Raleigh have recently begun what we hope will be an ongoing relationship with a school in the small village of Jayapura close to Raleigh India’s Field Base.
Typical of many rural villages in India, Jayapura’s population faces many problems with limited access to safe water and sanitation, basic living conditions and inadequate medical care. The school here provides education for around 300 students, most of whom come from the scheduled tribe caste (part of the lowest caste). Government funding is extremely limited; the school has just 6 toilets for all students, its buildings are old and its infrastructure crumbling. A government funded lunch programme provides one meal of rice per day, and although basic, there are days when it is the only meal some of these kids have.
Raleigh India has set up the relationship with school to introduce a programme of health education with the students so that the kids there stay fit and healthy while they learn.
The school desperately needs a new drainage system to clear waste water from the grounds which we plan to provide. The current system of an open drain runs down the side of the playground, and gets clogged easily with dirt and food waste. We also want to provide bins for the dinner scraps, so that they can be fed to local cows instead of blocking up the drains.
We have also started a health education programme to train two "Mini Medics" from each class to look after their classmates and make sure they are keeping themselves and their environment clean and healthy. The two children from each class will receive training in health and hygiene and will be responsible for teaching the other children in their class about hand-washing, keeping clean, cutting nails, combing hair, disposing of waste hygienically and keeping the environment around us clean and tidy.
Longer term, Raleigh would to be able to improve facilities at the school and build more toilets for the pupils.
Additionally, for the 2010 Autumn expedition, a couple of initiatives are being introduced :
School materials donations
While text books are provided, students are in desperate need of notebooks, pens and pencils as family incomes often don’t stretch to cover these. Nothing fancy, just standard but good quality materials.
Mess tin for flip flops
There are a lot of little bare feet in Jayapura which, given the state of the roads, is of great concern. There are also a lot of mess tins at Raleigh India Field Base – each expedition leaves us more to add to our collection. Why not pick up a pair of kids flip flops (new, any size) instead of a mess tin and we’ll swap them here!
Please take any donations with you when you head to India on expedition (don’t send them to Head Office) and remember, we’re not asking you to spend a lot of money – every little helps!