SESAWNG VILLAGE SCHOOL
We visited the Village of Sesawng in January, 2012. We learned that many of the children in this village haven't had access to education. These childrens' families migrated to Sesawng from other villages in the more remote, interior areas of Mizoram, as well as Manipur state for the most part. The majority of these people survive on subsistence agriculture, cutting timber and wild bamboo in the jungle, collecting herbs and roots, and fishing/netting in the river. Many exist on a "hand to mouth" basis.
We were warmly welcomed by hundreds of villagers.
Everywhere Dean went, the kids followed.
OUR FIRST VISIT
The ride from Saiphai to Aizawl was around 5 hours, perhaps 6. And then it was another 1:15 hr ride to Sesawng the next morning.
Some of the villagers welcoming Mom.
Many of the children and parents of the village gathered to welcome us.
A father stood up and (through an interpreter) said to us:
have to live their whole lives like we have".
The Just Let Me Learn Foundation asked these people in the village to submit a proposal to consider building a school in this area. The proposal has been submitted to The Just Let Me Learn Foundation and has been approved by Just Let Me Learn. The people are now diligently searching for a qualified headmaster. They are also starting an education program in a temporary building.
We will not let them down!
While we were there, they showed us the land where they would like the school built.
The school will serve the entire village and surrounding areas
We will be serving primarily and most directly the school-going age children in Sesawng and the surrounding villages, but the school will have an impact on their families, and the entire village, all of whom will be served by the school, on different levels.
Building the school will impact the local economy
We will hire from within the village during the construction period. We will source as much as possible locally using building materials locally, or from local suppliers to build up good will with the community. We will also try to source food and other essential items from the local farmers (vegetables, eggs, meat, etc.) and we will patronize the local shops as much as possible, if their prices can be competitive. Building up this good will is often worth much more than saving a few rupees here and there.
The School will provide jobs for local people
We will hire capable, qualified, trustworthy teachers and other staff locally. We would not lower our educational standards and targets in the process, though, as we want this school to compete with the best in Aizawl, and in all of Mizoram. Staff positions like maintenance, night watchmen, drivers, etc. most likely will be from the village as well.
The school will have high quality education and a solid plan for sustainability
A school of this quality will provide the students with an opportunity for education unparalleled in the region built on high academic standards and a world view based on human dignity and self-worth. And the school leaders will have a solid plan for sustainability for years to come.
Below is a rendering of the site plan which is on 13.5 acres that was acquired a couple years ago. It's located at the northern end of the village. We are so appreciative of Winter Street Architects who again are donating time and expertise to this project. They have provided us with the site plan below and the school buildings rendering. A special thanks to Annette Popp for all she is doing to improve the design, and giving us space planning and master planning input along with three dimensional visualizations of all proposed construction.
Due to the land's strategic location, with many small nearby villages, children from various tribal villages will be able to attend the school.
|Project Start||Official start of project (Phase I)||April 18, 2014|
|Ground Breaking||April 18, 2014|
|Milestone 1||Land Development Work – Land Clearing, Site Leveling, Soccer Field, & Internal Roads. (Topographical Survey and Initial Land Clearing already completed)||May 30, 2014 - Aug 15, 2014|
|Milestone 2||Building & Campus Design refined while Approach Road, Water Supply & Electrification started. (Temporary workers’ housing & warehouse built.)||Aug. 1, 2014 - Oct. 31, 2014|
|Milestone 3||Academic/Administrative Building, Primary & Middle Section Blocks - Foundation, Posts, Beams completed||Sept. 1, 2014 - Nov. 15, 2014|
|Milestone 4||Staff Quarters (2) - Foundations, Posts & Beams completed||Oct. 15, 2014 - Nov. 30, 2014|
|Milestone 5||Academic/Admin. Buildings: Both Sections - Gr. Flr. Walls completed||Oct. 15, 2014 - Dec. 15, 2014|
|Milestone 6||Toilet Block - Completed||Oct. 15, 2014 - Nov. 30, 2014|
|Milestone 7||Staff Quarters (2) – Gr. Flr. Walls completed||Dec. 1, 2014 - Jan. 15, 2015|
|Milestone 8||Academic/Admin. Buildings: Both Sections – Roofing Trusses & Sheeting completed||Nov. 15, 2014 - Feb 15, 2015|
|Milestone 9||Staff Quarters - Roofing Trusses & Sheeting completed||Jan. 1, 2015 - Feb. 28, 2015|
|Milestone 10||Water Supply & Electrification Completed||Aug. 1, 2014 - Feb. 28, 2015|
|Milestone 11||Academic Building, Both Sections – Interior Finished (plaster, paint, electrical, etc.)||Jan. 15, 2015 - Mar. 15, 2015|
|Milestone 12||Staff Quarters (2) - Interior Finished (plaster, paint, electrical, etc.)||Feb. 1, 2015 - Mar. 31, 2015|
|Milestone 13||Classroom, Office & Quarters Furniture Completed||Jan. 1, 2015 - Mar. 31, 2015|
|Milestone 14||Classes Begin!!||April 6, 2015|
|Project Completion||Official End of Project (Phase I)||April 6, 2015|
Below is the official statistical information that we received from the leaders of the Joint Young Mizo Association in Sesawng, Mizoram. For more information click here.