Great Lengths sponsors the Anganwadi Project. Based in Australia, the Anganwadi Project aims to rebuild and fund the operation of Indian pre-schools in the urban slums of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Below is a diary of our progress as we work in 'giving back' to Indian communities.
The opening of this latest Anganwadi was a huge success. Congratulations to Architects Kah Fai, Jesus and Karen. Our volunteers went from knee deep in landfill to an inspiring building with walls made of multicoloured plastic bottle "bricks". Bholu 10 has had an amazingly strong community involvement which has been a tremendous help to our Architects Without Frontiers(Australia) team. We're proud of the fact that this project has been built securely on the principles of Recycle, Reuse and Reduce. Bholu 10 welcomes many very happy children from the neighbouring community which could not be more appreciative of its newest accomplishment.
The team in India had a beautiful "breaking ground ceremony" where they blessed the first bricks to be laid; and so blessed the site, the construction process, relationships and many years ahead of using the building.
The next day, foundation plans were pegged out with string and digging began on the site.
As the community is encouraged to be involved in the project and approve design blueprints, it has turned out that many of the builders are neighbours to the site (primarily from the same family). They're enthusiastic and eager to learn our ethical building principles of reuse, reduce and recycle.
Architects Without Frontiers (AWF) is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to engage the Australian design professions in pro-bono projects that improve the living conditions of communities in need with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. "It is a very specific role and the interviewing process has taken a little longer than initially expected however it is imperative that the right people are chosen for the project." said Jodie Fried, who heads up the project together with AWF.
The schedule is locked in and the first volunteer arrives in India on October 25th. They've purchased the first plot of land. It backs onto a wonderful community centre deep in the heart of the slums where assistance is most needed.
Volunteer 1 is in India until mid January 2011. She will design the school and building will hopefully commence towards the end of November or early December.
Indian Anganwadis are local pre-schools that were started by the Indian government in 1975 to help combat child hunger and malnutrition in the urban slum communities. In these slum communities, more than 18% of children do not get any formal education and children from these poor families often lack proper nutrition. Over 43% of children in India are malnourished. Proper care, hygiene and health services are also deficient for these children.
The Australian based Anganwadi Project is focused on the urban slums of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. These preschools are designed by Architects Without Frontiers Volunteers Australia and constructed with local labour.The word itself means 'courtyard shelter' in Hindi.
They cater for infants through to six-year-old children and The Anganwadi Project aims to rebuild and renovate 66 anganwadi. We are honored to be able to provide the funding for the construction and sponsorship of one of these schools.
Great Lengths Australia funding will cover the cost of the materials, labour and construction of a pre-school which is due to start building in September 2010. Our sponsorship will also cover the cost of rent and staff salaries along with providing 45 children with a nutritious meal, health services and value based education.
The building is based on the 3 'R' philosophy - Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. All the architectural design elements promote the use of sustainable elements and materials.
We are looking forward to tracking the construction, development and student enrolments.