Wednesday, 28 August 2013


On Friday Claudia and I visited Keith, Emily and Peter who are the Chaitanya team. Keith has a really good post here explaining what their project is about in some detail.

A primary component of CCT's work is running a number of school sessions for the children of the slums. These schools are aimed at children who've dropped out of the government school system with hope that they will get re-engaged and eventually go back. They currently have three sites where these schools are run. One is in a building and two are in the open air. If they can get more money CCT would like to open many more centers.

Our visit was an opportunity for the children to practice a little English by asking some questions of us. At the first school they excitedly showed us some written work, which was very neat.

The first open air school was a simple open area in the middle of the slum. The school is marked out by the green tarpaulin spread on the ground. School runs in the heat and rain and rather large ants crawl all over the place. The kids in the background aren't in the school but we're interested because we were there.

Whilst Gujarat is a dry state, there are still issues with alcohol. Being in the open in the middle of the slum can expose the kids and the teachers to alcohol affected people. At this site there is a small shop next to the school and the shop keeper has made a point of looking after the kids.

The kids want to get some education and the spots in the schools are limited. The rules are strict for both parents and kids, so the teachers find that the kids are well behaved and engaged.

The school had a map of the world and some new visitors was an opportunity to test the geography knowledge. They had no difficulty finding Australia, which they described as paradise. I guess it helps when your looking for worlds biggest island.

While there we gave out some Canada pins that Keith had brought. If ever there is something that the kids can have its important that there's enough for everyone. Which means there has to be a count of kids and gifts before thinking about giving them. I'm sure the pins were a big hit.

The environment that CCT are working in is pretty challenging, but the work they are doing is fantastic and the kids were all great. It was a worthwhile visit. 

#ibmcsc india 

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