India day at the Lycée La Favorite (Lyon)
December 10th, 2015
As part of our personal accompaniment at school (a new initiative in the curriculum of French schools), 20 pupils from the first year of Lycée (10th Grade / Year 11) met up with Mr Cochet, our French teacher, to do something for the NAMBIKKAY Association and organise a fundraiser. We met every Tuesday between the Autumn (Fall) and Christmas holidays. We were first introduced to the Association by one if its members, who gave a short presentation and showed us a video about NAMBIKKAY, and then answered our questions. Then it was down to the students to take the initiative and come up with a way of raising as much as possible to help a young girl from the orphanage called Yuvasree, who is the same age as us and whose dream is to become a vet.
It is impressive to see these teenagers invest themselves with such enthusiasm in the project, teenagers who are not in the slightest bit afraid to role up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. After some typical brainstorming, the project progressively took shape. With the help of the school cook, the pupils decided to organise an Indian day for just 1 € a person. There was music, the projection of images, food tasters, the distribution of bindi (a traditional Indian ornament that woman wear on their forehead, often in the form of a red dot), and decoration, etc. It was a great way of bringing a little corner of India to our part of the world for a day.
Before the day of festivities arrived, awareness of the Association’s cause was brought to the school pupils by those pupils involved in the fundraiser. A small group took on the responsibility of communication and produced a flyer, as well as giving many short and striking announcements (the trick was to find a happy medium between interrupting a class and getting told off by the teacher!). Some made bookmarks with Tamil proverbs written on them, while the food lovers among us made sweet skewers decorated with an Indian flag (we should of course mention that absolutely no sweets were surreptitiously eaten by those preparing them!).
The mobilisation of the whole team did not go unnoticed; the pupils at that school were happy to be taken on this wonderful adventure and were touched by the days efforts. Wherever there is enthusiasm there is generosity: 332.66 € was collected at the end of the day.