Working with local schools

The inaccessibility of quality educational institutions is among the greatest challenges faced by people in this area, and is something TEWFI is committed to addressing. Government schools in the area are very under resourced, suffering from poor infrastructure, large teacher-student ratios, poor teacher attendance (which has a dramatic impact on teacher motivation), and lack of equipment and teaching materials.

Alamparai School:

Photograph courtesy Alex Craven

We have been working with staff and community at the Alamparai Government Middle School (located in the fishing community) for some years now, and have assisted in the following ways:

  • Employment of two full time and one part time teacher to assist in the school to combat problem of poor teacher attendance.
  • Construction of school’s first toilet facilities and employment of caretaker for these toilets.
  • Provision of desks and fans in classrooms
  • Ongoing education in health, hygiene and personal development by TEWFI’s community health team.
  • Psychosocial activities for children by TEWFI’s community social workers.
  • Regular English tuition by TEWFI volunteers

Despite the energy invested in improving facilities and increasing teacher presence, progress is slow and the quality of education remains quite poor. Many of the students at the school can barely read or write Tamil or do basic math, while their English skills are non-existent. We have hope that in the long term, with additional facilities located outside the school and improved infrastructure within the school, improvements will be made.

Current Projects at Alamparai School:

  • School fence – construction of a fence is currently underway.
  • School kitchen and dining hall – construction to commence shortly
  • Landscaping and gardening – this is being done in conjunction with our friends at Pitchandikuluam Bio Resource Centre.
  • Supplementary education at TEWOAF Facilities: We are currently fundraising for a vehicle to be used for the daily transport of school children for tuition at the Vicki Standish e-Education Centre (and eventually the Community Library and Coastal Eco-Education Centre).
Other schools in the area:

Unfortunately, TEWFI presently lacks the resources to provide and maintain the same presence and level of engagement in the wider area. Nevertheless we have recently begun to extend our reach by targeting more schools, including those in farming areas – proving them with support in simple and cost-effective ways. We are working with other NGOs to provide additional teacher training at the schools, and attempting to assist them with requests for additional resources. TEWFI is opening a 34-PC computer learning centre in January, and plans to open a community library in the near future, as well as an eco-park and environment education centre (in conjunction with Auroville). Planning for the transport of local school students to the e-Education Centre is underway and similar systems will be developed for the other facilities.

Other education projects

Vicki Standish e-Education Centre

Coastal Eco-Education Centre

Community Library

Vocational Training Centre


Photographs courtesy Jaime Murcia

Contribute to the future of Alamparai's children...

If you are interested in contributing funds for these much needed resources, The East West Foundation and the children of Alamparai would be extremely grateful. Any contribution, no matter how big or small, has the potential to make a genuine contribution to the future of these children. You may choose to nominate where your funds be spent – for example the monthly salary for a professional and experienced teacher costs around $240; or perhaps you’d like to contribute towards the purchase of bricks for the fence.

To donate to this extremely worthwhile cause, please visit our Donations page for payment page. All donations made to The East West Overseas Aid Foundation are tax deductible. For more information please contact the Foundation on +61 (0)3 9650 0514 or by email:


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