St. Louis primary school is an independent school in Mundamveli neighbourhood. Situated in-between countless canals and small waters leading to the ocean, Mundamveli is traditionally the home of fishermen and harbour workers. Following rapid urban development most canals have been laid dry for real-estate development or clogged up by waste. Alternative employment opportunities for the traditional fishermen are rare and most resort to taking up short-term unskilled labour jobs for the middle-class, moving into the area at rapid rate.
St. Louis school is primarily run from charitable funds and manages to keep cost, and thus tuition low enough for parents in the direct area to afford. After completing a critical infrastructure support project in the identified lowest income area of Mundamveli, requests for support came from the school late 2014 and early 2015 GVI started initial support with English education and reading workshops under the title ‘open library’.
In March 2015, GVI started a programme to improve the school’s infrastructure. At that time the school essentially consisted of a big dark hall in a field next to the church. New toilet facilities were placed and windows were installed. In June 2016, at the request of the principal of the school, we started the creation of a vegetable garden on the school grounds. The project integrated experiential learning about waste management, as the garden was to be built where prior all rubbish was dumped. Classes about healthy food and vegetables were integrated as well as the growing of plants. During the process and after a multitude of teachers, student’s parents and all members of the
The project integrated experiential learning about waste management, as the garden was to be built where, prior, all rubbish was dumped. Classes about healthy food and vegetables were integrated as well as the growing of plants. During the process and after a multitude of teachers, student’s parents and all members of the parent-teacher association were involved.
The project, which took 5 weeks to complete, now contains several raised planters on 200m2 of school ground. The planters have specialist draining to facilitate growing in monsoon season and provide a substantial part of the food used in daily school lunches. With word about the success of the project travelling fast, the Mundamveli school garden project now had become an example within the Cochin area.
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