The 2017 Chennai Challenge project has been hugely successful. The team delivered high quality sessions to adults accessing services run by Oasis, and led sessions for teachers and trainers to give them new ideas to engage the students they work with. With YMCA we had good times working at the destitute home, forming friendships with the boys there, as well as the brilliant activity holiday to Yellagiri hills.
On top of this face to face work we were also able to support the work of the YMCA with more than £6500 spent in Chennai this year. Where did this all go? Let me run you through.
First of all we settled money we had previously committed to. Over £3500 went towards a sump at the destitute home. This vital piece of equipment helps with the drainage and ensures the toilets we put in last year keep working.
Speaking of the toilets, it was a joy to be able to see them (and use them!) And this year we have supplied lights for each of the cubicles and outside so that they can be used at night time.
More lights were bought, but this time emergency lights for when (not if) the electricity goes off. The 4 portable units all have an ‘auto on’ function that will activate when power is lost. This will allow food to still be cooked and studies to continue when they other wise wouldn’t be able to.
Continuing on an electrical theme we also bought replacement fans for the destitute home, to try and keep it cool in the Chennai heat.
We spent a portion of our funds on kitchen equipment (replacing a mixer we bought in 2010!) to allow the 42 boys to be catered for effectively.
From our funds we also bought socks for all of the boys at the destitute home, which they will need for school.
Outside of the money we had as a charity, the team members also bought each of the boys a pair of shoes.
We also bought all at the destitute home a celebration meal for our last evening, which we were able to share with them.
The last significant cost was the Yellagiri activity holiday, which cost just over £2000.
We have tried to make sure that we have looked at sustainable projects that we have a lasting effect (sump, lights, kitchen equipment) as well as some which fill an immediate need (socks)