The 'We Care' programme is an annual event hosted by the Plus Two students
for the senior citizens residing in old-age homes across the city. This event, which
is usually held In the second week of December is eagerly awaited all through the
year. It includes an entertainment programme and friendly interactions followed
by a sumptuous lunch and take-home hampers for all senior citizens. The guests are
invited to perform and they do so with a youthfulness and zest that is truly wonderful.
Each girl escorts a guest throughout the day and for both old and young, the experience
is rewarding. This unique programme thereby sensitizes the younger generation to
the needs of the old and teaches them to value the love and wisdom that grandparents
offer. An added attraction in recent years is the series of performances by folk
artistes from different parts of India brought under the auspices of the EZCC.
As a special gesture towards those senior citizens who are unable to move out of
their homes, the CLC unit of the school, uses this day to visit them in their
homes and entertain them there.
Mentaid is an Outreach programme organized annually by the students of class
X for differently abled pupils of Mentaid School, Behaia. This day
long programme that provides the class Xs with an opportunity to interact with their
special invitees, is an eagerly awaited event on the school calendar.
Every year around 35 children attend the programme. They are accompanied by their
teachers and escorts. Our girls take up the responsibility of escorting them to
our school and then dropping them back after the programme. An entertainment programme
is presented by the girls, followed by an interactive session with the invitees
and games. After the programme the children are served refreshments and presented
with a gift each. It is an enriching experience for girls of Loreto House who cherish
this memory for years to come.
Started in 1979 at Loreto Day School Sealdah, and later extended to the other
Loreto schools, this experiment in education was born of a certain uneasiness felt
at being part of a formal school system imparting ‘quality education'to a
privileged few, while millions of their less fortunate peer group get virtually
nothing at all.
The concept of establishing a Home for street children inside a regular school has
been developed for the following reasons:
- In the Loreto Education Guidelines ( March,2003 ), it is written : "Informed
by the Loreto priority 'to stand with those on the margins of society', Loreto
school must actively respond to the needs of those excluded from full participation
in society on the basis of economic and/or social deprivation. When such a response,
based on the Gospel values, is integral to the school experience it is prophetic
and makes our message credible to society."
- For the street children concerned, living inside regular schools provides many welcome
stimuli for development, and a process of reintegration into society's mainstream
begins at once.
- The concept of street children living inside regular schools is considered an efficient
solution, since a major part of the infrastructure ( such as buildings, staff members,
education and a great number of social events) is already available and functioning
,thus enabling a swift project implementation and parallel integration process.
The children staying at the Rainbow Homes are supported in their needs, shelter,
food, uniforms, medicines and specialized teaching to cope with classroom work.
There are around 109 children aged between 5-18 staying in the Loreto House Rainbow
home. They live as one family, are well looked after by their care givers and participate
in all programmes of the school.
THE LORETO LITERACY CENTRE
The Loreto Literacy Centre began as an LTS programme to provide free education to
girls from underprivileged sections of society. Originally the centre was known
as The Rainbow School and it began its work with 18 girls who received lessons in
the playground of Loreto House after school hours.
The Centre soon began receiving more children from the locality. The girls had been
denied the privilege of being educated either due to extreme poverty or due to the
belief that they are meant to remain at home to contribute to household chores.
With all the. Girls being first generation learners, the endeavor became even more
challenging and within two years, space was allotted on the roof of Loreto House
school, where the Centre began to function. The time-table changed from after-school
hours to during school hours to make it a part of the Loreto House School initiative.
Teaching time was increased to three hours per day. The girls were grouped into
classes and subjects were introduced to structure the programme. The Rainbow School
thereafter came to be known as the Loreto House Free School.
The centre presently has 160 girls hailing from families with limited income. Classes
begin at 9.30 a.m. to enable the girls to complete household duties before beginning
their school time.
English has been accepted as the medium of instruction for it is much needed to
ensure that the girls get jobs and attain computer literacy. Educational material
(textbooks, exercise books and stationery) is provided free of cost.
The girls are also provided with a light breakfast as most of them arrive in school
without having eaten anything.
The students are taught till class V and thereafter assessed according to their
academic strengths. They are then placed either in vocational training or mainstream
education. Three students of the programme have graduated and have full-time jobs.
The centre has dedicated volunteer teachers who teach everything from Mathematics
and History to Singing ,Dancing and Craft. Students of Loreto House ,from class
6 upwards, visit once a week to interact with the girls and to teach them. Each
Loreto girl is paired with a student and they work on a project together after which
they progress to academic work. The students of the Centre and Loreto House School
look forward to interacting with each other.
The Loreto Literacy Centre symbolizes the Loreto philosophy of education for all.
“Women in time to come will do much”