Loyola Kapepaladi school currently has 390 students, with the capacity to educate another 100 children as the older children move up the school and younger children are enrolled. Sister Philomena is the Head Mistress and is doing an excellent job..
The school motto is the same as Loyola Xavier School in Manvi - 'Reaching the Unreached' - its purpose to reach out to Dalit and other impoverished children living in the nearby backward and remote villages. Before the inauguration ceremony in 2012, Father Eric addressed the parents; he told them it was their school in their village for their children. Their children are the future . You could see from their faces how inspired these poor people were.
All pupils at Loyola Kapepaladi School are from families that are the most in need; the 'poorest of the poor'. Priority is given to girls and Devadasi children (those belonging to ex-temple prostitutes), as they face the greatest discrimination within society.
The students are currently aged between 3 and 14 years old.
During their lessons they use chalk, slates and exercise books. These children are keen to learn. After just a few months they have learnt to count and to recite the alphabet as well as speak a few words in English. Teachers here use songs and rhymes in English to begin each child's education, which is extremely effective. As we have found at Loyola Xavier School, the children at Loyola Kapepaladi exude a wonderful sense of joy despite the terrible poverty and oppression they have been brought up with.
Children taking their exams.
New SPONSOR PARENTS are urgently needed for the rising numbers of pupils at this school. For more details please go to the Sponsor a Child page.
The need for a school in the backward village of Pannur
'To be a beacon of light to eradicate illiteracy, caste system,
bonded labour and discrimination of all types.'
(One of the school's mission statements)
Many thousands of Dalit and other impoverished children, live in Pannur and the surrounding villages. Their parents struggle to make ends meet and children are often sent to work to help bring more income into the family home. Many children now enrolled in the school were previously working in the fields without any understanding of the importance of education. As the school is now well established, their parents now understand that if they sacrifice some of their weekly income and pay a small proportion of these to the school for their child's school fees, further down the line there will be greater opportunities for their children. State education in this district is poor, teachers and other pupils discriminate against the Dalit children in many ways that we couldn't imagine, and as a consequence of this discrimination and the family history of oppression, the vast majority of Dalit children leave school permanently at the age of 11 or before.
Without decent qualifications, the sad reality is that there are seldom opportunities for Dalit children to do anything other than follow the same path as their illiterate parents. In reality this means an insecure lifetime of hard work in the fields and a very difficult married life for the teenage girls and young women.
Here is the opportunity to break this terrible poverty cycle and sponsor a child so that he or she has the ability and support to go all the way through education to Degree level.
The inaccessibility of many villages, made worse by unmade roads, has resulted in increasing numbers of these children being unable to access a school. Pannur is centrally placed and is therefore an ideal location for a large primary school to serve the Dalit and other marginalized children in this area. Two school buses collect children from 7 a.m. and then take them back to the furthest villages by 7 p.m. A long day for the pupils living in the most remote villages, but the opportunities in later years from having attended Kapepaladi school, make their long days worthwhile.
There is now a boarding hostel in the village of Pannur which eases the situation for some children living in violent families, or too far away from the school to be able to attend daily.
This photo shows children who are not yet going to school.
SPONSOR A CHILD
Please go to the SPONSOR A CHILD page for details of children needing sponsorship.
Why sponsor a child?
Loyola Kapepaladi school was founded to give hope and life to children exploited by a selfish and powerful caste system. These children need financial assistance with the cost of their education as they receive no Government support, and neither does the school.
All children at Loyola Kapepaladi School are looking for sponsor parents as their own parents are too poor to afford their education. Sponsorship costs £20 per month by standing order, or £240 per year. More information about how to sponsor a child can be found on the Sponsor a Child page, please click here.
An English medium education is the best possible education giving students an opportunity to attain first-class qualifications. English medium qualifications are increasingly necessary when competing for every day jobs within Indian society.
Discrimination and alienation against innocent poverty-stricken children is wrong. Educating a Dalit child is the first step towards confronting this injustice.
100% of every donation plus any Gift Aid reclaimable, is sent directly to the school. There is no 'middle man' and no deductions of any kind as the charity is run totally voluntarily.
Sponsoring a child is personal; detailed letters are written to sponsor parents twice yearly and letters or cards back to the sponsored child are welcomed.
General news is communicated regularly to sponsor parents.
A testimony from the current Head Teacher, Sister Philomena
"Every person is made up of Body, Mind and Heart and there is a clash to understand which of these is the most powerful. The body appears sound and strong but it cannot fly to another country like the mind. So one thinks the mind is powerful, but the mind cannot win the people and relationships easily unless the heart goes out and wills it. To give an example of the power of the heart I am reminded of an event that happened in our Loyola Kapepaladi school.One fine morning a couple brought their son to our school to meet the priest who was correspondent of the school. They requested the priest admit their child, the discussion went on for about an hour. Finally the priest agreed on the understanding that the boy took an entrance test. The boy was unable to write anything and consequently failed the test. The parents had a deep desire that their child should study in our school. After constant requests, the priest finally agreed to admit him with one condition, that even though he was 10 years old, the boy should study in the 1st Standard class until he learns the basics of alphabets, numbers etc. Within a 3 month span the boy improved in all ways and he was given a double promotion to the 3rd Standard class. The boy entered the class with a bright smile on his face and a grateful heart. In the beginning he found the classes a little difficult but with the constant support of his teachers, sisters and the priest, he gained ability and confidence and secured III rank in his class."
Sister Philomena continues. "The boy belongs to a very poor family. His parents have to work under the hot sun as coolie workers for their livelihood."
"The following year the boy stopped coming to the school. The teachers sent word with his friends to come back but the boy never responded. One day the priest went to the boy's house to find out the reason why he had stopped coming to school. A cloud of sorrow covered the face of his mother and the boy. They told the priest that the boy's father passed away due to leukaemia. The priest felt very sad about this sad incident and brought him back to the school, providing and supporting him with all his needs. The minds began to think and the hearts began to vibrate. With the help of the priests immediately some generous people came forward to help him out for his further education."
"At present many of our students are helped by the generous people who are sponsoring children through Supporting Dalit Children. The students are very privileged to get a good education in our school with all the facilities we have. They are always happy and ever ready to learn more and more, but because of utter poverty at home, some children are not able to continue in their studies."