Making a difference

Making a difference

Integrated Effort

Down in the City to help with the implementation of Literacy Plus, a mega project funded by The Rotary Foundation, the eight-member team from Lancaster was busy doing the rounds of different government schools that came under its development schemes and following up on earlier projects.

“People are bound by the same problems of poverty, hunger and want across the globe. We too have our share of homeless people in America and the Rotarians from Bangalore have raised funds to equip a kitchen and shelter there. Our work is reciprocal and as Rotarians what we pool in comes back to the community ten-fold. Being a Rotarian anywhere in the world means that you have a commitment to your community, you enjoy the camaraderie of like minded people in different cultures and you aren’t afraid to give up your personal time to make a difference in the world,” says Tim Fuller, Rotary President of Lancaster West, who was down with his wife Rosa and son Andy to help bring about the implementation of Literacy Plus.

Literacy Plus is an integrated effort to improve the infrastructure in government run schools by providing learning equipment based on the specific needs of each school, proper toilet facilities and a programme that teaches English quickly and effectively called CLE (concentrated language encounter). Many adolescent girls actually drop out of school because of the lack of toilet facilities,” said Rotarian Madhura Chatrapathy.

While G S Lakshman, another Rotarian actively involved in several projects added, “Literacy Plus has received nearly 200,000 USD in funding from the International Rotary Foundation and we are working together to ensure that it benefits as many schools and children as possible.”

Training teachers in CLE has proved very effective in teaching language skills to students in a relatively short period of time. Under this method, the student is immersed in the language he is learning to the exclusion of all else and once familiar with the verbal aspect is then taught to read and write. “I was overwhelmed by the encouraging response and feedback on CLE, I received from teachers I met in rural areas,” said Janette Crawford, a Rotarian and educationalist.

With their hectic schedule, there was very little time left over for the group from California to relax and enjoy the sights, sounds and shopping in the City. Nonetheless, the easy warmth that they obviously shared with their fellow Rotarians in Bangalore was an indication of a trip well worth the effort and time well spent.

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