Birpara is located in north-east in India, in the state of West Bengal. This area is famous for all its tea-plantations. The families that live inside such a tea-gardens have their whole security in life inside there. A small house, their work, schools, healthcare and every week they get food delivered by the owners.
But, over the last few years several large tea-plantations have been closed down, as production has been moved to Nepal. When they close down, the families still are allowed to live in the houses, but they have lost all their security in life and live then in extreme poverty.
Grace English School was started in 2016. The school provides education for 380 children from the most poor and vulnerable families. Every day most of them are picked up by school buses and driven to school. Here they have four hours of teaching, a meal of hot food before they are driven home to their families again. All of them are going to school for free, and they get uniforms, books and all they need. The families are so happy and thankful for the opportunity to a better and brighter future for their children.
During the covid-19 pandemic the school has been closed for long periods of time. Most of the students have had little contact with the school, and the teaching has been limited because the families did not have internet connection or access to PC/phone. The teachers have been responsible for a food program during the pandemic. They deliver food boxes every week, and that has prevented many from starvation.
Now as things open up again they look forward to providing education, community and care for the 380 students.