In April 2011 I agreed to be the sole backer to fund a school in Rangamantia which is a poor village in Orissa, India. This project has been set up by www.familyaiddirect.com which is a charity operated and funded by my Dad’s church. I have just stepped in as a financial backer for the school and I will use this page to track the progress of the project. Here goes.
The village committee had a meeting to discuss the possibility of me funding a new school for their children.
The villagers built their first classroom themselves. It is obviously very basic but it’s a start.
Our first teacher is hired. His name is Dasaratha Hansda. I don’t know his age but he looks to be in his early 20s. His wage will be covered by entirely by money raised through piano sales.
I’ve just received first photos of the school’s first pupils. I’m not exactly certain if ALL of the children in the photo will get a place just yet but I will find out and update this page.
Here is the message I received from Shadrak who is my middle man
Greetings in Jesus’ Precious Name.
It is mine and the Villagers of Rangamatia ,immense pleasure because of a great work that is Light arises among the darkness. I thank God for you for your great opening and blessing to this children. All the villagers and children are very much happy and intimated you their hearty love and gratitude. Thanking you and for all your love and blessing to Rangamatia Village School and children.
God Bless you and Bless you
Lots of Love and Regards,
Shadrak with the Children and Villagers at Rangamatia
The school then closed for the long summer holiday
August 2011 – Request for daily meal at school
I received the following email asking me to provide funds to cover a daily meal for all of the children at the school. The outcome is that I have agreed to provide what they have asked for in the email below:
Hi Mark [also addressed to the funders of 2 other schools]
Greetings in Jesus Name.
As per the Request of Bhalubasa School, Dhanghera School and Rangamatia School student and villagers, am forwarding this mail to you for all your Kind concern and decisions.
They have requested you to provide the Students a Mid day Meal or Snacks to the student in the School that is as we have started at KUMCHIA SCHOOL. Because in Government and other private Agencies are providing mid day meal to attract the student and to avoid the malnutrition problem among the children. As you know all these schools are in Tribal areas and there parents are so poor to maintain there family and to provide two meals a day to there children. Sometimes it happens some of our students are forced by their parents to work with them in the field that is to earn something to meet their daily need. This is a True fact,
So i would like to request if you will kind consider there situation and request it will be a great blessing to them, If we will start a Mid day meal or snacks in these schools there will be maximum 3800/- ( $ 50) extra cost will be come upon us that is per school. So i hope you will kindly consider upon all our School students request and will intimate me for all your valuable suggestion and decisions soon.
Thanking you for making the Joy among the helpless children at Orissa, India
From field worker to school pupil
One of the school’s students sent us this brief account:
“Hello, my name is Sunil and I am age 9. We are tribal people, our language and life style is separate than others. We are very much poor. My mother is daily labour and my father too. All we have is only a house that is on government land. We have no property. I am fortunate to get free education at Rangamatia. Before I used to go to the field to do some work but now through your free school most of our village children getting free education. We all are happy and thankful to your love and blessing to us.”
Here is his photo (they haven’t quite learned to smile for cameras yet in tribal India)
Here is a photo of the school celebrating Independence from British Rule (1947) on 15th August 2011
New Uniforms January 2012
I sent the school a £500 Christmas present and and happy to report that they have spent some of that money on a full set of brand new school uniforms. One for each pupil. Here are some before & after photos taken on the day that the uniforms were given out to the children
March 2012 – Exam Progress
I have just received the following letter from the school headmaster:
Greetings from Dasaratha Murmu, headteacher of Rangamatia School.
We all are doing well. All our Children have completed there final exams and they have done well in there respective classes. All have promoted to the upper classes. we have got the new books and copies and soon it will freely distributed among the poor children at Rangamatia school. Thanking you for all your great care and love to this children at Rangamatia.
Now the new session is going on and it will continue for one month than after there will be summer vacation.
All the children and villagers are very much blessed by all your great Love and help to this poor and needy children at Rangamatia . All your help to us and to the children at Rangamatia is ever memorable .
Thanking you and all with you for your great Love and care for the Children at Rangamatia School, Orissa, India.
Dasaratha Murmu and all at Rangamatia School
April 2012 – School building ruined
Heavy wind and rain has ruined the makeshift school building that the villagers were using. I have asked them to come up with a figure that will let them rebuild the school using bricks with concrete foundations. I will add more photos as progress is made.
August 2012 – General Update from co-ordinator in India
I received some photos and an update. Here is part of the message from Shadrak
Thanking for all your Love and kind heart for the Children at Rangamatia School. All the villagers are also very much happy for your kind and noble help for there children. Rangamatia school house construction is going on. Due to lack of rain the work became delay.
Still now many children already already promoted to their higher class. Though it is tough to our teacher to motivate the parents to send there children regularly to the the school specially in the cultivation and harvest time, because all the villagers are daily labor and depends upon there daily wages to maintain there family. Your help to this children is a great blessing to this village and surroundings. Because of your help to this school there are many children and from other villages also got the benefit to educate there children
Christmas 2012 – Party Photos
I’ve received some photos showing the children being given some chocolate and a meal for Christmas. The photo here is showing a “Chocolate Race” but I don’t know what that is! Click here to see all of the photos.
I’ve become very rubbish at adding progress photos even though they are regularly sent to us from the co-ordinator in India. We also receive Christmas cards from the children showing their favourite role models and heroes on the front cover (it’s usually Ghandi).
I’ll try to get better at putting progress photos on here but we have continued to be the sole backer of this school from 2011-2018. I’d like to move into covering some health costs for the children too as cleft lips and other physical features are usually left untreated in the poor villages.