SUPPORTED BY: Samsung, United Way International

The Samsung School of HOPE in the village of Chinnangudi in Nagapattinam district teaches over 300 children from Kindergarten to 5th grade. Our students live in and around Chinnangudi. Most of them come from the fishing community here. Having quality English medium education within walking distance of their homes has made our school hugely popular. The school focuses on motivating children to go to school by making learning fun and interactive.

Students learned English, Science and Math with digitized textbooks and interactive audio visual aids. A well-equipped computer lab with hotspots for Internet access and a library designed by Hippocampus help the children access a whole world of information. Qualified teachers from the community make the school more efficient and effective. We also have non-formal classes for 100 children from nearby schools.

Initially, we provided free books, uniforms, tuition, meals and transport. Now, the students pay a nominal fee to encourage parents to value the education more. Other English-medium schools in the district have an average monthly fee of Rs 2,500 ($37), making our school more appealing to the students – our fees at Rs 1,800 ($27) to Rs 3,000 ($45) per annum is almost three times lower!

In July 2013, we started a tailoring unit within the Chinnangudi school complex to enable women from nearby villages to learn a skill and augment their income. Our first batch had 30 women. Mothers of many of our students come to train with us. The women learn to stitch, sew and embroider. They also learn to stitch school uniforms for our students. Earlier, learning such a skill meant walking over six miles to the nearest facility for the women in Chinnangudi. Now, they are able to learn tailoring a stone’s throw away from their homes.

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