A Project within a history
VERSION FRANCAISE: http://housingproject.ichec.be/
Every year during the month of July, since 1993, students from ICHEC Brussels School Of Management leave for India and Africa to immerge themselves into the local culture and to help people in need through building schools, houses and thus contributing to the local development. This experience stands for them as a great opportunity to discover a new culture and for sure raise their awareness of the world we live in.
In India, together with the SALEM DIOCESE SOCIETY, students will be taking part in 3 different projects in 3 different villages. In total, we will finance the construction of 18 houses for the less well off.
Together with the NGO SEVAI, we will finance and take part in the construction of a classroom for handicaped children in the Sevai Shanti School. In total 33 students will take active part in these projects.
This project revolves around 5 key points:
1. An experience of intercultural openness:
The focus of the project is on the students. The objective is to offer them the opportunity to meet, in privileged conditions, citizens of the world, who face both identical and completely different realities, to gain from this experience, and to discover the world from another point of view.
2. Service to others:
Indeed, the best way for them to the meet people of the south is to help them in their effort to improve their living conditions. Therefore, we offer them the possibility to join a locally organized humanitarian development project, and to take an active part in its succes.
3. Within a group:
The participants are divided into small teams of ten people. This community experience is one of the most fulfilling aspects of the project. Not only must they embark on this project with open-mindedness towards the natives but also towards the members of their team
4. In a developing country:
To be a citizen of the world, it is essential to consider it from different points of view. In this regard, we believe it is interesting to add the point of view of “the south” to our "occidental" point of view. We are currently working with 3 countries: India, Benin and Burkina Faso.
The greatest part of the budget is financed by the students themselves. They have to demonstrate creativity and energy to collect 1700€ per person to contribute to the project. Each participant has to collect the necessary amount for his/her travel and accommodation expenses (1100€) and also a financial contribution to the humanitarian development project (600€).
Meet this year's beneficiaries
As far as my personal project is concerned, I will be leaving with a team of 7 people (including myself ) and we will help with the construction of 6 houses in Gangavalli, a small town in the south end of India. This is the first year since 1993 ICHEC School Of Management was able to send us back to this town which stays one of the poorest through the whole state of Tamil Nadu. Here are the presentations of our recipients' profiles:
1st beneficiary: Rosemary (48), she is a single mother and has three children, two are married and left. Her daughter Anita (29) stayed with her to help her with chores as she is sick and suffering from joint pains. They own land but do not have enough money to build a proper place they could call home.
2nd beneficiary: Jay Raj and Jancy (35 and 30) and their child Jayrili (2). The father is the only one working, consequently they don't make enough money to be able to live in decent circumstances. He barely makes 10000 rps a month which represents 150 euros.
3rd beneficiary: Armena and Mary (45 and 44) have 4 children and live in a dilapidated house which will soon be removed. The father, Armena is a Coolie worker which means he has work when the nearby industries don't have enough manpower. During busy months he makes up to 350 rps a day (=5euros per day= 150 euros per month).
4th beneficiary: Susay and Savary (37 and 33) have 3 children and own land, sadly enough they don't have enough money to build their own house. Susay the father is also a Coolie worker.
5th beneficiary: Samy and Visu (40 and 38) live with their 2 children and grandparents (60 and 65) which makes it even more difficult for them to meet the needs of their family. Samy also is a Coolie Worker.
6th beneficiary: Saraej and Selvi (45 and 35), have 3 children and live in a small house in town which is also in a bad state. No extra information was given as far as these beneficiaries are concerned, but here is a picture of their home.
Why should you help me ?
For me this would be a first experience as far as humanitarian projects are concerned. During my life I've been lucky enough to get the opportunity to spend a year abroad discovering USA and getting in touch with a variety of new habits and practices that were totally unknown to me.
By going to India I will once again immerge myself in a totally different culture but this time in a country that is still developing and which suffers a lot from poverty, consequently I am convinced this experience can only be beneficial as it will defenitely make me more aware of the world we live in. It is for sure true that we all face poverty in our everyday life, but I truly believe it is something else to live under such circumstances and experience it for a whole month. By supporting my project you will help me live what I call a "life changing experience".
Furthermore, you will also help the locals developing their own village and region, think about the little kids from Sevai Shanti School or the people from Gangavalli. Since 1993, the "Housing Poject" made it possible to build 917 houses and various community buildngs. Building those houses and helping those people during a month could seem pretty pointless from an occidental point of view, and I mean I am lucid and aware this won't place them at our level of development from one day to the other, but step by step and on a long term I am sure these types of projects can only be beneficial for them too.
Finally I am of the ones who think that "No one has ever become poor by giving", knowing that I have now been given the opportunity to do so, not helping those people and not doing anything would be against my morals. I just can't let this pass and this why I need your help ! I really hope I got you to be as convinced as I am !