Ebenezer International School - Bangalore
This year The Learning Tree project put down roots in India and branched out to support schools in Bangalore, India. Back in February we were contacted by a parent, Gigi Mathews from the Ebenezer International School. Gigi was interested in setting up an Engineering Club rather like the Imagineering Club that we ran at St. Peter's School. Gigi and I started talking via email and we realised that we shared a similar passion for learning and in particular encouraging young people to take an interest in science, technology and engineering. When an opportunity came at the end of July to visit Bangalore we jumped at it, and in the same week that Prime Minister David Cameron was building relationships with aerospace companies in Bangalore, we were supporting the engineers of tomorrow with 321 Blast Off! our exciting water rocket workshop at the Ebenezer International School, Bangalore (EISB). EISB was founded by the leading educationalist, Dr. Abraham Ebenezer and provides an outstanding programme of education for 800 children on a newly built campus, located in the Electronic City on the outskirts of Bangalore.
It was not until we arrived in Bangalore and met Gigi that we came to understand that she is a very special person. Inspired by her mother, a teacher for many years, Gigi runs Akshara, a free school, supported by the Apna Foundation, a charity supporting poor children to gain an education. A key to the success of the Apna Foundation is that it is supported by young engineers from Apna Technologies, the engineering organisation Gigi runs with her husband Baskar. All young graduate engineers are encouraged to work with the children, developing their communication skills, and in turn the children gain mentors who inspire them to learn and perhaps become engineers themselves in the future.
I was able to work with children from the International School and also children from Akshara, the Free School, supported by the Foundation. Although these were children from very different ends of society they all shared with us a passion for learning. Have a look at the photos to see for yourself.
We hope to build on this first visit and support children both at EISB and the Akshara to fulfil their potential.
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