Thursday, May 01, 2008

Merit Awards at Suchana

Our friends who run Suchana sent us a report and photos on the awards ceremony that took place last week on 21 April. It was a nice little session with distribution of 43 very practical prizes: umbrellas were given to the youngest children so they can come to school in sun and rain; clipboards and pens to the middle groups; and English-Bengali dictionaries were presented to the older children. The prizes were awarded not only for effort, progress, and cooperation (rather than skill levels), but for student contributions to the annual show, good use of the library, and other areas. Needless to say, everybody was extremely happy.  

Mustard Seeds wishes to convey a special thanks to our friends, Etsuko and Michael Yamaguchi from the Chautary shop and NGO in Nara, Japan, who made a generous contribution toward the purchase of the merit prizes awarded at Suchana this time. We would also like to thank Siobhan Wilson, owner of the fair trade shop, Kolkata, in Brighton who has given a contribution to Suchana for the purchase of Bengali children's books for the library.

For those who don't know, Suchana is a community group working in rural West Bengal, focusing on education and health. The education project (the Early Learning Group) is a group of children and teachers which meets three times a week to participate in an activity-based learning curriculum aiming to support and encourage those children who attend regular school, and provides an introduction to literacy to those who don't. Currently, over 120 children participate. The health project now works in all six of the Suchana villages, delivering primary health information in a participatory format and linking villagers in with locally existing health services. Suchana has recently purchased land close to its current location, and is making preparations to erect a multi-purpose building (or two!).

If you would like more information, please contact Kirsty or Rahul at:

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