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By Vincent Magnenat

While traveling through India, Vincent from Horyou’s Geneva team decided to devote part of his trip to positive action. With his fellows Krishnamoorthy, Jagan and Vijay from Auroville/Pondicherry, they decided to set up a volunteer expedition to the steep, isolated mountains of the southern Tamil Nadu in order to provide some school furniture to the Kavunji School. This modest institution teaches children from seven neighbouring villages. Most of the time, the students have to walk 5 to 10 kilometers to reach it. After a 14-hour drive, the team arrived at the school, where a daily yoga-like exercise took place.

The team screened two Horyou documentaries. English wasn’t easy to understand for some of them, so they were asked in Tamil what they thought about the films. Regarding the one about Green Bronx Machine, the answers were astounding; they really grasped what this organization was trying to do. One student replied, “It’s about urban farming in order to teach children from the cities to understand and respect the nature and themselves. We should do the same here!”

Then the teachers started a contest among the children. India’s schools have a strong sense of competition as a means to stimulate the students. Ten children were selected to draw how they see their home. Those who didn’t manage to win a prize were given a pen and a piece of caramel. Vincent said the smiles were wonderful and will occupy his mind for years to come. Moreover, in the following two days cruising around the local villages, a host committee was always there to say hello.

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