Preparations in February Our President Staphanie Lücking was able to spend another 3 months in Darjeeling thanks to a Sabbatical. These were her fresh impressions: “After a 3 week vacation in India I returned to Darjeeling on February 21 st . Arrival was later than planned due to a 9 day strike in Darjeeling. People have been demanding an autonomous state of “Gorkhaland” for years. Until now Darjeeling is still part of West Bengali, Kalkutta being the Capital. Due to the strike public transportation was at halt plus we couldn´t use streets from the lowlands up into the mountains of Darjeeling. Had I known how the temperatures were in the mountains I might have stayed in the lowlands for longer. Now at daytime temperatures are nicely warm after some days of rain and hail showers. But after 5 p.m. the sun disappears and you need a hat and a warm jacket to sit in the living room. Nowhere there is a warm place to find not even in a restaurant or café. Central heating is unheard of. Now I can appreciate the construction of work completed last year by our partner Rohit Andy Pradhan even more. Yet day by day it´s getting warmer now. We are working on organizing the next school year: text books must be ordered. Uniforms have to be tailored. The school needs to be cleaned. Talks have to be held with parents of new and reenlisting pupils. Talks with the old and new teachers take place about the planning of the year. Parents and their children have to be scheduled for the shoe shops for shoe fitting. Assessment of financial needs The most difficult task is assessing financial needs of the families. We check the households in unannounced house visits. For visits with some families we had to walk for one hour. When you see the very simple living conditions that some families have to endure you hesitate to take pictures. Most families live in sheds with corrugated iron roofs and walls that they rent or in large houses where they rent single rooms. Usually they have one single rooms with a little cooking corner. Since March 3 pupils age 3 years take the long steep way to our school accompanied by their grandmother. Our school being the closest school. In the families we support the father usually works. But these are jobs on a daily basis, so there is no regular income. In many cases we are easily convinced of the financial need. Some families are supported only partly: they are supposed to pay the regular monthly fee but w support them on a month to month basis if needed. Starting School at March 7th On March 7th our school started with 46 pupils, 4 teachers and 2 aids into the year of 2011, our second school year. Now we have 25 new pupils and 3 age groups: Prenursery (age 2-3 years), Nursery (age 3-4 years), Lower Kindergarten (age 4-5 years). To back our team we hired 2 new teachers and 2 new aids (one aid left because she was sick). The Nursery class was divided into 2 groups since it had 24 pupils. This will enhance the individual output of the pupils. March/April 2011 Our second volunteer Between mid March and mid April weh ad Gudrun Müller as our second volunteer. Gudrun quickly was given the nick name “Mama Miss”. At the beginning of the school year she was the one who´s task it was to console many children and dry many a tear to ease the painful process of acclimatization in the Pre-Nursery-Group. Snack and Milk Project We received a generous donation this year which made it possible to give a glass of milk, some fruit or a boiled to every pupil. We easily integrated that project into our curriculum adding some aspects of a healthy diet into it. We express our deepest gratitude to the donor: Mr. and Mrs. Madaus. Without their donation this project would have been impossible. June 2011 Day of the earth: Planting a tree Our school participated in the “Forestry Week” second time this year. “Forestry Week” takes place every year in Darjeeling. Our children from Prenursery- und Nursery-classes planted a tree near the school building while tose from Lower Kindergarten walked for half an hour to plant 5 seedlings at a place of the old landslide. September 2011 Teacher´s Day Each year in the beginning of September we celebrate Teacher´s Day: A day to honour all the teachers. As a welcoming the Pupils of the Lower Kindergarten sing a song that goes like this: Why are we all here today, Just because it´s Teachers´s Day. You take such good care of us, You give us love, You are the very best teacher in the world. God bless you and your kind understanding for all your life. After that we have a stage program. Each class has rehearsed a dance, a poem or so. Unfortunately we had bad luck with the weather. But with the help of some parents we could install a canvas so the auditorium didn´t get wet. Support by another volunteer Primary school student teacher Katrin Werner came for a visit shortly before her first exams and spent 4 weeks with a host family in Darjeeling. She supported the teachers and sweetened up every day school life with many wonderful ideas for games. We are exalted to see that such vivid exchange can happen between two school systems so vastly apart and different. We do hope that our teachers will adopt more than a few of Katrin´s ideas. October/November 2011 Two Board Members come to visit Stephanie Lücking and Guido Uhlenberg visited our school again in October. Since the last visit in May there were so many changes: we are so happy about our new large classroom. Again a large donation made it possible to finish this project this year. Unfortunately their visit turned out to be rather short. Nonetheless it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the pupils and the dedication of the teachers, again and again. Unfortunately their visit turned out to be rather short. Nonetheless it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the pupils and the dedication of the teachers, again and again. School Festival with Exhibit At the beginning of November we ad a school festival with an exhibit fort he very first time. Pupils and parents waited at the gait already one hour before the beginning. The teachers and pupils had created pieces of art for the exhibit. The parents prepared snacks that were on sale. There was also a second hand shop organized by the president of our association. We played the game “Musical Chairs” and especially the mothers loved it. The funds raised at the festival is set aside for a pupil who might need surgery of her leg. November/December 2011 In the Indian school system there are exams already in the lower classes. Our students had their exams in November in various fields like: reciting rhymed, naming colors and numbers, writing words etc. On December 2 nd we had the final presentations: the parents were invited to watch their children perform on stage: they recited poems, songs and performed dances. The teachers reported the school activities in 2011. At the end the report cards were handed out. The best pupils of each class were honored. In addition this year the student of the year was elected. A very successful school year of 2011 is closing. The children have vacations until March 7 th of 2012. Teachers and the principal have a lot to do to organize the coming school year: Admissions have been going on since October. There will be an additional class, so we will have to hire another teacher or aid. Tables and chairs for the new class need to be bought. Text books, notebooks and uniforms have to be ordered. Home visits will have to be done for assessment of financial needs. Etc. etc. back
Nursery A mit Klassenlehrerin Susma Basnet Nursery B mit Klassenlehrerin Suchitra Mukhia Lower Kindergarden (LKG) mit Klassenlehrerin Sanjeeta Sapkota Snack- und Milchprojekt Baumpflanzaktion KLassenraum Schülerin des Jahres Abschlussfeier
 Princes Vater hat einen
Purans Vater arbeitet als Träger
Prenursery mit Klassenlehrerin Christina Pradhan
Snack- und Milchprojekt
Snack- und Milchprojekt
Snack- und Milchprojekt
Baumpflanzaktion
Baumpflanzaktion
Baumpflanzaktion
Teacher´s day
Teacher´s day
Teacher´s day
Volontärin
Spielerisches Lernen
Spielerisches Lernen
Spielerisches Lernen
Schulleben
Schulleben
Schulleben
Schulleben
Schulleben
Schulleben
Schulleben
Schulleben
Schulleben
Examen
Abschlussfeier
Zeugnisübergabe