Monday, August 25, 2014

Laying of the foundation stone. Puesta de la primera piedra

Today, 25th of August 2014, we have laid the foundation stone of our project. Here you have the introductory words given by the Brother Director of the Project:

His Excellency Bishop Bejoy D’Cruz,

Father Dominic Sarkar, pastor of Sreemongol Parish, 
Mr. Tapan and Brother Robi, representatives of the construction company,
Dear Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, and Friends 
In the name of the Marist Brothers I welcome you to the bhikti stapon of our future school and hostels in Gyasnogor. Thank you very much for your presence here today which is very meaningful for us. 
First of all I want to give thanks to the persons and institutions that have helped us to reach today’s ceremony: 
1.     In the first place Bishop Bejoy and the Diocese of Sylhet for finding this beautiful piece of land and giving us official and legal coverage to buy and develop it 
2.     Thanks to Fr. Dominic Sarkar and the Parish of Sreemongol for the continual support he is giving us whenever we need something 
3.     Thanks to the Marist Brothers worldwide, especially those in East Asia, Brazil and Spain for helping us to buy the land 
4.     Thanks to the NGOs and agencies that provided funds to start the construction works: Manos Unidas, Solidarity Education Development, Marist Solidarity Australia, FMSI and Aid to the Church in Need.
Now that we are starting the works is a good occasion for a declaration of intentions: What we are going to build here is a High School and hostels whose targets are the Tea garden workers’ Children, and the tribal communities. Of course, we will open the school to Muslim and Hindu students, but our main objective is to have 50% of our students from the most needed communities.
1.     In our understanding a school is not something closed in itself: so, we will continue to support and collaborate in the Sreemongol parish program in the many primary schools scattered in the tea gardens.
2.     We will offer our buildings, our personnel and our skills to improve the formation of the teachers at primary and secondary level.
3.     And finally, we intend to develop in our school, in the Diocese and in the Church of Bangladesh awareness on the Children’s Rights, setting up a Child Protection Policy and organizing seminars on this topic.
Dear friends, we believe in miracles because so far we have witnessed a certain number of them in the process of developing this project: someone decided to give us a part of his family heritage, a woman gave us a big amount while she was very sick at the hospital thinking of doing something good before dying, others have written books, organized music festivals, and so on… everything for the sake of the tea garden children. We have seen miracles so far, and I am sure God and our Good Mother will continue to help this project. Under their protection we put the starting of the works today.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Start point! Casilla de partida!

Today we have signed the contract to start building the Hostel for Girls. Great day!!! We also demarcated the place where the building will be located. 
We still lack funds for the School building, but God will help us!

Hoy hemos firmado el contrato para empezar las obras del Internado para chicas. Un gran dia. Tambien hemos demarcado la situacion de los cimientos.
Aun no tenemos el dinero suficiente para construir la escuela, pero Dios nos va a seguir ayudando.

With the contractor

Demarcating the foundations area

Our location. Nuestro terreno

Ver mapa más grande

The place where we are going to build our High School and Hostels
El lugar exacto donde vamos a construir nuestra escuela e internados

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How can we not believe in miracles if we see them every day? ¿Cómo no vamos a creer en los milagros si los vemos todos los días?

Today one of our small dreams -- which was at the same time a need -- has become a reality. It was to have a vehicle to visit the tea plantations villages. The communities we serve are scattered over an area of 100 km in length by 60 km wide around Sreemongol. We had asked for help to buy the motorized tricycle that you see in the photos; in Bangladesh they are called CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and are normally the vehicles humble people use as taxis to move around. We didn't want a spectacular off-road, but something simple and cheap not getting us too far away from the reality of the poor people we serve. Well, it happened that someone has sent us the money needed for it. How can we not believe in miracles if we see them every day? Thanks to God and thanks to their emissaries, who on this occasion have been Emilio, Merche and Mary, our special angels. Curiously, on our way back home in our brand new CNG people were surprised to see a couple of foreigners driving such a humble vehicle, and more than one has taken pictures from us...
Hoy hemos hecho realidad uno de nuestros pequeños sueños, que era al mismo tiempo una necesidad. Se trataba de tener un vehículo con el que poder visitar los poblados de las plantaciones de té. Las comunidades a las que intentamos servir están diseminadas en un área de 100 km de largo por 60 km de ancho en la zona alrededor de Srimongol. Habíamos solicitado ayuda para comprar el triciclo motorizado que ves en las fotos; en Bangladesh se les llama CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) y son los vehículos en los que la gente humilde se desplaza normalmente utilizándolos como taxis. No queríamos comprar un todoterreno espectacular, sino algo sencillo y barato que no nos alejara de la realidad de la gente pobre a la que servimos. Pues bien, hete aquí que alguien nos ha enviado el dinero necesario. ¿Cómo no vamos a creer en los milagros si los vemos todos los días? Gracias a Dios, y gracias a sus emisarios, que en esta ocasión han sido Emilio, Merche y Mary, nuestros ángeles particulares. Por cierto que en el camino de vuelta a casa montados en nuestro flamante CNG la gente se sorprendía al ver a unos extranjeros conduciendo tan humilde vehículo, y más de uno nos ha hecho fotos.