Earlier this year I spent three months living and volunteering in the slums of Delhi in India. I volunteered through a program called International Volunteer Headquarters, and they placed me in a small slum school called Morning Star. This school, which at first glance can hardly be called a school, was made up of bamboo and twine support beams and had only cardboard and old tarps for roofing. The kids sat on old rugs and blankets on the dirt floor, and wrote by using their lap as a desk. There was so electricity or running water or even a bathroom. The kids would walk down the road if they needed water, and had to use the piles of garbage around the outside of the school for a toilet.
For the three months I was there, I saw every one of the kids get ill from the constant exposure to dust, heat, rain, and other conditions that would not have been a problem if the school had been in an actual building. As it got closer to monsoon season, which started in June and has already caused incredible damage to the school and surrounding community, there was a constant feeling of anxiety from the teacher and pastor who run the school. The kids, they said, would not be able to attend school when it stormed because the tarps let in too much water and the school could undergo serious flooding.
I was lucky enough to leave before the storm season began, but have continued to stay in touch with the pastor of Morning Star. He has been keeping me updated on the students and the condition of the school with any recent storms. I was heartbroken to hear the most recent news about the school. ***Due to heavy rain and wind, the school has collapsed.*** This is the email he sent me on June 11th:
"...it is very stormy here yesterday a dust storm came and it has destroyed the sector 10 school
last evening a bad stormy night so the school upper cover was flew away by the storm the bamboo also fell because the of the fast air. every thing is destroyed
the good thing is that it was saturday so no body was in the school..."
He is asking only for $750 to rebuild the school as soon as possible, however there is much more that needs to be done. On my last day I made a promise to him that I would continue to raise money for his school and for the children. Teaching at the school changed my life and I can only hope to do the same for the current and future students of Morning Star.