Victoria runs our Welfare Programme with the assistance of Salima, our longest serving teaching volunteer. They are both actively involved in the local schools, the hospital and the Glenburn Kalakendra Academy (Society for Performing Arts).
We have a team of teaching volunteers who are funded by our Glenburn Workers’ Welfare Trust to help out in the local government primary schools in the morning during school hours, and run reading libraries in the villages in the afternoons.
We also sponsor primary students to attend the privately run Cluny Sisters’ school up in Lamahatta, and some of them have now moved on to Green Shield Academy in Tukdah Cantt for their secondary schooling. This is thanks to the help of some of our guests who sponsor children through our Scholarship Program. Our focus is also to bring up the standard of the three government-run schools on the Estate, and guest contributions have already given one of the schools a new roof, windows and a new nursery and kindergarten section, which is not part of the normal government-school curriculum.
Since we started working with the Glenburn Primary School in Bhalukop village, student attendance has doubled. Parents have agreed to provide crisp green and white uniforms for their children, while we provide the reading and writing materials. Our aim is to provide help where required but also to empower the families of these children with a sense of responsibility for their education as well. We are now working with the Shikaridura Primary School, where our guests inaugurated the reading library in September 2008.
Guests are welcome to join the morning school assembly at 9am, spend a morning with the children in the classrooms, or help out at the after-school library and craft sessions.
The Glenburn Kalakendra Academy was started by our Chairman, Mr Sudhir Prakash, when he noticed the widespread talent and enthusiasm for singing, dancing and performing during our first Annual Glenburn Festival in 2004. Since then we have provided them with a permanent stage and rehearsal area and musical equipment, and they regularly perform for our guests up at the bungalow. A dance teacher from Darjeeling comes to Glenburn once a week to conduct classes and please feel free to join them for a session.
Contributions to the Trust are always very welcome, and Victoria can fill you in on all the details. Help can be in the form of books for the library, medical supplies, teaching equipment, contributions towards volunteer salaries, and other monetary donations. There are also many children in need of sponsorship.
Your time is also hugely appreciated and the children and Estate workers love the interaction!