Heather und Carlton Rixon, Ella Nölting


My name is Ella Nölting and I am your contact person for this aid project. With this internet page I would like to introduce our project THE CHILDREN OF GANGNAPUR e.V. to you and recommend it to you.

My year-round local contacts at the LORD JESUS SCHOOL are Carlton Rixon and his wife Heather (see photo). They work with the aim of educating independent people and teach our children education in spoken and written form. For this purpose, social thinking and acting are exemplified for the neighbor. The children should be happy in their home country, shape their future themselves and never have the feeling of having to emigrate.

Below you will find my annual letters to the supporters of our initiative, in which I inform them about the progress made.

Letters to Supporters + Sponsors

Letter from 2021 >>

Dear supporters of the children of Gangnapur,
in the 15th year of my annual trip to the children of Gangnapur, Corona stopped me. India was leading the pandemic in 2020 and it was not possible for me to enter the country.

Now the turbulent year 2020 has bid farewell, this year remains in everyone's memory. It will bring changes and we have to prove cohesion. India tops2 the world list of Corona infected people.

Isolating 1.2 billion people, how could that be done?  The whole year there was a partial lock down in India as well. The schools, universities, restaurants, in short the complete public life was closed.

In this crazy year, our students were engaged in new tasks. The former students of the Lord Jesus School, also lost their training place or their job.
Lock Down in India does not mean that the state helps its citizens.

Working life stands still and nobody cares about the poorest of the poor. The day laborers today earn 2,50 €uro for one day of work to be able to buy food for their family the next day. But what does it mean if there is no work? If you do not earn money, you have nothing to eat.

The graduates of the school in 2020 have shown that they have been taught not only reading, writing, arithmetic, but also social skills and empathy for the neighbor. So the idea came from you to support at least the families from the slums we know with a hot meal a day. You organized everything in no time. Over 8 months, up to 1000 warm meals were distributed daily in the slums.

For this I would like to thank Ronie, Elisabeth, Zaffar, Pooja, Glen, Rohid and Shahit. The distribution of food at certain points in the slum worked very well even when cyclone Amphan hit Kolkata in May. People now lost EVERYTHING, their stove and roof over their heads. However, the cyclone spared our school, as it was built solidly over the years, stone by stone. Only the old trees on the grounds were uprooted, but in the sultry warm climate of West Bengal, nature will make up for this damage very quickly. Post-cyclone supplies continued, despite electricity outages and total darkness from 6:00 pm and days of rain. Cooking and ready-made food rations were distributed, with hundreds of people lining up at the distribution points to pick up their daily meal.

Heather Rixon launched another concept, she provides warm milk and bread to children and mothers. She calls it Mother Care. She wrote to me that the children go crazy for warm milk because it is something they have never received from their parents before.

In November there was a fire in the slum, here 150 families lost their belongings and we could help even now with blankets and small stoves and food rations. The family of our little Razzia (the child with the cleft lip and palate) was lucky.

As I described in the past, the grandmother was the one who continuously prevented Razzia and her sisters from being admitted to our school. The grandmother used the deformed girl for begging, Razzia was the family's source of money.

In early October 2020, the grandmother died suddenly and unexpectedly from a stroke. This family misfortune, cleared the way for little Razzia and her siblings. Short-term action was called for. The family was brought to Gangnapur, to our school.

The girls are developing splendidly with the regular and healthy meals. They look happy and participate in class full of energy. I sincerely hope that the children will be able to stay at the school forever and we will then see together how they develop.

From the bottom of my heart I say THANK YOU for your support, because only together we are strong.
I wish you a healthy year 2021,

Letter from 2020 >>

Dear supporters of the children of Gangnapur,
India is ten times larger than Germany, has 1.1 billion people, of whom 80% are Hindus, 13.4% Muslims, 4.3% Buddhists and only 2.3% Christians. What can we actually achieve there? I am asked this question again and again.

"Whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers, you did for me. "Whatever you didn't do for one of the least of these, you didn't do for me." (Mt 25, 40+45). This is the answer.

The current prime minister, Narendra Modi, does not love our Christian commitment at all. He himself belongs to the right-wing conservative nationalist Hindu party and has little interest in putting all people in his country on the same level.

It is very difficult to import money into India in these times. Money transfers do not work because, 1) nobody has a bank account and 2) money orders with Western Union are not paid out.

So I take cash in the amount allowed by customs. In addition, our donation account has a credit card with which the rest of the money can be withdrawn from the cash machine.

Arriving in Calcutta, the first thing I did was to buy the washing and hygiene products for the coming year. The city has developed a little bit positively; in every district there are now buildings with the inscription "Clean Kolkata". Here the garbage collectors unload their filled wheelbarrows. The residual waste is then incinerated. I think it takes another 2 generations until the garbage finally disappears from the streets.

I reached our "Lord Jesus School" as usual after a 3 hour ride in a totally crowded train. Here the children welcomed us with flowers and a song. The atmosphere was very good and everybody wanted to show or tell me something. After the evening cup of warm milk, there was delicious food. The children love beryani, that is roasted rice with spices and beef, which is cooked overnight in a huge tin pot at low temperature.

The school is designed for 200 children. Our children come from the street and know only one meal a day, if at all. Some have no parents, others a begging mother or a drug-addicted father. All of these children were small "entrepreneurs" before they were admitted to our school. They had to organize their daily food themselves, either by begging, digging in the trash, stealing or prostitution. By building the school they get a chance in life. Education is the highest good and we don't care which religion they belong to, with us everyone gets this chance.

Since our children sleep and eat at school, we need not only classrooms but also dormitories, sanitary facilities and a kitchen with furniture.

This year a new toilet house was built, for boys and girls. The front part of the building will house the school office.

A worker earns 40 Rupee/0,45 Euro per hour, they work 10 hours a day. It doesn't seem much, but since no machines are used and everything is done by hand, mixing concrete, bending iron, shuttering the ceiling with bamboo etc., there are always 20 workers on site. That means for us 20 times 4,50 = 90 Euro per day and for 30 days = 2700 Euro. It's crazy, one worker gets 0,45 Cent per hour, but in total we pay wages worth 2700 Euro for one month.

At the old toilet house we replaced the rusty and broken corrugated iron roof with a new concrete ceiling. Here on top of the new roof the new water filter finds its place. If one drills 3 m into the depth in West Bengal, one comes across water, because Bengal is a huge swamp area. Water is available in cover.

The main building of the school consists of 3 floors and this year finally screed was laid on the flat roof. For one week, the workers stripped the mouldy and dirty pavement from the roof terrace and then spent another week carrying sand, gravel and cement in shells on their heads to the 3rd floor. In the 3rd week the production of the screed could then be started. This final sealing was absolutely necessary because the monsoon (warm rain from May to September) makes everything rotten, softens materials and makes buildings look weathered. Due to the humidity everything looks quickly green mossed.

For the windows of the upper floor alone iron was bought for 6000 €uro. Now windows are welded and made on site. In India these windows are called grills. They prevent pigeons from flying through the building and dirtying everything with their aggressive excrement or man-sized monkeys from jumping through the building and leaving excrements as big as cow dung. The plexiglass windows slow down the monsoon and the wind, and they also provide protection for our children so that they don't fall out while playing.

Whenever decisions were made, material for the next construction jobs was bought and the workers knew what to do, I went back to Calcutta and organized the operation of little Razia.

Razia was born in winter 2016 and was first introduced to me in February 2017. The little girl was born with a bilateral cleft palate and jaw. She cannot speak and can only eat thin food. She lives with her mother, grandmother and three sibling girls under a highway bridge in Calcutta. Little Razia takes care of her family. The grandmother takes her to begging and the people give generously when they see Razia with her severe disability. Now I come from Germany and say that the little one needs an operation. I had no acceptance from the family, because I wanted to take away their source of income. They finally allowed me to take the child to Mercy Hospital in Calcutta in 2018 to present her to a plastic surgeon. The blood values were very bad, so an operation was not possible. I provided Razia with formula and iron drops in the hope that her family would give her these things.

In February 2019 I contacted Dr. Ganguli again. The hemoglobin levels had settled down to a level, but this time the weight did not fit. Razia was underweight. Again, I bought vitamin and iron drops and formula food. 2020 in February the first of three partial operations could be carried out.

A miracle happened. Wednesday was the date for the operation and on Friday she already left the hospital. The two clefts on her upper lip were closed. After the hospital stay we had organized two beds on the roof of a three-storey house in Calcutta, so that the wound could heal well in a clean environment. However, I had made the calculation without the grandmother. The next morning she was off with Razia. I was quite desperate because I believed that the little girl could now die of sepsis in her domestic filth. In Germany such an operation would have been performed in the high security wing of a clinic, with visitor restriction, gloves and mouth protection. Here in India, on the 3rd day after the operation, the little girl was back under the bridge in dust, dirt and mud. A family of rats had also taken up quarters not far from the family's plastic tent. My concern was that the animals would pick up the smell of blood and tamper with the operation wound at night when everyone was sleeping. I have seen many eaten toes at Mother Teresa's hospital; anything is possible. I then cleaned the wound every day and used Hansaplast spray dressing so that the wound could heal in a sealed manner. It is like a real miracle. On March 12th, little Razia was taken by Heather Rixon to Dr. Ganguli at Mercy Hospital. He was very excited about the wonderful post-operative course.

My experiences in Calcutta are different every year and it is always nice to see how everything changes and turns for the better.

Thank you very much for your support and help,
Ella Nölting

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Letter from 2019 (German only) >>

Letter from 2018 >>

Dear supporters and sponsors of the children of Gangnapur,
I am happy to report to you about my stay in India in February 2018 and it is with great gratitude that I can tell you that the first children I met in 2007 have "fled". These young men and women have left school and some of them were employed by an American who runs a cafe in Calcutta called "The 8 day cafe". They are trained in service and kitchen. Here they learn to serve and bake. Everything is freshly prepared. Baking of frozen goods is not known in Calcutta. The question of whether they can withstand the requirements was raised. They could!

The former street children have been trained over the years by the upbringing and education in Gangnapur in such a way that they can meet the expected performance. Our children speak English, can express themselves well, are clean, polite, courteous and have a quick perception. All these skills they could develop in our school. Because all of us who build this school together give the young former street children the chance for a better life.
It is wonderful to see, yes, it makes you happy to see how we can do this together! Only those who are happy in their home country and can earn a living for themselves and their families will stay and live there.

But our school continues to grow, because this year we have used the donations to complete the sanitary and wash house. Until now the boys had to share a toilet and a pump for washing their bodies and clothes. This is to change now.

Last year I reported about the little girl Tuktuki with the harelip. She has developed very well. There is still 1.5 kg missing until the necessary operation weight. Last year we were able to buy rebuilding baby food from your donations. Our Indian friends, Heather and Carlton Rixon, have been monitoring the baby's development. With the help of Mother Teresa's sisters I found a hospital in Calcutta that can perform this special operation. This is how I met Dr Arun Ganguly at Mercy Hospital. He will operate on Tuktuki in three steps. The first operation will be performed in June 2018.     

A small stone is still in our way. While we are happy that Tuktuki will finally be operated, we are depriving the family of their livelihood. Tutuki's family's enthusiasm about the upcoming operations is not so great. They were able to beg money with Tutuki's disfigured face in order to guarantee the three siblings and the grandmother a warm meal a day.

These are problems that have yet to be solved.
With best regards,
Ella Nölting

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Letter from 2017 >>

Dear supporters of the children of Gangnapur,
For the 12th time I have visited this place, where the street children of Calcutta have not only found a home, but also the chance to be integrated into an educational system. Without your help, dear supporters, these children would still live as illiterate on the streets of Calcutta. However, another generation will be needed so that after school they can earn their own living through good vocational training.

We are all working for a better world. Gangnapur is only a small construction site - a small puzzle stone - in the gear of the world. But many such puzzle pieces make a valuable whole. The gratitude of the children and adults at school is infinitely great. The children's letters let you feel this love and gratitude.

Of course, money does matter. With their help the children at school receive food and drink in addition to lessons. Now each child even has its own bed in the dormitory and a small box for clothes.
This year the construction of a new toilet and wash house for the boys was started. Up to now the boys and the teachers shared a toilet which can only be accessed from outside. This will be different now. I have chosen beautiful white-ground tiles with a blue pattern. The bathroom and toilet ceramics have also been delivered. Next year everything will be ready.

I had an extraordinary encounter with the slum dwellers. There I was shown a little newborn girl. This child was born with an open throat, so that eating or drinking from a bottle or mother's breast is impossible. I went to the sisters of Mother Teresa to get contact addresses for a suitable clinic or for a specialist. There the child was examined thoroughly.

Fortunately, the little one is otherwise healthy, but before she can be operated, she must have a weight of at least 7 kg. So I bought vitamin drops and powdered milk. The mother was instructed by me how to administer it. In painstaking work, the food is dribbled into the mouth with a spoonful of millilitre by millilitre far back in the mouth. It will probably be months before the baby reaches the required weight of 7 kg and I have the money for the operation.

Pray with me - keep your fingers crossed that this girl can grow up healthy.
Sincerely yours
Ella Nölting

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Letter from 2016 >>

Dear friends and supporters of the children of Gangnapur
This year the colour white was the focus of my visit to the children of Gangnapur. White - isn't that often a cold colour? No, absolutely no! When you have experienced the city of Calcutta - grey, dark grey, black, dirty and mouldy - then white opens the hearts of the people!

Our children are brought from the juggernaut of the big city to the village Gangnapur. The clear white helps them to find peace, to learn, to eat, to play and to work. The school "Lord Jesus School" is surrounded by a high white wall, so that it looks like an island of hope and future for the street children of Calcutta.

In the meantime, all walls and ceilings in the building have been plastered and painted with what feels like 1000 litres of white paint. White looks clean, looks hopeful and opens the hearts. All children and teachers were in a good mood and look confidently and expectantly into a better future.

The white church appeared with the twisted garlands hanging from the ceiling in a new bright light. The electrician laid the cables for the lighting above plaster, but concealed by rails, and installed huge fans. The carpenter and his staff travelled to the site and made tables and benches for the clean classrooms.

We are happy that we were able to "trigger" the student Zaffar. What does this mean? Our school project has a license until grade 9. All students who could continue learning intellectually must go to the neighboring school St. Mary. School attendance costs money in India! Zaffar attended class 12 and graduated with a very good grade. But nobody could afford the school fees for the past year and the examination fee. So he did not get a diploma. With our donations we were able to help. Now Zaffar can go to college and study.

During my stay, a grandmother brought her two-year-old grandson to school as a new addition. The nameless child was called "Babe", which means "child" in Bengali. First we looked for a name for him. His name is Moses and he will now grow up in the extended family of the children of Gangnapur. I am convinced that a peaceful life lies ahead of him in which he can learn successfully.

With goose bumps I left this place this year. In the last 10 years so many successful things have happened with the donations that I was able to return happily to Germany.                    
With kind regards,
Ella Nölting

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Letter from 2015 >>

Dear godparents and supporters of the children of Gangnapur, Dear supporters of the children of Gangnapur!

Give up

With this slogan our Indian friends are working for the street children of Gangnapur and with all of our efforts this will succeed really well.

With the help of the sponsorship programme and the support of many people from Germany, opportunities are created so that poor families can send their children to school and children without a family can go to school, because thanks to the donations no school fees have to be paid. The oldest student Zaffar is the first student to leave our school at the age of 20. He has completed grade 12 with flying colours and now wants to become a software engineer.

With the help of many donors, the school has also been able to build and expand in recent years. With your money I will try to extend this school building. The shell of the building was plastered inside and painted white in 2014. Furniture can now be bought for these bright and friendly classrooms: Tables with a fixed bench for four students each. Furthermore the school material (books and exercise books) was completed this year. All children have grown out of their school uniforms and so new ones were bought. Our school has chosen the colours brown and ochre for the uniform, colours that are dark and insensitive.

All children have also received a set of new clothes; in our group picture they are proud to see them in their new outfit. They are little princesses and princes, because "clothes make the man". But the best thing about school is one warm meal a day. When I am there, every child gets a cup of warm milk with sugar every day. Everyone likes the sour cream on the drink best.

In 2013, a huge three-chamber sewage system was built. Until then, the manure ran across the field. In 2014 a deep well was dug so that the liquid manure can seep deep into the ground. The girls can now finally use the toilets which were built from 2011-2014.

From the donations, barred iron windows will be installed on the ground floor and on the 1st floor. Because of the rape of a nun in a monastery not far from our school, we would like to prevent as soon as possible the girls from entering our school and thus protect the young girls and boys.

What have I done during my stay? My day was much too short: washing laundry, delousing hair, cutting hair, replacing defective zippers in trousers, mending open seams, treating wounds and lowering fever. There is always something to do.

Once again, the only way left for me to thank you in writing for your support so far. I wish you could see the difference your help has already made in the lives of the children there.

Only with the donations, with small gifts that bring joy to the children and with mental support all the work that is necessary can be done.
Thank you very much for everything!
Ella Nölting

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Letter from 2014 >>

Dear godparents and supporters of the children of Gangnapur,
India and the month of February are inseparable for me. How quickly a year goes by, I can pack my rucksack and set off for India with a lot of optimism, joy and last but not least with the donations of one year. For the eighth time I flew to Calcutta and on to the small village Gangnapur, where a small crowd of children between 4 and 20 years old were waiting for me.

I was especially concerned with the question of what had happened to the children, the construction work and the school in my absence. Happy children awaited me! They had designed a big poster to greet me and were beaming with joy. "We don't have lice!" That was the first thing they told me. So this was the result of the new dormitories, mattresses, sheets and pillows.

Every year a small improvement and development is visible through the donations: new buildings are slowly being built and the school is developing steadily. In 2009 we bought bricks for the construction of the boys' dormitories and in 2010 the ceiling was poured. In 2011 the screed was put in, the electrics were installed and the walls received interior plaster. One year later the windows could be installed and in 2013 all rooms were painted in light blue colour and got matching curtains.

Four years of construction time and a lot of patience made sure that the boys also got a friendly sleeping room and no longer had to sleep in a "board shack". The concrete ceiling, cast in 2013, replaces the old, perforated corrugated iron roof of the open building under which the boys take their meals.

Also in 2013 a huge 3-chamber system was dug out to connect the sewage pipes of the toilets and showers. Up to now the girls have washed themselves open air at a handle pump and the waste water ran somewhere outside. In the years 2013 and 2014, 200 € per month will be available for the maintenance of the pupils.

During the last week of my stay, the workers came to plaster the school building on the ground floor, because the sewage drains are to be laid on the exterior plaster. After I bought and stored all the toiletries for one year, I provided the rest of the money for new windows in the school building.

Next year I will see what it is like when there are no wild monkeys jumping around and shitting in the school building. The windows will hopefully stop the animals, the wind and the monsoon.
I am already looking forward with the children that things will continue in Ganganpur - THANK YOU for your support!

Best regards and thanks again for your help
Ella Nölting

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Letter from 2013 >>

Dear godparents and supporters of the children of Gangnapur,
February is India time, I am looking forward to it and then I am already back on the Harth.

The time flies by, I will gladly tell you about my stay. The daily routine at school is such that the children start at 5:30 am with early morning sports on the field and then have breakfast - dry shabatic slices. At 7:30 a.m. the children meet with the teachers in the church for the word service, which is sung. I would allow all members of our church to hear this singing live. I get goose bumps every time. At 8:00 a.m., classes start after the national anthem has been sung in front of the Indian flag.

I was in India for the seventh time in 2013, will it be the 7th darn year? This question occupied me on the outward flight. No, it was a special 7th year.
The children welcomed me in clean clothes and without lice. It simply shows that the building measures of the last years are working. The children sleep in hygienically clean rooms, new beds and mattresses, sheets to change and pillows without nits.

I am happy to report that Zaffar - a 19th boy - was sent to secondary school last year and is now the best in his class. Two more students will follow this year. Delish left school after grade 9 and now works as a waiter in a really good restaurant in Calcutta. Samson at 18 is still in class 5, he will start an apprenticeship in April and his sister Sandra will become a tailor. With our joint help we were able to release the first 6 street children with school education into a professional life, so that they can build up a new existence themselves.

Thanks to the donations I was able to take with me to India, the dining room has a new roof. Please do not think of your dining room at home, the children from Gangnapur eat cross-legged under a perforated and rusted corrugated iron roof, which during the monsoon season lets rainwater trickle through continuously and is supported by three walls. Coughs, colds and sniffles are pre-programmed and are accepted as God-given.

On my departure I was asked, aunty ella, you come back ?
Yes, God willing,
Ella Nölting

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Letter from 2011 >>

Dear supporters of the children of Gangnapur,
In this letter I would like to convey the greetings that all the children, teachers and the Rixon family have asked me to send to Germany.

Thanks to the donations from Germany a lot of things could be tackled. First of all I was shown the new girls' dormitories.
They are painted in soft blue and purple. 10 new beds are waiting for the sleepers. When I asked why nobody sleeps here yet, the answer came - we don't have any sewage pipes in the house yet. At first I did not understand what they wanted to tell me, but our Indians do not demand anything, they always hope that I myself understand the problem. Sewage pipes for the toilets were then attached this year without further ado from outside the building. And the bedroom for a teacher got windows and a door.

The boys still sleep in a shack with a corrugated iron roof, and this is unbearable especially during the monsoon season. They all have cough and fever, everything is wet and clammy all the time, and that for four months.
In 2009 we had money for bricks to build a permanent house. In 2010 we poured the ceiling, of course everything by hand. In 2011 everything was like the workers had left the construction site last year. Nobody had given money in the meantime to continue. So they were waiting for the annual support from Germany.

Construction continued in the youth wing, the shell of the building received interior plaster and screed. The materials for the electrics could be purchased. In the school 8 new ventilators were installed, so that it is possible to have lessons without mosquitoes even at 40 degrees. The outside area was supplied with light, we bought 6 large outdoor lamps and if the electricity was not switched off several times a day, the paths of the school grounds would be brightly lit in the evening.

Besides the construction work, I took care of the children intensively. The blankets, sheets and clothes were washed together and the hair was cleaned from lice. The daily portion of milk in the evening was the highlight of the day. The girls thought Marie's Viktory sign was great and the boys especially the crèche in the Harther church.

Many thanks to all supporters of this project,
E. Nölting

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Letter from 2010 >>

Dear supporters of the children of Gangnapur,
In this letter I would like to convey the greetings that all children and teachers have asked me to send to Germany. Overjoyed we lay in each other's arms on 16.2.2010. The children were looking forward to this day that "aunty ella" will come again and help the institution. And so it was. Thanks to the donations from Germany a lot of things could be tackled. First of all I was shown the new girls' dormitories. The walls were painted in a soft blue and purple. Nine new beds for 15 girls were there, but in 5 beds the mattresses were still missing, which had to be bought. I didn't go to a shop to buy them, but you go to a man who sells foam in different qualities and to someone who offers coconut wool and then to a tailor who sells and sews thick fabrics for the mattresses. By this way, one gets to know the origin of a mattress.

The rooms have become so beautiful, I was really touched, because 3 years of donations went into this project and it was worth it. When I asked why nobody sleeps here yet, the answer came: "We don't have water in the house yet." At first I didn't understand what they wanted to tell me, but our Indians don't demand anything, they always hope that I myself understand the problem. There is a 5000 l water tank on the roof, but there is no water pipe and no pump to pump up and distribute the water. Not to mention the sewage pipes that would be needed for the toilets that we already installed last year. Oh God, oh God, in Germany we would have first made a construction plan and then started with pipes, but we are in India and there the clocks tick a little bit differently. So this year, money was given for the water and sewage pipes.

There was a little sensation for the children, because we could buy milk. A cup of milk in the afternoon was a celebration for the little ones, because they had never had milk to drink before in their lives.

The boys still sleep in a shack with a corrugated iron roof, and this is unbearable especially during the monsoon season. They all have coughs and fevers, everything is constantly wet and clammy and this for more than three months. Last year we gave money for bricks so that these boys could sleep in a solid house, but these were only enough for half the height of the wall. So everything was there as the workers had left the construction site last year. Nobody had given money in the meantime so that the work could continue. So they waited annually for the support from Germany. Then we bought 2 truckloads of stones in a brick factory, steel to build steel girders and mats ourselves, shuttering boards and bamboo as support poles for the ceiling and then the building materials gravel-sand-cement to pour around the ceiling. We borrowed a concrete mixer with diesel engine for one day and the finished concrete was then carried by the workers on their heads in bowls to the roof. At the end of the day the ceiling was finished. The boys will move into this shell, although there is no interior plaster, windows or electrical wiring. God willing, it will continue next year.

Each child was newly dressed, 1 pair of jeans and 1 T-shirt, 3 underpants and 2 pairs of stockings, clothes make people.
On our final photo - Sunday morning after the service - the children are beaming and looking well-groomed, thanks to the help from Germany!

Thank you very much for your support,
E. Nölting

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Letter from 2009 >>

Dear godparents
also in this February 2009 I was in Calcutta and worked, learned and laughed with the children. It is truly always a special experience to visit this part of our world. Despite their poverty, the simple living conditions and the insufficient nutrition, the people radiate a contentment that is second to none.

Last year I helped to ensure that the children were able to change their bed sheets regularly. This sounds banal, but in order to be able to do this, linen had to be bought to change them and of course washing powder. The necessary explanations, how lice and dirty bed linen are connected, I taught as a nurse in class, so that I only met a few children with nits this February. The lice problem seems to be a little bit minimized.

Therefore I bought a set of bed linen again this year, so that now all beds can be covered at the same time.
The boys will get a new sleeping room. At the moment 8 boys are sleeping in a boarding house with a corrugated iron roof, and that is of course a catastrophe in May and June - when the monsoon season starts. Moisture, mud and knee-high water on the paths cause new diseases and infections.

In spite of everything, it is a joy to watch the development of the children over 3 years now. They live like in an extended family. The mother role is taken over by the older girls and the father role by the older boys. In the morning at 5:00 a.m. in the morning coolness, there is a sports lesson, followed by a worship service and breakfast. School starts at 7:00 am and ends at 1:00 pm. Every afternoon the whole area is swept, laundry is done, homework is done, so that in the evening at 20:00 o'clock the night's rest begins.

There are 3 meals a day, always consisting of rice and a potato, never milk and only in the summer months vitamins from the tree. With the worldwide exploding rice prices it was last year so that also the rice meals had to be portioned narrowly.

But thanks to the help from Germany, this school can exist and educated young people can leave.
Thank you very much for your support,
E. Nölting

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Gangnapur, 80 kilometers north of Calcutta

Thanks a lot, Yours Ella Nölting
Mobile 0049 171 7032365