19. April 2013 · Comments Off on Newsletter December 2011 · Categories: Nav-Jeevan Sanstha, Newsletters 2011 (en), Project Partners in India

 

First price in the dance competition for schools 2011
The children of Nav-Jeevan won de first price in the dance competition for schools 2011

It’s been quite a while since you received the last newsletter of Nav-Jeevan. Meanwhile, the new school year is in full swing. At the beginning of the school year a long line of parents and children were waiting for admission, their faces marked by poverty and desperation. Almost all of them wanted their child in the hostel, specially the single parents. Mothers from the slums were eager for their daughters to get a place in the safety of our hostel.
Last school year we suffered from severe overcrowding in the hostel. Because of shortage of space children had to share beds. With the help of donations from the Netherlands we could construct a new floor. All dormitories have been moved to this floor and we could buy 40 new bunk beds. Not enough to allow all children. We gave priority to children of single parents, children of mothers working as 24 hours servants whose husband are drunkards and children from outside Nagpur.
Last school year we had three tribal children from Mandala, the neighbouring state which is about 500 kilometers away, 13 years old Tara and her two younger brothers. They have no mother, their father remarried and the step-mother threw the children out. The three were living in abject poverty with their grand-mother, fending for themselves by working in different homes and surviving on leftover food, given to them by their employers. Now all three are good in studies, disciplined and very good in sports. If it wasn’t for Nav-Jeevan these kids did not have the remotest opportunity of getting an education or a chance in life. Tara must have spoken about Nav-Jeevan to the villagers when she was at home for the holidays because a villager brought 8 children who had nobody to take care of them. They had never been to school and spoke not a word of Hindi, only a tribal dialect. After a few months coaching in a special class they are now in regular classes with the other children.

Now there are 243 children in school with 121 in the hostel. We have 18 qualified teachers. There are 8 groups where classes are given in Hindi (classes H3 t/m H10) and 6 groups are taught in English (kindergarten and classes E1 t/m E5). English is gaining a lot of importance in India. Students knowing English have better chances of getting jobs.
Our commitment to the children will continue till they stand on their own feet, become financially independent and be able to help support their siblings and take care of the family. Nav-Jeevan will always be an important part of their lives. Nav- Jeevan is a place of peace and happiness, an ‘Ashram’, where no one is discriminated on the basis of his caste, class or religion.

EXHIBITION “INDIA VISION 2020”

Last month a very successful exhibition VISION INDIA 2020 was organized. The exhibition focused on what life could be in the future. A model of a modern Indian village was build and a team of students, guided by two teachers, was responsible to come up with ideas how life will change. In addition, each student was involved in the preparation and presentation of a certain topic. The following pictures give an impression of the day.

Indian village in 2020
Indian village in 2020

 

Vulcano Sand art
  Vulcano   Sand art

 

Math, triangle, rectangle, ball etc. Eco system
  Math, triangle, rectangle, ball etc.   Eco system

 

Breathing system Geometry
  Breathing system   Geometry



As you can see a lot has changed in the lives of the children. We could achieve all this with your support.

We thank you and wish you on behalf of the children of Nav Jeevan Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2012.

Kind regards,

Annelies van de Ven
president Nav-Jeevan Foundation

19. April 2013 · Comments Off on Newsletter March 2011 · Categories: Nav-Jeevan Sanstha, Newsletters 2011 (en), Project Partners in India

Nav-Jeevan saw an enormous growth, last year. More than 200 children attend the school, 109 children are living in the hostel. When walking about you see how happy the children are. They look fit, laugh and play in their beautiful school uniforms. When the bell sounds they file into their classroom in a disciplined way. They read, make sums, make drawings and sing and dance. Nothing reminds us of the time when they roamed the streets, begging or looking for something to eat. Now they eat in the big dining room. First the little ones and then the bigger children. They can eat as much as they want. Two or three times they go and get a heap of food. The only sound you hear is the clatter of the spoons on the steel plates. After school they put on other clothes and play. The bigger boys go to the field to play cricket. The other children play all kinds of games in and around the school. They already speak some English and love to talk with you.

Nursery Dining room
  nursery   dining room

It’s hard to believe. In 2002 we started with some children in two rooms on the ground floor of an apartment. Now we have 200 children, from Nagpur and the neighbouring villages. We work in a big school building with 9 classrooms, a natural science and chemistry room, a small computer room, a library and three dormitories.
We admitted so many children this school year, that the building has become too small. 49 Girls sleep in the girls’ dormitory. The present dormitories are not bigger than a classroom. Bunk beds are so close to each other that they leave no room and two children often share one bed.
We also have 15 forms: 2 nursery classes (English and Hindi), forms 1 to 4 (English) and forms 1 to 9 (Hindi). To accommodate these 15 forms we have 9 classrooms and in addition we’ll also have forms 10 Hindi and 5 English, next year. Different forms are taught in one classroom. Not an ideal situation.
Coming to Nav-Jeevan many children are in bad shape and many of them have been living in such horrible conditions that it’s almost impossible not to admit them. It’s not easy to feed so many mouths, however we still manage. Apart from donations from the Netherlands we now also receive donations from the United States and from the local population.

Kajal Turkel
Kajal Turkel

In January, a social worker and her grandmother brought the 7-year-old Kajal to us. She was severely undernourished. A young girl with thin legs and a face marked by chicken pox. Both her parents are dead; she lives with her grandmother who has nothing herself and lives on what the neighbours give to her. Kajal was very happy that she could come to us. Her only question was: ‘Do I get to eat here?’ This single question tells us the story about this little girl.



This year we also welcomed some tribal children from Mandala (Madhya Pradesh). Dense forests and wild animals surround their village. They have their own language and culture. Tara is about 12 years old and she arrived together with her two younger brothers Anurag en Ashish. They don’t have a mother; the father abandoned the children after her death and re-married. The three children worked in the village, in different houses. If there were any food left they would get it. If not they would go to bed on an empty stomach. They attended school when the mother was still alive, but after her death this wasn’t possible anymore. The woman who brought the children told us that Tara, the eldest, would love to go to school again. Tara is intelligent and an inquisitive girl.

Tarawati Korram Anurag Korram Ashish Korram
  Tara   Anurag   Ashish

Nav-Jeevan has become a home for these children, they have no other place to go to. The last school day before the holidays, when other children go home, is the most painful day for the children who stay behind.
At Christmas they were having their meal in Iris Wilkinson’s house. The children were dressed in their best clothes, laughing and enjoying their freedom and the meal. At some point little Ranjit went to Iris, looking very sad. He told her that he would have been very happy if someone had taken him home, even for just a single day. He was all in tears. Iris hugged him. He felt better, laughed and went back to the table to eat.

Most of the children come from slums and were confronted with crime. In a normal situation, a place where they can learn, their outlook on the world changes. They see a friendly and understanding world. They are given opportunities, are accepted and they aren’t shunned like pariah dogs.

The past year we worked hard to ready 4 new rooms on the first floor of the second building. They will be finished next month and for the time being used as dormitories. Then we’ll start building two big dormitories on the same floor. Donations from the United States pay for these dormitories.

We’ll start a lobby to raise money so we can build the second floor on this building. This floor will house another 4 class rooms, 2 big dormitories, toilets and showers. The total costs of this floor is about 80.000 euros. We aim at being able to use this floor in the school year 2012 -2013. This will allow us to admit even more students. Ultimately we will be able to accommodate 350 pupils and half of them will be able to stay in the hostel.