St Edmund's Campus, Shillong, Meghalaya,
Providence was an
after-school group where the Class 10 (Leaving Cert) of Br Steve gave some
of their time in instructing these children in their a,b,c, and 1,2,3.
aim was to bring children who had never started school (because the family
was well below the poverty line or children needed to
work for family income etc) up to a sufficient standard to enter
mainstream local schools. Many have done so.
the focus is on finishing their education in Providence, entering apprenticeships, acquiring employment and possibly setting up their own enterprises in Shillong or
back in the villages.
teachers in Providence have discerned from experience that for many of the
children, mainstreaming is out. It would entail entering local schools
with a much younger age group ...... not conducive to self-esteem
can now stay on in Providence, follow a set syllabus and enter for state
exams (NIOS) there. This work occupies the afternoons.
In 2008, the Abbey group
taught spoken English to small groups of the children.
also provides a hot meal each day for the children, discreetly supplies
clothing when necessary and organises attention to their health.
has also developed a morning vocational programme in renovated buildings on St
Edmund's campus, funded to a great extent by previous Abbey India
Projects. In this programme the children receive instruction from locally
qualified people in skills such as commercial cookery, confectionary,
screen printing, gardening, candlemaking,hairdressing, tailoring, rexine
work etc. these will be the basis of the livlihoods of
many of the children. In the mornings the Abbey students are on
the receiving end...being taught in these activities by the same children
they teach in the afternoon.
school was named PROVIDENCE in accord with the thinking of Edmund Rice. The
Lord will provide..... If the Lord wants it (the school) to run,
it will run.