» Jeevan School

Stichting Benares School

Jeevan School, School of Life, is an initiative of the organisation Basic Human Needs, that devotes itself to the poorest of the poor in Varanasi: the people who live on the street.
Their children receive in the Jeevan School – till recently no more than a corrugated roof on top of bamboo poles – lessons in all subjects needed on primary school level, and additionally art classes, music, dance and yoga. Basic Human Needs offers them daily a breakfast consisting of fruit and, at lunchtime, another nutritious meal.

Children who, due to their desperate family situation, are in great need and ask special attention and extra care, get a place to stay in Jeevan’s hostel.

Furniture is no priority for Basic Human Needs. The hostel is almost bare inside, just like the school. Everything takes place on the floor. They only use a couple of mats to sit on during the school day; mats also serve as a dining area and as beds. At the children’s homes, the situation is not much different.
Different is the good food and the warm care and attention the children receive at Jeevan school and hostel.

The small school is becoming a real school. A few months ago Jeevan moved into four interlocking rooms across from the old school. With help from the bigger children the rooms were painted in bright colours and all five grades now have a classroom there. The pre-schoolers are under the lean-to of the old school. Manager Sheelu intends to build a library on the roof of the new building. A lot of effort is being put into the curriculum, into monitoring the children, training the teachers and providing meals.

The school’s head teacher is Kati Richter, from Germany. She has provided wonderful teaching material, mainly German Montessori methods. Kati is quite ambitious and each Saturday she organises trainings for her own teachers and those from other schools in an effort to introduce a different way of teaching and learning. This is no easy task in India.
She frequently writes long and engaging e-mails to BSF’s secretary Conny about the children, her work, her worries and joys. She is a very involved and committed woman with a keen insight into the type of children, street children, who come to Jeevan. She and manager Sheelu make an ideal team.

The hostel (35 children) has also moved into new premises, with a large playground in front, which is quite an improvement.

Jeevan is greatly in need of professional psychological assistance for traumatised children and, thanks to our new sponsor, our foundation can now provide the funds to do this.
Moreover BSF has enlarged its financial contribution considerably for the next years.

www.jeevanschool