Date: 2013.10.27 | Category: News | Response: 0

P1040841Ramya is one of our three proud students who joined the scholarship programme from Gyan this summer. The scholarship programme is about German sponsors who pay the school fee for one year enabling their scholarship students to continue their schooling after having finished 8th standard.

Ralf Groh from Dresden is one of these sponsors. He has already been interested in the Gyan-Shenbakkam- School project for a very long time and hence, he applied immediately when he had heard about the Gyan scholarship programme. Some months ago he found out that he is one of the lucky sponsors and will be able to support Ramya’s further schooling in 9th grade already from this summer on.
Only a few weeks ago he decided to make a short trip to India with his 15 year-old daughter Saskia.
As their route guided them near Shenbakkam, the idea arised – „Why not visiting the Gyan-Shenbakkam School project which is very nearby and at the same time finally meeting Ramya personally?“
Just as we had received the phone call from Germany, telling we will have visitors soon, they already stood in front of our door on Friday afternoon, Ralf and Saskia in the middle of the small and modest village Shenbakkam. Continue reading “Surprise visit for Ramya” »

Date: 2013.09.15 | Category: News | Response: 0

After having had Vanessa’s and Tim’s „Farewellparty“ on Sunday with a lot of dancing and celebrating, it was time for them to say “Goodbye” as they caught the flight home on Wednesday morning after having lived Indian Life for half a year.


We are the new Volunteer-team working in the Gyan-Shenbakkam School Project and as we are here even more than one week now, it’s time to introduce ourselves. We are going to continue the work of Tim and Vanessa and all the other previous volunteers and cooperate with the two Indian teachers Priyanga and Shalini in teaching the students in our “tuitions” in English, Computer knowledge and Creative classes. 

Continue reading “The new team for Gyan !” »

Date: 2013.09.03 | Category: News | Response: 0

My name is S.Shalini. I am working as a teacher in Gyan Shenbakkam School Project. My experiences are very nice in this project. I really like to teach English and the project is doing the same thing. So this is why I like to join this project. The students are very close to us. The students behave sometimes good in classroom, but sometimes they are also lazy and sometimes horrible…but  all are good experiences with the students. I enjoy my job, because the teaching field is not only a job. It is a service. I am very happy to working with German volunteers, because I only know Indian teaching method. The volunteers  are telling the European method and discuss the lessons before we are teaching. They are helping me.

blog blog2I like the  European teaching method. In India they follow the LSRW method .L- Listening,  S-Speaking, R- Reading, W- Writing. The European methods are with playing and not only to memories. The students are very interested to learn English in this method. My future vision is that government school students also speak English very well. I hope this project will help them.

My daily work with the students is good. They did not speak English before but after tuition they speak English very well. I think it’s a great success.





S. Shalini

Date: 2013.08.27 | Category: News | Response: 0

Last but not least we introduce Ramya to you.  She is fourteen years old and has a younger and an elder sister. Her father works as an auto driver and also her mother works apart from her housework. Have a look how she answered our questions:













Ramya, how do you like your new school?

I really enjoy going to my new school. I like it very much.

Is there anything you don’t like about it?

I do not like the boys at school.

How are the lessons and your new teachers?

Actually the lessons are great, but it is very difficult.  The teachers stick strictly to the curriculum and we have to learn very quickly.

What is your favourite subject?

My favourite subject is English.

What would you like to become later? Do you have a dreamjob?

I would love to work as an English teacher.


Translated by Tim Rothenbücher


Date: 2013.08.14 | Category: News | Response: 0

Our second scholarship student who we like to introduce to you is Mahalakshmi. She is fourteen years old and has two elder brothers and a younger sister. Her father works as a woodcutter and her mother is a housewife.










Mahalakshmi, how do you like your new school?

The new school is okay. But I also miss my former school and my friends there. Now my way to school is much more longer, too, 25 minutes by foot. The lessons are from 9 o’clock in the morning until  4:30 pm.

What do you like most at the new school?

I really like my new teachers.

How are they like and the new school in general?

The lessons are completely different from before.  The new teachers are really strict, while my former teachers were really friendly.

What is your favourite subject?

My favourite subject is English.

What would you like to become later? Do you have a dreamjob?

I would like to become a Maths teacher. Even if English is my favourite subject, I am better at Maths and it is very easy for me.


Translated by Tim Rothebücher

Date: 2013.07.31 | Category: News | Response: 0

The fact that we selected three scholarship students this year proves the truth of this phrase. Since 2011 the scholarship programme has been an important part of our project work and it enables 8 th standard students regularly attending our tuitions and developing in an outstanding way the continuation of their schooling  in 9 th standard. In our blog we want to present this year’s students who left the old school in Shenbakkam after the summer holidays. We invited and interviewed the girls so that you can get to know them. Despite their shyness, we could draw some information of them.


We begin with Anjali. She is thirteen years old and has two elder brothers. Her father is a painter and her mother is a housewife.









Anjali, how do you like your new school?

I really like the new school. I have found a lot of new friends.

How are the lessons and your new teachers?

Compared to my former school, the lessons are completely different, more demanding. Also the teachers are stricter.

What is your favourite subject?

My favourite subject is Science.

What would you like to be later? Do you have a dreamjob?

I would like to work as a nurse.


Translated by Tim Rothenbücher

Date: 2013.06.25 | Category: News | Response: 0

A few days ago, the community in our Shenbakkam flat has increased. We are happy to welcome Carola, who is going to take part in daily life here in Shenbakkam for the next two months. During this period of time, she is going to work as a German teacher here for our project.

After her arrival, we took the chance to invite her to an Indian dinner, enjoy the view on the hills surrounding Vellore and ask her a bunch of questions about her life and her motivation to join our project.

Carola, we are pleased to welcome you here in Vellore. But please tell us first, what you usually do, when you don’t teach German in India.

I live and work in Wiesbaden as a consultant for the parliamentary group of the Green party. Appart from that, I have two almost grown up children.

How did you come up with the idea of working abroad as a German teacher?

Since my teaching German as a foreign language at the Goethe institute I often had a look at a portal for jobs abroad. Most of the jobs offered required a stay for at least 6 months and were thus not compatible with my position in Germany. In  Gyan Shenbakkam School Project India, a shorter stay is also possible. Furthermore, I’ve wished for a long time now to go abroad for a longer period of time. But so far, there had not been the opportunity to do so.

And why India?

I‘ve always found India exciting and interesting and I really liked the idea of the project. Now I want to see, smell, hear and feel India and I want to know how I can cope with this big and unknown country.

How come that you decided for the diploma as a teacher for German as a foreign language?

I was teaching German at the Volkshochschule in Berlin, when I started the apprenticeship additionally to my work. In the beginning, I saw it as possibility to earn money through the lessons in case I find no other job, but also as a chance to go abroad one day.

How did your children react, when they heard about your plans?

My daughter was delighted because she enjoys travelling also and has always been interested in going to India, while my son reacted in quite a neutral way. Only when he heard that he won’t be alone at home and that his grandma will pass sometimes, his enthusiasm declined a bit.

What are your first impressions at the moment?

It is similar to what I imagined. The life of the people here is simple. But so far, I have not had a  culture shock. I just find it so interesting to see everything here. Only the heat at night is harder for me than I expected.

How did you prepare yourself for India?

At first, I talked to a lot of people who have already been to India. Appart from that, I imagined everything in the worst way so that I am positively surprised now. Concerning my German classes, I just packed all the books I possessed.

What do you hope for in the next two months?

I am hoping for a lot of new impressions. What is more, I wish to learn a lot about me and gain experiences for my future life. I am also curious about how I will manage daily life in spite of the continuous heat.


Translated by Tim Rothenbücher


Date: 2013.05.18 | Category: News | Response: 0

971087_541224609253252_1729588688_nNot only German pupils fancy holidays, also in India the children look forward to their “summer holidays” which they yearn for all year long. While German children do not go on summer holidays before June, India’s children can take a long rest from school from the end of April until the beginning of June, the hottest period of time during the whole year. Just as the years before, we have organised a holiday programme of 12 days where all the children were invited to participate at “Gyan Shenbakkam World Tour”, the topic of this year’s holiday project.

Every day, we flew to another country with Gyan airlines and learned a lot about the people living there and their traditions. Of course, we began with India, going on with Brazil, Africa, Sri Lanka, Russia, Italy, Australia and many more. Needless to say, we did not want our children to miss Germany which we travelled on our last day. Continue reading “Summer Holidays” »

Date: 2013.05.14 | Category: News | Response: 0

Friday, half past four. One classroom, our children, two Indian teachers, four volunteers and one special guest. This guests name is Raman, who has come to our so  called Job class. As described in the last blog post, the Job class is part of our Special class. Taking place every Friday, our guests show the children future possibilities by telling them about their professional career.

Raman is one of our trustees , 32  years old, married and has three children. After graduating in a B.A. with Tamil, he could not find a job. To make ends meet, he had to start working as an auto driver.

During the job class, Raman stressed a lot the importance of English for the children and their future. While Hindi is only useful to communicate in India, a good English knowledge is essential because of its great significance in the whole world and also in India.

With exciting stories, Raman gains the attention of our students, just as our former guest Karthik. First, he tells them about a man called Karadi Saravanan who felt very responsible for his parents and thus treated them with a lot of respect.

As they were utterly religious, they asked their son one day to bring them to the temple. As they were pilgrims, they refused going to the temple by bus or train, they deeply wished to go by foot. This is why Karadi and his parents arrived at the temple after 20 days instead of 6.

In the temple, Karadi prayed to his God and promised him to do everything for his parents. But his God answered that you can never commit yourself enough to your parents. According to him, even if you already take much care of them, you should always try to find more ways to make them happy. Through this story, Raman intended to convey our curiously listening students that they should see their parents, but also their teachers as role models and behave respectfully.

The second story Raman told particularly fascinated our students. It was about a lorry driver who had to transport a heavy load of crabs which came from all over the world. While the Indian crabs were able to crawl on the ground of the lorry, the crabs of the many other countries were caught up in boxes. Thus, a man asked the lorry driver why only the Indian crabs are allowed to be free. The lorry driver replied that on the contrary to the other crabs, the Indian ones would not help each other to leave the lorry. They would be so jealous of each other and would begrudge any other crab their liberty, he believed.

With this story, Raman refers to a very important topic, jealousy. Instead of hindering each other, the children should more often stick together and support each other to reach their aims together.

That afternoon, Raman has pointed to a lot of problems. We hope that the children kept his captivating stories and his conclusions in mind and that they can learn something from them for their personal life.

CIMG0191Translated by Tim Rothenbücher

Date: 2013.03.07 | Category: News | Response: 0

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt 4.30pm Priya, Shalini, Laurie, Lukas and I have already set off on our daily itinerary to the ADWM-school in Shenbakkam carrying, as always, a donkey-load of equipment. The pupils that see us approaching from afar instantly stampede towards us, sporting their chirpy smile, and relieve us of the water tank and the two brooms that are part of our heavy load. Today is no ordinary day. Our children are excited, swarm into the classroom and quickly form a large circle that, surprisingly, needs no help creating. It is extraordinarily silent. Everyone is eagerly awaiting something to happen. Then Priya, our Indian project manager, welcomes our special guest. Karthik is one of our trust members and owns a small kiosk around the corner that is frequented regularly by many of our girls and boys who buy nuts, biscuits and Indian sweets. He has come to our monthly “Job Class” to speak about his education at school and to clarify future job possibilities. Continue reading “38 people, 1 ghost and a lot of fun – A fairytale about wit, water and other valuables” »