among the poor and not-so-poor rural villagers we serve.

Rather than send their children to work illegally in small factories and field work, or to critically understaffed and underfunded government schools, almost all families will try to scrimp, save, beg and borrow at all costs to enroll their children in sometimes questionable and often inordinately expensive private schools. Their sacrifice is justified by the distant hope that their children, sons and daughters both, will be able to emerge from the hopelessness of poverty that is life in landless rural India.

SAVE-INTL’s goal  is to provide one more small boost up the steep hill to middle class success to these same children, many of whose parent’s simply can’t afford private school fees and are relegated to attendance at government schools. Our contribution is through our management and sponsorship of free after school study enrichment centers, staffed by paid teachers, in twenty two different local villages.  Half of the Tuition schools are in SAVE-INTL constructed Village Community Centers of brick and steel-bar reinforced concrete with fans and electric lighting, with the remainder in private homes enhanced for the purpose of school study or in Community Centers constructed by now long gone NGOs.

Because of the increasingly erratic availability of power to rural villages in Tamilnadu, all of our Tuition schools need auxiliary lighting systems consisting of car sized batteries charge controllers and inverter systems that can be charged during the times that current is available. Consider sponsoring a quality auxiliary power system for $200 per school or support for the modest salaries for our part-time tuition school teachers many of whom are themselves struggling financially. Write to me at curt.degler@gmail.com for more information.

Curtis John Degler

Touring some of SAVE’s Programs and Projects by Catherine Grigioni

 

A sewing student and SAVE employed sewing and tailoring instructor

On October 13th, 2011 I had the opportunity to spend a few hours visiting several facilities supported by SAVE.  This was my second visit to the area.  In February of this year I attended the opening of the Mundiritoppu Village Community Center.  Sonny Saravanan from Tamilnadu Village Outreach also showed me the SAVE supported Health Clinic in Amuur and a crèche, or pre-school feeding and child care center known locally as a Balwadi or Anganwadi.

I also had the chance to visit with the women at a few Community Centers including Mundiritoppu.  These Community Centers, established and built by SAVE in association with Tamilnadu Village Outreach,  are used for many purposes including after-school tuition centers for students, meetings of women’s organizations and other associations,  to host small wedding, engagement, and other village ceremonies,  and as sewing and vocational training centers.

I was particularly interested in seeing the skills being learned by the village women.  Many of the centers which I visited serve as sewing centers by day, where the women are taught how to sew and embroider under the watchful eye of a skilled teacher.   These skills are put to immediate use in making clothing for family and friends.  As Deepavali (or Diwali as it is known in Northern India) is coming up, a time when, as part of the celebrations, wearing new clothing is traditional, many of the women were sewing for their own daughters and those of other community members.  SAVE, by providing the physical space, sewing machines and the teachers, has given these women an environment where they are able to learn a useful skill ,giving them a sense of pride and an opportunity to contribute to their families’ livelihood.  The accompanying pictures show some of their work.  Thank you Sonny!  It was a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening Day For A New Library – Report by Caroline Keane

Irula tribal children posing on the steps of their new Community Center

While I was in India last year, I was lucky enough to visit some of the rural villages that SAVE-INTL and TVO works with near Mamallapuram. I got to see first-hand many of their wonderful programmes and projects. One very special event I attended in May 2010 was the opening of a new library at the Kunnapattu-Irular Community Center.

This was a very proud day for the village, and both parents and children came along to celebrate the occasion and borrow their first books. Everyone was excited to have their very first local library.

handing out some of the library books

After John said a few words to inaugurate the library, the children eagerly queued up to borrow their first books.

Some of the children wasted no time and started to read the story books right away.

So how did the library happen?

This library is a brilliant idea. It’s wonderfully simple, low cost, and works really well. It brings books to this very poor community and helps them to value the importance of reading and learning, especially for their children.

With a very small donation from supporters, John bought a variety of low cost books from suppliers in India. There are books to suit all ages, and they’re engaging as well as fun to read.

The local women covered the books in transparent paper to make sure they last as long as possible.

Then John bought a large sturdy tin box to store the books in. A local man volunteered to be the librarian and take responsibility for managing the library. He looks after the books, manages borrowing and lending and makes sure that the community takes good care of their library.

And it works. The villagers are proud to have their library and they take care to manage it well. It’s amazing how such a small donation and a simple idea can have such a big, lasting benefit.

It was wonderful to see that the library is just one of the many uses of this small one-roomed community centre. During the day, local women have sewing classes here and in the evenings children attend classes run by local teachers.

Sewing Machines provided for the Kunnapattu Irula Community Center

Thenmozhi, the tailoring teacher employed by SAVE-INTL and TVO, demonstrates the use of the sewing machine.

SAVE-INTL and TVO do a great job. I was really impressed at how well they’ve helped these communities, and how they make the most of their modest budgets. The local villagers I met are very poor and disadvantaged. With their help, they are improving their day to day lives in many different ways.

The Irula village children assemble for a group photo

The Joy Of Skipping Rope!

 

MULLIPAKKAM’S OUTSTANDING TEACHING ACHIEVEMENT

Billboard erected in Mullipakkam village congratulating student's success on the S.S.L.C. and 12th grade examinations. From the left are C.John Degler, Sengkharani, Prakash, Ayappan and Caries Wilson

SAVE-INTL and its partner, Tamilnadu Village Outreach, have continuously sponsored since 2008, a free after school study program in Mullipakkam village, one of the poorer socially disadvantaged villages in the Tiruporuur District of Tamilnadu. Because of the very large number of students attending the school sometimes more than 150, there are two separate evening sessions and three paid part-time teachers, all of whom are highly dedicated to the goal of preparing the local rural youth to compete for jobs and professions in a rapidly growing and developing India. On their own, these three teachers organized a special coaching program for 10th and 12th grade students in Mullipakkam and surrounding villages who are obligated to take tough statewide qualification exams at the conclusion of their school year. These test are crucial in determining a students future educational opportunities and are quite tough with many students failing one or more sections resulting in passing certificates being denied them. Continue reading “MULLIPAKKAM’S OUTSTANDING TEACHING ACHIEVEMENT”