In January 2015, Tractus Asia’s India office staff travelled to two rural schools in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu to engage in learning activities with the local students and to donate supplies. As during the previous years, Tractus supported two schools of the Arcot Lutheran Church (ALC), a 150-year old network of schools established by Danish missionaries. The ALC’s 97 schools largely serve children of marginalized communities, such as those of the Scheduled Caste, as well as Tribal people. Many of the ALC’s students are born into illiterate households where parents are only daily wage earners and would have little educational opportunity without the ALC’s support.
Apart from donating stationeries, Tamil-English library books and recreational sports equipment including footballs, volleyballs, badminton sets and skipping ropes, Tractus also provided supplies customized to the needs of each school.
For the Yercaud Elementary School, Tractus donated sweaters for the chilly weather atop a hill station along with fabric for new school uniforms for all resident students. The team also contributed construction materials (tiles, paint, utilities, etc.) for repairs to be carried out for the kitchen, bathroom and housing facilities.
At the Nellikuppam Elementary School, Tractus partnered with our client Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry (LPGM) and donated metal sheets for roof replacement to confront the local tropical weather, paint for brightening up the school walls, and new school uniforms for the children.
At both schools, the children greeted the team with flowers and honored guests by performing skits and reciting nursery rhymes to show off the English they had learnt. The Tractus and LPGM USA teams interacted with the children by playing games and painting the school walls.
The trip was part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mission of Tractus Asia, a regional investment consultancy which aims to mount at least one annual charitable outing in each of its seven Asian office locations. “From the beginning, Tractus has committed to becoming deeply rooted in the communities that it operates in, with a particular focus on providing opportunities to students and giving back something to the society,” said John Evans, Tractus’ Bangkok-based Managing Director, who joined the Tamil Nadu CSR trip.
The India team later reflected unanimously: “We are all touched deep within us. The kids are so great; they really deserve to have a bright future. We were all amazed at how such modest contributions could make such a big difference in their education and what joy and smiles they reflect back.”