cuckoo forest school looking for donations

Tamil Nadu – Cuckoo Forest School

Cuckoo Movement for Children is an informal group of friends and volunteers who has been working with rural children of Tamil Nadu since 2004. They have established libraries and nurseries in villages across the state, organizing plenty of creative activities. They also partner with local schools to introduce the kids to traditional folk arts, music, martial arts, theatre, organic farming, engaging them in exciting discussions on socio-political and environmental issues, organizing movie projections, etc.

“We can best help children learn, not by deciding what we think they should learn and thinking of ingenious ways to teach it to them, but by making the world, as far as we can, accessible to them, paying serious attention to what they do, answering their questions — if they have any — and helping them explore the things they are most interested in.”
― John Holt

A bit into what have happened

The first building that the ‘Cuckoo Forest School’ brought to life was the library block. Work on the same was started on 6th of June, 2015 under the guidance of Earth Architects – ‘Varun’ and ‘Jeremie’.

The small library building carved out of earth, saw many people coming together to make it what it is today. Friends and strangers not only did monetary help but have moulded the building with their hands to its shape.

This is one such building in which the people community across India was involved, fulfilling each faraway kid’s dream of basking under nature, playing around with butterflies, getting drenched in the rain and under nature’s every beautiful creation. Fulfilling the same kid’s dream where it yearns to fly like a butterfly and not become a mere caterpillar which is what today’s education systems has turned them into.

The Place and the thought behind the school in itself has brought in changes in the lives of so many volunteer’s. And their journey with such people have continued beyond the school. So many stories to hear and know – How one of the volunteers gave up their construction business and is now a full time organic farmer. Another volunteer who is now in the process of becoming an Earth Architect, someone else who was on the verge of pursing their master’s abroad, decided to stay back and is now researching on dry toilets and wants to design a prototype for implementation of the same in areas that lack sanitation facilities. Such are the stories that surround Cuckoo.

During the course of construction in the last six months, Cuckoo has organized around four workshops for kids such as ‘Toy making from waste by Subid Ahimsa, An IITian’, Permaculture workshops by Alageswari (Iyal Vagai), etc.

What next?

Due to the monsoon, work at school site had been delayed for the last couple of months and now they are looking at finishing the entire library structure by the end of this February after which various workshops will be conducted for the kids on a regular basis. The library will also have a seed library attached to it. A Zen garden and an herbal garden are also being planned for which work has already started. The herbal garden is being planned to accommodate about 250 medicinal and aromatic plants.

The library block will have an open porch around its circumference; which will be constructed using wooden and stone pillars, rafters and clay roof tiles collected from dilapidated houses and houses that are planned for demolition. This is being done consciously so that recycled materials are used for the construction and no new materials are taken from the nature.

They are running short of funds to finish up the last stage of library building as well as other shelter structures. Other structures include an office room, bathrooms and a community hall which will double up as a lodging area during workshops.

How you can support?

Therefore, at this crucial stage they request for contributions from each one of you and from your friends as well. This would enable them to complete the construction within the time schedule. Your support even in a small way would go a long way. Every tiny contribution of yours would count, every small hand joining together would become a massive one, such is our belief and hope.

In the Urban Cities, watching a movie over the weekend with our family would cost us a 1000 Rupees. If some few hundreds of us can spare one such weekend, then it would easily amount to few lakhs. A weekend trip would mean spending 10,000 to 15,000 and if one such trip could be skipped by the few of us, that would again mean a few lakhs. Something as small as skipping a dine out, a movie, a trip is all that we would have to do to help build the school.

The costing for the pending works that has been planned is listed below for your reference.

  • Infrastructure cost for the different structures – 10 to 12 Lakh Rupees
  • Cost for the different workshops in the next three months – 3 to 5 Lakh Rupees

The amount mentioned also includes the cost of miscellaneous things such as the salary for the cooks, Maintenance cost, etc.

The account details are mentioned below for your reference.

Cuckoo Charitable Trust,
A/c No: 911020026753178,
Axis Bank: Tiruvannamalai Branch,
IFSC code: UTIB0000799

Kindly mail your transaction details to ‘cuckoochildren@gmail.com’, for us to track and acknowledge the contributions.

For any further details, call the numbers given below –
Alageswari – +91 9942118080, Senthil – +91 9902410113 (After 4 pm)

See previous activities at Cuckoo

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