Niranjana’s main school in situated in Sujata village, but there are also 2 satellite schools in surrounding villages for the younger children who cannot walk the distance to Sujata. These branch schools are very basic and have not had a chance to grow until now.
Japanese group BEAM donated the funds for a new building of the Nima branch school. The building has just been completed for opening in 2011 and will start with 120 students – almost full capacity for the 3 teachers currently there. This was a must needed project and will help the region greatly. It will give proper school access to some of our districts poorest villagers where many dalits reside (lowest Indian cast) and where it is commonplace for children to work making bricks instead of going to school. The school comes equiped with playgrounds and gardens and cost ~$35,000USD to build. Many thanks to BEAM for the opportunities they have created!
And with the beginning of school in 2010 came a wonderful new lunch program. Thanks to the ongoing support of student group Team Peace Challenger (TPC), NPWS now supplies all of its children with a healthy lunch 2-3 times per week. When this program launched in 2009, the students only got some bread and a banana, but with increased support from TPC (and through a partnership they have with the sewing centre*) the students now receive rice with pusle and vegetables- made fresh at the new school kitchen (also thanks to TPC, built in July). 450 students receive this and most of these would otherwise go without food during school hours. After only a short time on the program children are looking healthier and have longer attention spans in the classroom. This program also helps sway many parents who would otherwise not send their children to school.
* Pure woolen, hand croceted muffler scarfs and misanga (woven bracelets), made by NPWS graduate students at the Niranjana sewing centre have begun selling in Japan to raise funds for the continuation of this lunch program. "We are so happy to provide the children a regular lunch and to see the women in the village wanting to help make crafts to fundraise for this project too. – "Team Peace Challenger'