A special thanks to each and every one of you who responded to our shout for funds to help build Suchana's new education resource center and some other programs happening in Kolkata. Through your most generous contributions (amounting to over Rs. 37000) Suchana has been able to achieve its goal of getting the building up before the monsoon rains. It is very exciting to hear updates as the building work takes place. It looks like the Suchana community will actually be using the new space from July! I have to say that it really was with great pride that I handed over the funds to the Suchana Committee as it trickled in, and I hope that once the building is finished we can also help them to stabilize their all-expanded curriculum and help some other important projects here – in our Mustard Seed-size way!
In the latest Suchana newsletter, Kirsty writes:
Watching this building come up is not just exciting...it’s incredible! It is the result of a combined effort by so many people –Suchana’s teachers, Committee, builders, helpers, advisors, fundraisers, friends, family, and all those of you who have helped us with donations. It’s also inspiring – this is the space where we are finally going to be able to pull together all the potential gathered over the last 4 years and put it into a structured but flexible full-time programme. That is a big responsibility – but there’s a lot of anticipation and enthusiasm here about taking this responsibility on.
The veranda roof, which many of you have specifically helped us build, is due to be completed by next week. If all goes well, we will be ‘moving in’ during the June holiday and from July, Suchana will be in operation from the new site! Through July and August we will be running our current ELG and Health programmes, and in September we will begin the new elements of the full-time programme in phases – ‘tuitions’ for middle school children; extra pre-school mornings; computer training; full-time library and supervised space for reading, completing homework assignments or working on art projects. By December, we hope to start working on extending the library facilities to new members from other villages.
Construction is never completely plain sailing though. Having finally gathered together the paper work to make an application for an electricity connection (funded by another great combined effort by the Calcutta100 Club and Mustard Seeds) we discovered that we couldn’t pay the local building tax required before an application will be accepted until after the General Election. The election has been phased and has just been finalised so if we’re lucky we can now make the application and will have electricity for our July start.
The ELG library is really flourishing, and we would be very grateful for help in expanding this extremely effective literacy resource. We have the site – now we just need more books! We especially need children’s Bengali books. Simple English books (Ages 1-6) are also useful. The books we ‘manage’ are read by many, many children!
So, hats off to each and every one of you who contributed and to my sister, Margo Baker, who has been helping me with this project! Suchana is making an effort to improve its work with the older children now studying in middle school and much of this new work will be in the early evenings. Having electricity is vital to this part of the programme in particular. In the new building, Suchana plans to open up a free study room so that children can read and work on projects in the evenings – most of the Suchana students have no electricity at home. We are making this possible!
2009 Calcutta 100 Club contributions (Jan-Aug):
SUCHANA: Kate Goldman, Jan Fujikawa, Rajita Majumdar and Family, Chris Rickerd, Rick Pestana, Jean Sullivan, Mary Clock-Rust, Sagaree Sengupta and Family, Kyoko Hosoki, Domi Long, One World English School, Jen Blain & Family, Marguerite Shaddy, Nancy Anchor, Ann Overton, Stephen Mackerras, Atula Ahuja, Susie McNaughton, Neil Haran and the Nara Team (Rex Tanimoto, Catriona Takeuchi, Makoto Takeuchi, Kiyomi Asada, Mr. Asada, Fumie Fujimoto, Junko Tsuda, Darlene Itoh, Steve Nishida, Brock McKinnon)
Jenifer Douglas and Family have made a contribution to SHUKTARA, a home for young boys and girls with disabilities.
Mary and Peter Max gave the amount to pay for this school year's donation of rice for the students at BASHA school. Calcutta 100 Club covered this cost last year and when I visited Basha recently I was told that they are counting on us for this each year!
Kolkata Seeds Japan continues to pay the rent at SHIKSHAMITRA, an alternative curriculum secondary school and also sponsor the education for six of the students at BASHA.
TO DONATE: Please email me for further details.
1. US • Check payable to: Maura Hurley
Send to: Margo Hurley (Calcutta 100 Club)
285 Brewer Hill Road
Batesville, AR 72501-5228
Mark ‘Calcutta 100’ in memo space
2. JAPAN • Please send by postal transfer to
mustard seed, japan
Mark ‘Calcutta 100’ in memo space
3. UK • Post a cheque made out to 'Friends of Suchana' to :
Friends of Suchana
Clare's Forstal / Throwley Forstal / Faversham / Kent ME13 0PJ
* UK tax payers should ask Angela to send them a Gift Aid form so Suchana gets a 28% tax rebate on the donation: firstname.lastname@example.org