Congratulations to Richard Pitcairn Knowles, our octogenarian runner in the London Marathon. Despite lack of training due to an Achilles tendon problem, he “limped to the finish” – as he puts it – in 6.32 hours . Bravo. He would like to thank all the VMT supporters who kindly contributed to over £5,650 in aid [...]
The inauguration of the first phase of the new high school, comprising six large classrooms, took place on 23 January. The second storey is now nearing completion and in June the first 350 pupils will move into the school. Eventually, when the “arms” either side have been added, it will accommodate a thousand pupils. The [...]
The Times has announced that Sylvia is the winner of The Sternberg Active Life Award “for her dedication to improving the education of the children of Kovalam, India.” The prestigious annual award, which is in its fifth year, was established by Sir Sigmund Sternberg, the philanthropist and founder of the Three Faiths Forum, and The [...]
Our high school is well and truly on its way up. Phase I, the first six classrooms, is nearing completion and a second storey will be added next. The “arms” will then be built at each end, finally forming three sides of a rectangle. When completed, the school will accommodate a thousand pupils from Kovalam [...]
The Venkat Trust has been chosen as one of the benefiting charities of Etihad Airways passenger loyalty programme. Etihad Guest offers a huge variety of rewards, among them the option to donate miles to good causes – including VMT. If you are travelling with Etihad and thinking of a good way to do good with [...]
Work has started to build the High School
We’ve made our first film about the Venkat Trust’s work in Kovalam.
NEWS UPDATE: JR WINS A SECOND TERM JR (Janikiraman) the Trust’s Managing Trustee in India, stood for re-election as President of Kovalam. When Sylvia and new VMT trustee Sarah da Silva were in Kovalam in September, they both gave speeches in support of his campaign to hundreds of voters. Sylvia’s speech: “Varnakum! (Greetings!) “Neengal eypadi [...]
Listen to Sylvia’s interview with Libby Purves on BBC Radio 4′s Midweek talking about the story behind the Venkat Trust. Her slot is just over ten minutes into the programme.
From a room in the name of your choice for £4,000, to a tenner for a classroom sign, there are lots of ways to play a part in building the splendid new Kovalam High School. Happily, thanks to all the donations we have had over the past couple of years, we have the money – [...]
At last, the High School has been blessed – both by the authorities who have finally given us the green light to start building and by the earth Goddess. The Bhoomi Puja (Bhoomi means ‘earth’) ceremony has been performed by JR and the chief mason and work will start soon. Jude, one of our Kovalam [...]
On Sylvia’s last visit to Kovalam she met Mary Ann Prior, one of our sponsors, who is spreading the word in America. Mary Ann wrote about her visit in The Oklahoman
Six years ago the literacy rate among Kovalam’s children was just 60%. Today it is 95% and VMT can take a lot of credit for this vast improvement. Before our involvement with the Panchayat school, there were too few classrooms, too few and unqualified teachers, and the attendance record of the pupils was poor. At [...]
Despite permission being given for the High School when Sylvia visited Kovalam at the beginning of September, there has been yet another bureaucratic glitch. We have been assured that work will get underway very shortly. There is some good news however. Because of the delay and our supporters’ generosity, we now have more funds available. [...]
The first Venkat Trust Volleyball Tournament took place over a weekend in the spring. Twenty teams from Kovalam, the surrounding villages, Chennai and as far away as Pondicherry, some 80 miles down the coast, took part. Several local dignitaries attended the Finals which were won by the Pondicherry team – their captain is seen here [...]
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