Teach International's Trip to India
A team of ten volunteers from Teach International™ travelled to India in August 2005 for two weeks to build houses in partnership with Habitat for Humanity's Bapatla affiliate. The purpose of the trip was to raise funds and awareness for Habitat for Humanity’s cause and help build housing for those who need it. The organisation works in partnership with low income families to build simple, decent, affordable housing and we certainly achieved our goal!
The team worked in a new colony of the Narasayapalem village, which is just outside the main town of Bapatla on the central eastern coast of India; HFH has a 3 year project scheduled for the village in which they are planning to build over 300 houses. Our team helped with the construction of eleven homes and the jobs ranged from painting, filling foundations with sand, carrying bricks and mortar, to actually laying the bricks for the walls and finally pouring a roof! The work was strenuous, hot and generally quite exhausting, but we were fed beautiful lunches and constantly supplied with drinks, snacks and fruit by our ever efficient team of volunteer drivers, minders and cooks. The villagers, home owners and children were there constantly watching, supporting and helping us, at many points we were even singing and chanting with the children while we were working! It wasn’t all hard work though; our coordinators took us to the ocean for some much needed cooling off and relaxation a few times and we were also taken shopping in nearby Guntur where we bought (among other things) the saris that we wore at the final farewell ceremony. So many colours, so much choice!
Staying at the ‘Goodwill Children’s Village Society’ orphanage was such an integral part of the trip and when given the option to stay in air-conditioned hotel rooms, I’m so glad the team decided to stick with the orphanage! We were so well looked after and the team played games and spent a lot of time just hanging out with the children themselves. Halfway through our trip the affiliate members alerted us to the dire state of the orphanage’s funds and it was comforting to know that by staying there we were helping them so much financially. We were also told about the backgrounds of the orphans and think I can speak on behalf of the whole team when I say that it was just so grounding to see kids with so little and with such horrifying backgrounds being the happiest, easy to please children in the world! We may have brought them financial assistance, but they brought us so much more in the way of humility, appreciation for what we have, warmth to our hearts and smiles to our faces!
HELPING THE COMMUNITY
We also had the opportunity to give a little back to the community in the way of games and school supplies. Before our departure from Australia we collected various games like Kanga Cricket, skipping ropes, soccer, tennis and footballs, and then we organised a huge sports afternoon for the 280 children at the ‘Elizabeth Barrie School’ which neighbours the orphanage. We had 10 stations manned by the team members and every 15 minutes or so the children moved onto a new game. Needless to say it was organised chaos but everyone involved had so much fun; the children were so happy to be learning so many new games and the team members had a lot of fun trying to explain rules with only some body language and a few gestures!! Great fun was had by all and at the end of the afternoon we gave half the games to the orphanage and the other half to the school itself. Again, what joy to be surrounded by so many smiling faces!!
A few days later we went on a poverty housing tour of the village we were working on, and during that time also handed out the 200 pens, pencils, rulers and erasers so generously donated by David and Justine Wartzki of the APEX Club of Perth. The local school and teachers were so appreciative and once again, like we had at the orphanage, we were able to teach the children some simple English songs with actions. Go the TI choir!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND DONATIONS
All in all, through sales of the ‘TTTTT’ TESOL Resource Book, fundraising events and generous donations, over $AU16000 was raised. A big thank you goes to all those who contributed to this fantastic cause!
Teach International™ and Habitat for
Humanity thank you
for your support in this worthwhile project.
We thank the following businesses and individuals for their contribution towards the Habitat for Humanity India project:
Apex Club of Perth
Apex Club of Australia
Cactus Blue Coffee - Herschel St Brisbane
Copy Specialists Richmond
Have-a-Go News: Concept Media Publishers
Look Advertising - Graphic Artist
Worldwide Online Printing - West Perth
Western Exposure - Perth
Active Safaris - Perth
The Mustang Bar - Perth
Lorenza Doyle - Graphic Artist
Local Wellington (NZ) businesses who donated prizes for fundraising nights:
Molly Malone's Irish Bar
Lone Star Bar
The Tasting Room
Vein & Skin Clinic
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise