It’s now September and all of this year’s Chennai Challenge team have returned to England. By now a plethora of pictures have been added to Facebook by team members, and soon there will be more pictures here on the website soon. This does not mean that things are over, or that the impact of Chennai Challenge has stopped.
So a few things that Chennai Challenge has made an impact with this year:
At YMCA Boys Town Kottivakkum we have Provided
- New mattresses for all of the Boys
- School exercise books for all the boys
- Medicines for the year
- Pumps and pipe work for the septic tanks
- A computer room, so that the Boys can get computer lessons from Bhumi
- Funds to allow a drainage pipe line to be installed
- A gift for each boy of a wash kit and pencil case
The work on the drainage has yet to start, but once completed we hope that this will bring an end to the flooding problems at Kottivakkum. This will connect in with the main sewers, and so is not causing a problem else where.
As well as this we took all the Boys away to Yellagiri Hills and shared a special meal with them at the end of time in India.
We have also pledged to donate 10 Lakh (1,000,000) Rupees (around £13,000) towards a rebuilding project at YMCA Fort School. This will be given as soon as the plans have been approved and all relevant permissions granted. This is about half the cost of the project, work will not start until January at the earliest due to the monsoon season that is about to start.
For Oasis we have donated money so that they may continue to run and serve people in Chennai. Our £3000 donation will help to keep paying staff and allow them to continue the work.
So our impact will be felt further through out the year, in a way in which you can see and touch. You could go and see the exercise books and mattresses. Soon you will be able to see a new building a Fort School. These physical things will stay. But our impact is bigger than that. Our impact was made before we made any of those donations. To all the people we went to see we made an impact just by making that journey. The Boys at Kottivakkum, the students at Blue Edge and the Government School in B.V Colony were all thankful and excited that people had traveled from the UK to spend time with them. It has the impact that it makes them feel special. The staff at Oasis and YMCA have us come and tell them how amazing it is that they are working in these places everyday, and they are encouraged. All the people we know in Chennai have the impact of seeing friends and growing in relationships.
Now all of this is great, but it does not tell the whole story at all. There will have been an impact on all of the team this year from the time they spent in India. For some it could be big and life changing, for others it maybe more subtle, and some won’t realize the impact until later on. So I would now like to invite any one who has ever been to India, especially those who have been with Chennai Challenge, to comment below and say how this experience impacted on you.
Don’t be shy