In Lower Assam there live more than 500.000 Santhals, whose ancestors were enslaved plantation workers under British rule. Less than a dozen of them are academics or professionals, whereas the vast majority is illiterate. Many had to leave their raided villages – most recently, another string of violence hit the villages around Christmas in 2014. The Santhali children now grow up in refugee camps.
We run 65 camp schools that give more than 5.000 young students the opportunity to catch up on their missed education. A number of 58 of them, students in Amguri and Joypur, are now about to be the first graduates with a secondary school degree. On the photo, you can see them preparing for a tentative exam. As I visited them, we decided to ensure that all of them would graduate – and offered special tutoring in mathematics and sciences. May they do well!
Schools and tutoring, however, are not sufficient in and of itself – in a close cooperation with the village elders, we are trying to achieve that all children enjoy their right to education.