Elm Green School Fundraises for BCT
Many Congratulations to our young friend, Zain-Muhammed, from Chelmsford in Essex. Zain-Muhammed was invited to travel with trustees from Beta Charitable
Trust to visit schools in India, namely in Junnar- Pune and Mehta in Gujarat .
Students from Zain- Muhammed’s year group had selected BCT as one of their Year 6 Charities to fund raise for. They raised a whopping £3,300 to share between 3 favoured Charities.
£1,030 was shared between educational projects that BCT were supporting, including a new school bus for the MA School in Gujarat, Woohoo!
Please take a look at Zain- Muhammed’s blog entry below.
Elm Green Bears Travel to India with BCT!
United English school - Junnar
Over the Easter Holiday, myself and 3 intrepid Elm Green Teddy Bears joined Beta Charitable Trust for the opening of a 3 story school in Junnar; a small town in the Maharashtra district of Pune.
After a splendid flight from Heathrow and a restful night in Mumbai, the 3 school Mascot bears and I joined the 5 strong team of Beta Charitable Trust which included; a trustee, critical advisors, admin team along with 3 new enthusiastic team members from New York, Canada and Dubai. We departed from Mumbai the next day at 7am .
The scenic yet perilous car journey (crazy drivers, cows crossing the road aimlessly, potholes and heatstroke to mention only 4 of the perils!) from Mumbai to Pune lasted a bumpy 4 hours. The natural beauty of Pune was interrupted by houses that were like shacks, streets full of Shanty towns and buildings that needed to be demolished. Rubble was everywhere and we passed children sitting by the roadside in huddles. It was excruciatingly hot for an Essex boy, with temperatures reaching 36 degrees!
Prize giving at the United English School, Junnar
New kindergarten classrooms
When we finally arrived, we were given a hero’s welcome. The townspeople were overjoyed at the beautiful new school building that had been so carefully built .I was surprisingly impressed myself at the clean , simple classrooms with simple whiteboards and indoor toilet blocks! The standard of the building was sensational. One Elm Green Bear and I were given the honor of officially cutting the ribbon and opening the school. Elm Green Bear was the first student to sit in a kindergarten classroom! We were also given the honor of presenting the children with awards as it was their first ever prize giving day.
The 2nd phase for the United English School is to build a garden and playground for the school but for now, the children and teachers have a purpose built school that will serve their educational needs right up to high school level. And the orphanage next door was going to enroll its first batch of students to the school! Hoorah!
The next 5 days were spent travelling long distances visiting existing schools that the charity has either built or part funded which either need refurbishing or needed new classrooms built. It was very interesting to compare the schooling style in India and England. The dedication of students to their school work was very impressive.
We visited Junnar, Karimpoor, Alipoor and Metha. Some of the funds raised by Elm Green School students went towards buying a school bus for MA School, Metha, to provide safe transport for the children to and from school.
5 Elm Green Bears are now residents of schools in India!
Our journey ended in Calcutta.
Visiting Calcutta was extremely saddening due to the extreme poverty that we saw. I can now understand why mother Theresa stayed and devoted her life in helping the destitute of Calcutta. There is still a lot of work to be done there.
BCT hope that their next project here will be to provide purpose built housing and after school facilities for widows and single mothers and their families in the slums of Calcutta. Maybe Elm Green bear will be there on the next journey!
Banter with a few Year 5 pupils in Metha
Just a few short months after Zain-Muhammed’s visit , BCT were able to take the next step in securing a better future for the students attending the MA School in Metha, Gujarat. BCT pledged another £1000 and a new school bus has been donated to provide the students with an easier, more comfortable and safer commute from their village homes to the school.
The photo below shows the bus opening event which took place in Meta on Saturday 9th September 2017.