The construction of our new learning centre has been challenged with a stop-start routine since March 28th due to Covid protocols but we are back with a careful, full-powered response.
We are putting the finishing touches to the building including the toilet block where we have chosen to both conserve water to build eco san compost toilets and to promote disability rights in a purpose-built toilet for people with disabilities. We will also build a wooden playground for smaller children with Illango, a youth from the village, who is part of the Treehouse community and builds tree houses and play areas all over India.
The first phase of the new centre will host a ground floor classroom and kitchen, outdoor learning space with play areas, and a sports ground. This phase has been helped by a grant of 8 lakh (10,000 Euro) from Electric Aid Ireland and 1.7 lakh (1,940 Euro) from Stichting de Zaiier plus fundraising events in France with Kedge University and friends in Ireland.
This first phase of the new building will be ready in January, at Pongal festival, a time of celebration of harvest in Tamil Nadu and significant for us, as we reflect on the abundance of support we have received from so many people to make this dream of ours come true.
The children are excited and often point to the emerging building saying “new Thamarai, new Thamarai”. As children are an intrinsic part of everything we do, they have already been part of the design including the sports ground and have chosen the designated games to be assigned courts.
They will be involved in the interior design and they have already come up with outdoor micro-project ideas that they want to work on such as water-saving technology, treehouse building, tree planting and edible garden.
We look forward to seeing what will emerge in this new space of growth and learning for us all and to moving on with phase 2 of the project, two additional classrooms.