In December 2009, RMF’s Team India inaugurated a dormitory for girls at an English-medium boarding school in Dattigaon, a tribal village in Dhar District in the state of Madhya Pradesh. This dormitory was constructed through funding received by Aktionsgemeinschaft Partner Indiens (API), enabling girls from remote and far off villages to attend the school and receive high-quality education. Before constructing this dormitory, only girls from nearby villages were able to attend school.
More than 150 girls now have access to education, with the school hosting more than 400 children altogether. The Catholic Diocese independently runs the school, with children from all faiths and communities able to attend. The school is Hindi medium, and there is a special focus on integrating tribal culture with studies to maintain the students’ connections with their culture and community.
The school building, which was mainly funded by a German NGO, Aktionsgemeinschaft Partner Indiens (API), was constructed in association with the Catholic Diocese of Jhabua; the initial architectural design and planning had been provided by Diébédo Francis Kere, a winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and much sought-after engineer of innovative architecture in developing countries throughout Africa and Asia.
The boarding school serves more than ten villages around Dattigaon and provides education to the first-ever generation of girls in the region, all of whom are Bhil, a tribe of India’s (casteless) indigenous people. They will study in English and are given the opportunity to pursue high school or even higher education upon completing Kindergarden and eight grades of schooling in Dattigaon.
Since the successful completion of the construction project, RMF has continued to support the school by procuring financial assistance for the purchase of food in the dry season or funding renovation and maintenance measures on a case-by-case basis.