|St Mary’s School, Bangalore
St Mary’s School in Bangalore - A brief history.
The School opened in June 2004 being a dream fulfilled for Sister Thankamma Varkey (an
Indian lady) and also for Heather Johnson & Pam Prior two members of St Mary’s Church,
who helped to raise some of the money required to equip the School.
It is a kindergarten school, plus a crèche facility, for children from 2 ½ to 6 years. The children
attending the school are not orphans – they do have parents who are classed as the
There are now 55 children attending the school, including those in the crèche. They attend
from 9.00 am to 12.30 pm and are given milk in the morning followed by a meal at lunchtime,
after which the children go home. The education and food is free. There are 2 teachers and 2
ayahas (non-teaching staff).
Every month a meeting is held in the School for the parents to attend when they receive advice
on hygiene, nutrition and general health problems. Every 3 months a Medical Camp is held
at the School, organised and funded by “The Lions Club” to which all the children and their
parents are invited and any medication needed by the children is given free.
Over the last few years treadle sewing machines have been given and a teacher has been
employed to show the mothers how to make their own clothes. This class takes place each
morning whilst the children are at School. After a year certificates of competence are given
out and the person is given their own machine, in the hope that they can make a living by
making clothes for other people in the area.
Through the generosity of Ecclesfield Primary and Comprehensive Schools and other people,
enough money was raised in 2007 to purchase 2 cows. On Heather & Pam's previous visit
they had asked what the women would like to help them supplement their income. They
suggested cows, the milk from which would help supplement their meagre income. These
were given to 2 of the children’s mothers. Both cows are well and one has had a calf.
In 2008 - of 16 children due to leave the School, 8 passed an examination to attend “Little
Flowers English School”, which is within walking distance of St. Mary’s School. These 8
children are being sponsored by some members of St. Mary’s, Ecclesfield, friends and groups.
This year 15 children are due to be leaving and will be taking the entrance examination. The
cost of sponsoring a child is at present £45 per year. This money not only pays for their
education but also for 2 sets of uniform, 2 pairs of shoes, schoolbag and extra tuition. These
children return to St Mary’s at lunchtime for their meal and again after school for milk and
biscuits and then return to Little Flowers for an hour’s extra tuition. The reason for the latter is
that there is no-one at home capable of helping them with their homework. This year Heather
and Pam met these 8 children again and were surprised to see how they had grown in
confidence and all of them said they are very happy at their new School. A meeting was
arranged with the Headmistress who said she was very pleased with the children’s progress.
|Click on the Wikipedia
Logo above to lean
more about Bangalore.
|Click on the Lions Club
Logo to learn more
about their work.
|School Group Photograph
Taken in March 2008
|Below are some photographs taken by Heather and Pam on a visit to the School in
Click on images to open full size in a new window
|Typical house in
which these children
|"Lions Club" medical
|Children playing in
song and dance
|The 8 sponsored
children at "Little
Flowers" English School.
For more information or to make a donation please contact:-
Global Vision Trust International,
69/70, Lakshminarayana Layout,
5th Main Road, (Opposite Lakshminarayana Temple.)
Phone: +91 80 28541133.
Visit Global Vision Trust International Website:
Treasurer Visits St Mary's - Ecclesfield (2008)
Mr Janifer is the Treasurer of St Mary's School Bangalore. When Heather and Pam were in
Bangalore earlier in the year, he mentioned that he was retiring from his job as Administrator
of a very large Christian school in Bangalore, and was intending to travel to America, Europe
and finally England. He asked if he and his wife could come to visit them and also meet the
people of St Mary's here in Ecclesfield to thank them for their support of the children in the
Revd Canon 'Tricia' Impey invited Mr Janifer to speak about what is happening in the School
and his involvement with it, which he did at both the 9.30 am and 11.15 am Services. After
his return to Bangalore he e-mailed to say how much he and his wife had enjoyed their visit to
Ecclesfield and how warmly they had been welcomed by everyone. Heather and Pam made
sure they sampled traditional English fare by introducing them to fish and chips, Yorkshire
Pudding and ice cream (not all together!!).
Sister Thankamma Varkey has recently informed Heather and Pam that 9 children have, this
year, passed the examination to go to "Little Flowers English School". These children need
sponsorship to enable them to continue with their education.
If you would like more information about sponsorship, please contact either Heather or Pam -
(0114 2463104/0114 2463482.
|Below are some photographs taken during Mr Janifer's visit to St Mary's in 2008
Click on images to open full size in a new window
|Mr Janifer talks to
the 9.30 congregation
|A cup of tea in
|Followed by a traditional 'Sunday
Lunch' with Heather and Pam
|Mr and Mrs Janifer at Chatsworth House with
Heather and Pam
The School has been granted Primary Status which means that the children can now stay
until they are 10 years old, hence the reason for the extra classrooms.
A new Head Teacher, Mrs Shirley Jacobs and Mr Daiju Skariah a Social Worker have been
appointed, both of whom are Indian and very committed Christians who want the best for
both the children, their families and the School.
The older children, who are sponsored by various individuals and organisations that have
shown an interest in the child’s education, are doing extremely well at Little Flowers English
Recently School Reports have been received in respect of these children and one of the boys,
who is now 9 years old, is top of his class. This is a wonderful achievement when you take into
consideration that the other children in his class are from a wealthier background and have
more advantages than him.
The School attendance of all the children is quite amazing; some even have 100% attendance,
which shows that they, and their parents, really do appreciate the education they are receiving.
Update – 2010
The School keeps on growing, literally, as another 3 classrooms have
been built on the roof as can be seen from the photograph right.
|Below are a few photos from Pam and Heathers visit to the school in 2010
|Click on the images to view full size in a new window
There has been a change in circumstances regarding children of primary school age
continuing their education at St. Mary’s School. This has arisen due to political change in
Bangalore; both the Bangalore Municipal Corporation and Karataka State is now ruled by the
BJP. This is a Hindu anti-christian political movement and their officers were demanding a
large bribe for permission to use the School for Primary Education, which obviously Sister.
Thankamma Varkey refused to pay. The School has therefore reverted back to being a
Kindergarten School and at present there are 30 children there.
However, the good news is that, many years ago Sr. Thankamma was given premises in the
Governor of Kanataka’s residency in Bangalore, to use as a School. This School has been in
existence for about 12 years and is in a position to take St. Mary’s children when they reach
the age of 6. The name of the School is Raj Bhavan and at present 41 of our primary students
are studying there. As Raj Bhavan School is about 15 km from St. Mary’s School, it has
necessitated the purchase of a bus to take the children to and from School each day.
There are now 26 children of primary school age being sponsored both by individuals and
If you would be interested in sponsoring a child or are interested in hearing a talk about the
Schools, then please contact either Heather Johnson (0114 2463104) or Pam Prior (0114