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India Partnership

Canford has been involved with Goodwill Children’s Homes for over fifteen years. The Homes are in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. Goodwill provides residential care for orphans, children from impoverished one parent families and children from deprived tribal families. The main site at Thandigudi accommodates boys and girls up to the age of twelve, at which point they move on to single sex Goodwill Homes in nearby towns. When they finish full time education apprenticeships are offered areas such as motor cycle maintenance and sowing. Canford pupils raise money to support the Homes but also commit to a programme of teaching English and Maths, as well as playing with the children. As the conditions at Thandigudi have improved we are adapting the project to support and educate children in surrounding tribal villages. The philosophy of the trip is based on partnership and building a long term relationship with the host community.  Pupils often find the experience life changing and return during their gap year.

Examples of Pupil Activities
Teaching Mathematics and English Pupils are trained to work in pairs delivering teaching activities to small groups of Indian children between the ages of 6 and 11. Strategies such as ‘jolly phonics’ have to be adapted to suit the local culture and resources have to be prepared from materials available in the Indian school so that their teaching objectives can be realised.
Tribal Village Visits Pupils visit tribal villages in the hills surrounding the orphanage to learn from first-hand experience the lives of the villagers and to discuss projects to support financially. Hence they gain a better understanding of the life of the local population.
Constructive Play Pupils are encouraged to organise simple games with the Indian children. This helps foster a sense of teamwork and gives the opportunity to do work on emotions.
Music Pupils are required to put on several short musical entertainments for the host communities.
Fund Raising Pupils raise funds for the host community. They generate ideas and organise the group to support their ideas. This helps bring the team together giving opportunities for the development of leadership qualities. Pupils are shown a variety of projects in Southern India and, at the end of the trip, have a meeting where they discuss which projects they wish to support. The money is allocated and then the following year we can visit the projects to ensure the money has been spent effectively. This helps give the pupils a sense of involvement with the projects.