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Update: Flip's Fund 2014 

St. Theresa’s Primary School

Flip’s Fund started with the aim of supporting this Primary School serving Kandal Village near Ooty, South India, a village which is home to sweepers, coolies and others in straitened circumstances.

In 2006, the school was condemned to closure by State authorities as not meeting new building requirements, but no alternative was offered. 

Our appeal for planning for a new site was refused but eventually we were able to demolish the building and rebuild on the existing site to provide a new school and with better amenities. 

This year the School has been re - equipped including fresh hot and cold water supplies, a computer and printer, building renovation works and new uniforms and sportswear. An area of waste land is being cleared for planting an organic “kitchen” garden and orchard; and boundary fencing erected to secure the land and school. 

English Teaching

The school is a Tamil medium school and it has always been our hope that we would be able to fund the employment of a local Teacher with really excellent English language and teaching ability. 

In 2013, we employed the first such teacher along with an assistant Teacher. This has proved to be a great success and the model upon which we have now employed another 5 English Teachers at related schools.

This includes 3 English Teachers at St Theresa’s High School to which the children go from the primary school up to GCSE at 16 years of age.

A further 2 English Teachers for the A level Groups at St. Joseph’s School where the same children go to complete A level studies.

Teacher Training Bursaries at St. Joseph’s B.Ed. College

At St. Joseph’s Teacher Training College for the B. Ed qualification, students have to pay fees to undertake the course. Due to family tragedy or illness some find they cannot complete for lack of funds. 

Often, those affected in this way are from Kandal Village, the very children who started at St. Theresa’s Primary. This fate befalls 4 – 6 such students each year.

We have been able to provide bursaries to make up the fee shortfall. Whilst borne of need, the grants are seen more as “scholarships” warranted by merit and commitment. Locally those selected have become known as “Flip’s Excels” – a name given by the Head of College.

The students selected commit to teaching English in one of “our” Schools (mentioned above) for a minimum of two years after qualifying.

Building at St. Joseph’s B.Ed. College

We have been able to commit funds for the rebuilding a derelict wing at the college which will allow the college to take on another 30 student teachers, bringing their number to 130; whilst also greatly improving space and accommodation for existing students.

Nirmala Convent Cottage Hospital

This serves Kandal village, Nirmala convent school and surrounding areas. It manages, with very limited facilities and space, to provide correspondingly limited but much needed treatment, with an excellent resident doctor and nurse. Two years ago we funded the purchase and installation of X ray equipment of which very good use has been made.

 We have now commissioned the building of a new wing to include a Maternity Ward and Operating Theatre. This was made possible by Flip’s Fund offering to pay half the cost if the Society of Mary Immaculate to which the convent belongs agreed to pay the other half, which proposal they supported.

Cricket 

A much loved sport in India. New cricket bats, balls, stumps, gloves, training nets and astro turf training surface were donated this year to St Theresa’s High School. This has resulted in a full fixture list and considerable excitement! 

December 2014