In 2015, we supported the construction of the first phase of the School building with CHF 45’000.
Meghalaya is one of the seven states in North East India. The area is remote and economically backward, the terrain is mountainous and crossed by several rivers. More than 80% of the population lives scattered in over 5,000 villages. Though free and compulsory education is provided as a fundamental right to children between the ages of six and fourteen, tens of thousands of children in India don’t have access to education. Geographic constraints and financial difficulties make it even worse for children from poor families. Many of these families are on a hand to mouth existence and find it difficult to send their children to school. The church congregations are very committed to the education of the children. The parents would rather engage their children to improve their low family income. With a tremendous amount of persuasion, the parents of the children have realised the importance of school education. Now many young people want to go to school and often they have to walk several miles through forests to the next school. The condition of the schools in remote places is catastrophic. These schools are usually without a fixed roof and walls. A schoolhouse was completely destroyed during the hurricane over Easter 2015.
LIGHT in LIFE decided to help the children of such families to access school education by upgrading of the existing school facilities and infrastructure in the tribal areas of SOMONPARA, Meghalaya. The construction of the school building is looked after by Fransalien Agency for social care, and Education in India (FAsCE) is a non-profit, non-governmental, secular, voluntary, registered organisation. They promote the integrated development of individuals and communities. FAsCE India, the official social development agency of the MSFS (Missionary of St. Francis de Sales) of the North Eastern Province, is responsible for the educational and social development in that region. Their self-help groups educate women, men and the youth on the importance of education, health and hygiene, thus raising awareness. The total cost of the construction of the school building will be equally borne by FAsCE and LIGHT in LIFE.