Since October 2011, the Salvator Secondary School in Berlin-Reinickendorf has maintained a partnership with North East India. Children and young people who belong to the poorest of the poor are supported in various projects. Thanks to the remarkable commitment of pupils and generous individual donations from private individuals, more than 300,000 € have been made available so far. German and Indian teachers got to know each other during mutual visits and discuss the projects at eye level. The visits also serve to ensure that all donations arrive at the right place.
The Christ Jyoti School in Nagaon and its branch in Dhing, both in the Indian state of Assam, are run by Salvatorians and currently provide a solid education for some 2500 students.
Although the schools are run by a Catholic order, children of all religious communities are taught there.
The Christian part actually makes up only about 4 percent, the majority of the pupils are of Hindu or Muslim faith.
Therefore, there is no religious education like in Germany, but a value teaching, which considers all religious convictions.
Nevertheless, all pupils take part in the common prayer at the beginning of the day.
As a non-state school, the Christ-Jyoti-Schule has to charge tuition fees because there is no state support.
This can only be afforded by wealthy families, and teaching materials, food, school uniforms and transport to school must also be paid for.
The Salvatorians are already awarding scholarships to some less well-off children.
It is our concern to support them in giving education to less wealthy children and to support other pupils of this school with scholarships.
These scholarships cost - depending on the type of school - between 186 € and 226 € per year.
Through the money collected on the Social Days in 2012 and 2013 at the Salvator School in Berlin and some classes of this school, which together provide 30 € per month, seven children from the immediate vicinity of the Salvator School in Nagaon already receive a scholarship until their successful graduation.
The concept of the Venerini sisters is based on the claim to implement the commandment of charity for these special people. In India blind people are perceived as a burden by families due to the economic and social conditions and are often misused for begging.
All severely visually impaired and blind children of school age (in India from 3 years) are admitted according to their capacity. Priests of the diocese take them to the school for the blind and bring them home during the holidays. The trips can take up to three days.
Religious and ethnic affiliations play no role. At present, only a third of the children are Christians. The accommodation, medical care and education of the children is free of charge for the parents, since many families would not be financially able or would not agree with it, since a begging child would be more lucrative for them. Every child is checked medically at the beginning and treated as comprehensively as possible. As a rule, the children suffer from the consequences of malnutrition and massive parasite infestation.
Through education and upbringing, the children should be given the opportunity to take up a profession and thus be able to lead a largely independent life.
From Monday to Saturday the children are taught daily by the sisters in the house according to the Indian curriculum. In addition, the children learn Braille. The teaching sisters are trained as teachers for the blind.
Talented older pupils send the sisters either to general public schools or to the Montfortschule, which is also run by a religious order. There, however, the pupils are dependent on the support of their seeing classmates or teachers for written work and examinations.
The sisters also attach great importance to educating the pupils to be independent outside of school lessons. They are involved in all household activities to a high degree on their own responsibility.
Part of the concept of the Venerini sisters is the musical promotion of the children, which is carried out by external specialists on Sundays. This support is intended on the one hand to balance and relax, and on the other hand to help the children become rooted in general Indian as well as ethnic musical traditions.
A further component of the sisters' concept is that they allow the children to participate in their religious life without the claim to be missionaries.