For a better tomorrow …

… is the aim of the Samarpan School for underprivileged children in Kishangarh, Delhi. The school was started in April 2007 with 40 children in the mornings, providing informal education. Today it has 160 children aged five to fifteen from nursery to class 5 studying from prescribed CBSE textbooks. Children leaving from class 5 are helped to get admission in senior secondary schools. A computer center was set up in February 2011 with ten computers and two teachers. Classes run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Children receive a breakfast including cereal and milk, a snack during break and rice, dal, a green vegetable, roti and salad for lunch; egg, soy nuggets, banana and a seasonal fruit once a week (read more about the school and its achievements here).

Bronwyn, a charity worker from Australia who is living in India for more than 30 years, introduced me to the school and to Sherna Waida, the principal. I first went there a year ago to see the classroom they’ve build out of plastic bottles filled with sand (youtube video here). Somehow we’ve kept in touch.

When the idea of our ARTBOARD/SKATEBOARD project came up one of the options where to build the skatepark was Samarpan School. Unfortunately the land situation in Kishangarh is a bit tricky and many uncertainties would have been involved, so we decided not to build there. But it brought me back to Sherna and the needs of her school. High on Sherna’s priority list were laptops. One laptop per classroom would allow them to teach the kids in a modern and new way.

With the help of nextpractice, a company I freelance for in Germany, namely Andreas Greve and Peter Kruse, we could make Sherna’s dream come true. nextpractice provided six laptops for Samarpan! Thank you so much!

When I went back to Germany last week I packed the laptops into the biggest suitcase I had. 36 kg (!) – it was a real job to get them to the airport. As you can see the suitcase was almost bursting;-) At the Lufthansa check in a nice surprise was waiting for me. First of all they didn’t charge anything for the extra kg and on top of that they upgraded me and I could comfortably fly in the upper deck in their new 747-800. Nice!

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I arrived early Monday morning in Delhi, it was 1 am when the captain announced that the temperature in Delhi is still 36 degree! Monday afternoon – during the heat of the day – I delivered the laptops to Sherna:

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Sherna Waida, principal of Samarpan School, and one of the teachers storage the laptops in their computer room.

In this interview Sherna gives an overview of what Samarpan School is all about.

And to see more kids getting great results from Samarpan School we will try to get more books for their library …

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… and we are planning to build at least a small ramp for skateboarding in their school yard!

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And this story had a beautiful and surprising side effect: when I posted my fully packed suitcase on facebook and gave the glimpse of the story, Frank Roebers, CEO of Synaxon AG, contacted me and told me he had an idea how to support me;-) After a brief facebook chat I have 2000 Euro more in my pockets which help me to continue my work in incredible India. Thank you Frank!

He cold it a social media success story;-)
Indeed it is.

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