It had been Chris and Connie’s intention and strong wish to return to SE Asia after Christmas 2022 for their regular one month travel around the projects they have supported through AidforAll since many years. They had not returned since the start of the pandemic when the borders closed and remained closed for a long time.
Connie decided to return and flew out on 28 December 2022 with filmmaker Charlotte, who had already accompanied Chris and Connie during one humanitarian trip to Poland at the start of the Ukraine war.
They were able to meet up with Kaushik De and his mum Lekha, founders of the school, and together made several trips to the Jhalak school outside of Kolkata.
The school has two new teachers, the wonderful young Susmita and Sujan who are devoted to the kids and are an inspiration. They have lots of ideas for the school.
The children don’t seem much worse for wear after the tough lockdowns. Sadly the same could not be said for the buildings. The rooves on 3 buildings, including the classroom for the youngest ones, are completely falling down.
The two computers in the computer building are just about hanging on. The tablets are out of action. We managed to bring in actual internet (as opposed to WiFi on a dongle) to the computer room after we left. So now we need to sort out the computer room with up to date computers. The interest is there for after school classes as you can see.
Basic supplies were given out to all the kids, around 170 of them. Exercise books, pens, backpacks, water bottles plus the teachers had a long list of books required for teaching and the library. The kids even put on a wonderful dance show one day, what a beautiful sight that was.
Connie is in regular contact with the teachers on WhatsApp. Price estimates have come in for the basic repair works and new computers. We need money for these so if you’d like to contribute, please feel free to donate to AidforAll.