Volunteers in India: 4 students talk about their mission

May 29, 2024
4 student volunteers in India

Elodie, Floriane, Héloïse and Perrine are finishing their studies at Compiègne University of Technology. They have just spent 1 month in India, where they took part in the renovation of an elementary school and two communal education centers supported by our partner Tomorrow's Foundation as part of the EPLI project to help children with learning difficulties. Here's a look back at their volunteer commitment.

" As students, we don't have much income. To help in our own way, we decided to get involved with Soleils en Inde, our university's association whose main mission is to facilitate access to education. For 2 years, we've been raising funds. Thanks to the €1,700 we raised, we were able to carry out our project by going directly to India. ".

Indeed, these 4 students in materials, biomaterials and biotechnologies / agri-food have put their "hands to the grindstone"!
They renovated a classroom at the Sree Sambu Sadan Vidyalaya school, the Brace Bridge community education center and the Dhapa center in Kolkata. Between sanding, painting and decorating, they have transformed these places of welcome for children.

Wall renovation
Painting walls

"Professional painters explained how to renovate the walls. We then set about decorating the rooms, painting educational materials chosen by the teachers: the Bengali and English alphabets, grammar lessons, numbers, drawings... We were able to add our personal touch in agreement with the team!".

Decorating walls with colorful flowers
decorated classroom
days of the week, body parts painted on the walls

"We would like to sincerely thank Tomorrow's Foundation. We're leaving the team with the feeling that we've been useful and met some wonderful people. During our month in Kolkata, we received a lot of love. We also realized the over-consumption in which we live and the importance of returning to a simpler way of life. We'll soon be entering working life as engineers. We want to continue to make ourselves useful, by choosing jobs that make sense and help to achieve a better quality of life, with ecological values, justice for workers and good health for all."

The EPLI project developed by our partner Tomorrow's Foundation in India

India is currently facing a learning "crisis". According to Unesco, a large proportion of elementary school pupils cannot read, write or count. A significant proportion of students drop out of school at the end of the CME, or at the equivalent of 4th grade in middle school.

Teaching teams are not trained to deal with these issues, and find themselves helpless in the face of the situation. As for parents, they often lack the knowledge to help their children.

This project supports 29 public elementary school and 6 community centers catering for more than 5,400 children.

The aim is to involve and empower teachers in the use of alternative and practical learning methods, and in the development of teaching materials and appropriate assessment tools.

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