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Several schools, projects help ‘untouchable’ children out of poverty

06/11/2017: India

Since arriving to India in 1974, the Marist Brothers have developed several schools and projects to help “untouchable” children break the cycle of poverty.  

They run three schools in the country, located in the Tamil Nadu state in the south: Marist Primary School and Marist Higher Secondary School at P. Udayapatti, St. Marcellin Higher Secondary School at Mangamanuthu, and Marist Nursery and Primary School at Vizhalanmedu.

Since 2003, the Brothers also run a non-profit organization called Marcellin Trust for social and humanitarian work in the country, which has since developed two main projects: Operation Rainbow and La Valla Evening Study Centres.

Operation Rainbow, created in the same year, provides care and support for children affected by HIV/AIDS.

In the last decade, the Brothers have run several other projects to provide skills for parents affected by HIV/AIDS and rural women, basic computer education for children and aid for people affected by the 2004 earthquake and tsunami.

In 2016, they established La Valla Evening Study Centres, that helps 380 children in after school work in 12 locations in the districts of Karur and Tiruchirappalli. Fourteen teachers and three Brothers work there.

There are 16 Brothers in India: three in Mangamanuthu, five in P. Udayapatti, five in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy community) and three in Trichy (Viyalan Medu).

The three schools and the Marcellin Trust belong to the province of South Asia.

They are supported by the Marist family locally and internationally, as well as Australian Marist Solidarity, FMSI, Misean Cara, SCIAF, India Village Project and several international agencies.

The Marist District of Asia is also present in India and has a community in the village of Talit.

 

About the schools

Marist Primary School and Marist Higher Secondary School at P. Udayapatti

The primary school, which is run by the Brothers since 1988, has two Brothers and five lay teachers educating 300 children. The majority of the students are Hindus, while the minority are Muslim and Christian.

The secondary school has three Brothers and 35 lay teachers educating 900 children. It provides secondary education for boys and girls from different villages.

St Marcellin Higher Secondary School at Mangamanuthu

The school is run by three Brothers and 25 teachers, who educate 750 children. The girls and boys are referred to as ‘dalits,’ meaning ‘untouchables’.

Vizhalanmedu Nursery and Primary School

Two Brothers educate 150 poor rural children, also ‘dalits,’ with the aim of helping them break the cycle of poverty. The school was established in 2015 after a strong support of donors and St Patrick’s College in Dundas, Australia.

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