Many of the children that go to Auxilium School in Kochi come from poor economic backgrounds, and even though the cost for sending one child to school for a year is not extremely high, families still struggle when parents work as tuk tuk drivers, fishermen or ice cream vendors, working long hours trying to support their family of perhaps eight or more.
This year GVI Kerala asked the Auxilium School to identify which families are struggling to pay the tuition fee for their children and we received a list of 50 families needing help. So we decided to raise awareness and funds to help these families give their children an education.
We planned a fundraising trek through the mountains of Munnar, a CT webpage was set up and it was Game on! Staff and volunteers contacted loved ones, posted on facebook, emailed, called and texted, urging friends, family and complete strangers to donate and help these beautiful kids go to school. And, after a few weeks of these fundraising attacks, our group of twelve volunteers and staff finally set out to the mountains of Munnar to trek 24 kilometres over the course of two days. Everyone was excited to get out into nature and experience the wilderness of the Keralan jungle. It was an adventure for sure, involving bugs, leaches, mosquitoes, sunburn, dehydration, blisters, sweat and a few tears, but also sunshine, temples, tea fields, lungi tying lessons from random strangers, chocolate, amazing views, masala chai on the road side, wildlife spotting, bonfires, singing and lots of laughing.
Our goal is to raise enough money to help these 50 families send their children to school and we are on our way - we do still have a way to go but we are hopeful and believe we can achieve our goal and help these families give their children the simple gift of going to school and receiving an education.