As part of our ongoing work to support children in need across the world we have an ongoing link with the Cathedral Relief schools in Kolkata, India. As part of this link we send teachers to support and train staff in Kolkata. In 2017, Mrs Wilderspin went to support the work of Awami School in Bibbibaggan, Kolkata and in 2018, Mr Poole went to continue this work and also forge a new link wiht Mahamaya school just outside Kolkata.
Blogs from Mr Poole's trip in 2018 can be accessed in the links below:
In January 2019, Mrs Higgins will be visiting Kolkata to continue this link.
As part of our ongoing link with Mahamaya, we have been trying to raise money towards the building of their school building. This is an article written for the West Hallam churches magazine.
The ever-increasing Scargill Family
Scargill Primary School has now sent a teacher to India on exchange visits on three separate occasions , within the past ten years, and we have had partnerships with two different schools during that time.
Our current link is with Awami school in Bibbibaggan. This small school, with one teacher called Sultana, does an amazing job in trying to give children enough of a foundation in English and Maths so that they can access the Indian State Education System.
It was a privilege to meet Sultana and the children at the school and share the new resources that the Derbyshire group brought for all the schools linked with CRS. Scargill will continue to support the school at Awami but when I suggested that Scargill children may be able to support a bigger project that would have a lasting impact on a community, I was presented with a massive challenge.
While visiting Kolkata in January, I was shown round a large project based in the rural region of Mahamaya ( between 1 and 2 hours outside Kolkata). This project supports thirteen villages and over 5000 people. Their vision was to construct a three storey building that met the three main aims of CRS:
1. Basic education for the local children
2. Basic health care
3. Women’s empowerment
The building was started with most of the first level already completed before funding ceased and building stopped. In order for the project to be completed they need a further £14,000. Scargill Primary School is now working in partnership with Derbyshire Diocesan Board of Education to raise this money. So far, just under half of the money has been raised and we are seeking to raise the rest before the end of the year.
Over 350 years ago, John Scargill (the rector of St Wilfrid’s Parish church in West Hallam) left money in his will to open a school for the poor of the parish. Today the Scargill foundation still supports that school which now has 400 pupils on roll. Scargill has also educated thousands of children through the generations because of the vision of John Scargill.
As the world shrinks, in terms of communication and travel, I believe that John Scargill would approve of the children attending the school set up in his name funding the building of a school that will have a really positive impact on the people of Mahamaya and the surrounding villages. This life changing impact is not only for today but for many generations to come.
So from now on, Scargill will not only have one partner school in Kolkata – we will have two very different but no less important partners to support. At Scargill, we think of all the people linked with our school throughout the wider community of West Hallam as part of our #ScargillFamily. That family has now grown and extends across the thousands of miles that separate us from Kolkata. Despite all of that distance, the children and families of Awami and Mahamaya will continue to be a big part of our ever-increasing #ScargillFamily.