New Life Centre, Sarberia, West Bengal, India
We want to complete, equip and nurture the development of this very special vocational training centre and adjacent primary school, to benefit many children and young people in a poor Bengali village. Together this is the New Life Centre in Sarberia, the work of Alindra Naskar a truly inspiring man.
HANDS AROUND THE WORLD
High poverty and high unemployment especially in young women is a big problem in this community. Skills training is not at all available to these disadvantaged people, and providing training leading to employment is very important both for their self-esteem and for generating income for their families. The school has more than 250 children enrolled each day and provides dedicated teaching, aspiring to high quality.
We have helped construct the buildings; the workshop is now training young women in sewing and embroidery. With our volunteers, we are encouraging other skills training to start soon, including physiotherapy, manufacture of prostheses for amputees and accident victims, and carpentry. With our volunteers, we are supporting and mentoring some of the untrained school teachers.
To provide high quality training for needy and disadvantaged young people.
Activities» We have built and equipped the workshop and continue to provide support with structured training and marketing help.
Success will be... a rolling programme of well-trained young people breaking out of the cycle of deprivation and moving into gainful employment.
To provide high quality primary education for needy and disadvantaged children.
Activities» We have helped build classrooms, need to build more. We support teacher training and wages; also child sponsorship, allowing more children to attend.
Success will be... happy, healthy, well-educated children able to move on to secondary education.
To provide an income-generating project to help towards self-sustainability.
Activities» The workshop produces goods to sell locally and will also sell through Fairtrade outlets in the UK, helping to maximise the income generated.
Success will be... when the whole New Life Centre is self-sustaining without outside funding.
School and VTC class numbers will be recorded and monitored, including those who may drop out. Young people will be interviewed about their perceptions of the quality of their lives and that of their family. Academic progress will continue to be monitored with exams and school reports.
Historically the centre has been very dependent on Mr Naskar personally, although his team have now taken on some responsibilities which is very important. Political and religious tensions could adversely affect the work - the community comprises Muslims, Hindus and Christians. Importantly, children are from all ethnic groups, chosen according to need and regardless of faith. Insufficient sustained funding in the years prior to achieving self-sustainability would be difficult.
We will post six monthly reports and email donors with news of progress in between times when we hear of new developments. Donors who sponsor children will receive feedback every six months about their progress.
Budget - Project Cost: £26,400Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £24,000 Sponsorship Annual support for 200 children/trainees £2,400 Salaries Annual salary for 3 teachers and 1 trainer
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Annual child sponsorship £2,280 Guaranteed
In the small town or large village of Sarberia, about 2 hours from Kolkata by bus and near the Bay of Bengal, the project is located in a poor rural area where most people earn money from fish and shellfish farming. Many people are refugees from Bangladesh just across the river. Although not directly on the coast, the area is vulnerable to many climatic problems including storms and flooding. The centre is solidly built and was undamaged by cyclone Aila in 2009.
The whole community will benefit, as this centre is very much focused on helping all in need regardless of ethnic background. Whilst fees for attendance are kept very low, some people are still unable to afford them and additional afternoon non-formal classes have been established to help a larger group of these children.
We have links with Mr Naskar dating back to 1994 (when he was working as an orthotist and prosthetist at the Leprosy Mission Hospital in Purulia, West Bengal) and have been involved in discussion with him about the centre from its outset. Keen to work together, we have developed a strong and trusting work relationship.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Mr Alindra Naskar
An inspirational leader and the driving force behind the establishment of the New Life Centre. He is in daily control of the work and lives nearby.
Mrs Tess Molloy
Our link volunteer, Tess is a teacher who has twice spent a month at the New Life Centre recently and is very keen to help it develop its potential.
Pays a teacher for a month
I spent a month recently in the company of an inspirational man who has spent his life in the service of others.