Back to school again May 2019…or the RC Middle School in the mountains of Tamil Nadu. Where is this? Tucked in a mountain approximately 7,000 above sea level. (…/kombais-in-the-palani-hills).

The school is owned and run by the Society of Servants of God, a voluntary nonprofit organization affiliated with the Catholic church. There is a total of three Sisters (including Sr Ancy, principal) and one lay teacher, all of whom stay on campus at least during the week. There are 120 students: 6 Muslim, 12 Christian and 101 Hindu. 35 are tribal children, who are boarders due to lack of transportation but can go home between the 3 terms. A majority of the 50 children (most of whom are tribal) who stay at the school, however, go home on the weekends. Sr Ancy made a point that the school embraces all religions and cultures.

Does the school look familiar? We made a site visit November 2017 after which we helped them purchase two large cisterns (waterproof receptacles to catch and store rainwater), their sole source of water. We made this trip May 2019 at which time we saw the effects of Gala Cyclone ( None of the children were injured, however, the school suffered severe damage, including metal roofs which were stripped from the buildings by the winds. The worse destruction occurred in the kitchen, the outdoor covered structure which the Sisters used to prepare and feed the children three meals a day. Only the stone stove remained, where they continued to cook meals using firewood and three large pots. They temporarily attached a roof to protect the stove and the cook from the rain, using provisional beams to support the metal sheets and securing them with stones. We are now assisting them to not only to repair the outdoor kitchen but to convert it to an indoor facility in order to provide shelter during the monsoon season, as well as withstand the winds and rain of a cyclone. Project Starfish believes that the healthcare of children extends beyond clinical medicine.

As the scope of Project Starfish expands, please consider donating to our organization…your money will go directly to our projects.

View images of the trip below, or join the conversation on facebook at: Back To School Again, May 2019



Published by

Josh Osmer

15 Aug 2019

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