‘Give a Book’ to Mandrem!

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Two exciting things have happened at Our Lady of Rosary School in Mandrem this trip!

Firstly the money we raised back in the UK has enabled them to buy a photocopier that they have long set their heart on. This will enable them to vastly reduce their lesson plan running costs – no more trips to the copy bureau in the next village! Something our schools in the UK just take for granted isn’t it?

Secondly was meeting Claudia and Andy Burn from the UK at Elsewhere. They visited Mandrem School last year and spoke to Jacinta, the headmistress. They have a deep love of books themselves and so immediately noticed that their library could do with a few additions.

Now as Claudia told me “You don’t need many clothes out here and it’s easy to buy anything you need” so they filled their two suitcases with carefully chosen children’s books arranged through ‘Give a Book’ (which is a charitable project set up in the memory of Simon Gray, the author, playwright and screenwriter that helps people to arrange book donations to many needy causes) and flew back to Mandrem.

I had been asked to help in choosing the range of books and then was invited to join Claudia and Andy to go to the school to meet Jacinta and watch the kids unpack them. Jacinta found a class that were doing scouts and guides duty and the science teacher joined them all. What a scene! The kids fell upon the pictorial encyclopaedias (especially anything to do with animals or space) and both Jacinta and the science teacher were equally enthralled. Later this teacher told me how much these books would transform her teaching, especially at Standard 10 level (our GCSEs). I realised how few Indian textbooks have illustrations and so why these books were so important.

Give a Book at Mandrem

I took the chance to have a chat with Jacinta about the progress of the school. This is now the third year the school has been hosting its own Standard 10 exams and the pass rate is extraordinarily high. They now get some government aid (eg the teachers’ salaries) and the school is gaining a good reputation in the area.

I think this is a success story!!!

PS We’ve just discovered that Claudia and Andy reported back to Give a Book about their trip to the school and they wrote it up on their blog. Excellent!


One Response to “‘Give a Book’ to Mandrem!”

  1. gina ali khan says, March 7th, 2012 at 08:45

    What a wonderful story this is -especially for me. And how very nice to know that Claudia & Andy have also been drawn into the wonderful spell that our lovely school casts on all who visit. I’ll always remember the loving welcome I’d receive from Jacinta , Father & the children everytime I visited them , while on my way to work at Elsewhere. Thank you Helen & Colin for making this dream come true . Thank you everyone at Rosary school in Mandrem for being such a great , caring school.

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