Dear Friends and Family,
Wonderful news! What once seemed beyond reach actually became reality when the completed new construction and improvements at the ALC Mambazhapattu Elementary School were officially dedicated and celebrated in late July.
A throng of people dressed in their best attended the joy-filled event: the school’s children and their families; the teaching staff; the Mothers’ English Club; the village leaders; the ALC bishop and officers; ALC School Project staff; representatives from the Indian Education Department; Mr. Ernest Paul, construction contractor; and my dear friends, Dr. Jane Koons and Mr. Sundar G., both of whom were the glue keeping this whole undertaking together over the last five months.
However, there would not have been such occasion for celebration at ALC Mambazhapattu Elementary without all of you. So much more than our original goal was accomplished:
- A completely new “green” toilet block building with an improved septic system was constructed, including separate facilities for girls, boys and staff, PLUS,
- The existing but deteriorated “noon day” kitchen was renovated, and a garden was planted with vegetables to augment daily lunches
- The partially destroyed compound walls were rebuilt and painted, including instructional “healthy living” murals on the interior sides
- A culvert was installed between the road and the front gate to eliminate flooding in that area
- The entry to the compound was upgraded, a concrete stage was poured and basic landscaping added—including sand to walk on—throughout the grounds
- The headmaster’s living quarters were upgraded with lighting, fans, and water taps, eliminating the need to carry buckets of water inside from outdoors
- The school was wired for electricity; fans and lights are now possible
- And last, but certainly not least, a playground—slide, swings, teeter totters—was installed for the children
Not to mention a domino effect: the village of Mambalapaatu has been uplifted beyond words. The ALC Mambazhapattu Elementary School is now the pride of the village. Enrollment increased from 96 to 130 students, and the school even boasts a waiting list! A focus on health and sanitation is front and center, and hope for the addition of a small nursery school is alive and well due to the greatly increased enthusiasm and engagement in the community.
So, with this final message as we bring our project at ALC Mambazhapattu Elementary School to a close, I again thank each of you for your unwavering support and generous outpouring of contributions. Together we have made a difference!
P.S. But don’t just take my word for it. As you know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Please see for yourselves – enjoy! 8.15.16 India School Photos Julie Myles