Thus far, The Steele Family Foundation has donated $128,480 toward the construction and planning of the Sacred Trust Project. Together with donors who understand the need for education, we will match all donations up to $500,000 towards construction of the 3-storey school in Tamil Nadu, India until it is complete.
Your support will help educate the disadvantaged.
Together with Sacred Trust (a registered charity in Tamil Nadu, India), the Foundation plans to fund the construction of a 3-storey school in the village of Mathigiri, which is located in an impoverished area of Tamil Nadu. The goals of the Sacred Trust Project are:
- To help children from marginalized and oppressed communities irrespective of their caste, creed, religion and gender, by providing them with good education at an affordable cost.
- To reduce higher level school dropout rates and to help them to achieve their basic educational rights.
- To put an end to child labour and to encourage quality and value based education.
- To help sustain the community in which they live, empowering them to give back with the skills they develop.
NEED FOR THE PROJECT
Through many town gatherings and meetings, the local community has expressed the basic needs of having a school in this area. Since the majority of the people are illiterate and economically poor, they are unable to provide basic primary education to their children to fulfill their educational rights.
This is mainly due to the following reasons:
- Cost of education is high
- The educational institutions are far from their residence
- Transportation services to nearby schools are very limited
- The older children are often forced to stay at home to take care of their siblings
- Children are encouraged to become labourers to bring income to the family, leading to high dropout rates
Krishnagiri district is carved out of the Dharmapuri district as the 30th district of Tamil Nadu in South India. Its area is 5143 square kilometres, consisting of 2 Revenue divisions, 5 Revenue Taluks, 10 Panchayat Unions, 352 Village Panchayats and 636 Revenue villages. The project location, Mathigiri is located 65 kms away from the district headquarters, Krishnagiri, and 5 kms away from Hosur Town, the Taluk headquarters. It is one of the oldest parishes of the Dharmapuri diocese, whose pioneers were French Missionaries.
Children from about 35 nearby villages from the age group of 4 to 18 will be able to benefit from the education provided by this project.
The diocese of Dharmapuri, along with the generosity of a few benefactors, has purchased 10 acres of land for the construction of the school. Due to economic constraints, Sacred Trust was unable to construct the school building and realize their dream. The infrastructure is a huge expense which the diocese is unable to shoulder fully.
SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITION OF THE AREA
The Krishnagiri district has a population of approximately 1.5 million, with a literacy rate of 58%. The literacy rate of men is 67% and literacy rate of women is 48%. The district is one of the six districts identified by the State Government as having low female literacy rate and it is also declared as drought prone area. Migration of people to neighbouring States in search of employment is the main reason for the low literacy rate. People of this area are economically very poor and socially downtrodden. The predominant occupation of the people is agriculture.