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This started in Lawside RC Academy, in Dundee, in 2006, as part of a drive to increase awareness of Global Citizenship in our school Community.

We decided to link up our school with the pupils, teachers, parents and support staff of the village and St Marcellin High School in Mangamanuthu in Tamil Nadu in Southern India, through a connection with the Marist Brothers in Scotland, and the Marist South Asia Province in India which is based in Trichy, also in Tamil Nadu.

In 2007 the first of a number of teachers, pupils and interested people from Scotland visited Tamil Nadu, and identified where help could be offered and by 2008, when Lawside RC Academy and St Saviour's High School merged, and became St Paul's Academy, in a brand new building, the Project had grown to include some other areas of the mission of the Marist Brothers in Tamil Nadu.

One area which touched the hearts of most people who looked at the Project was The Rainbow Project, now renamed Operation Rainbow. The Marist Brothers have taken up the responsibility for a large number of families who have been devastated by the AIDS virus and provide an education for the children of these families and distribute high protein food supplements to the children and families as part of a partially funded Government programme. The project initially agreed to sponsor 35 of the children so that they could attend school, and arranged that a number of people in Scotland donate a small amount each month which is sent out annually directly to Operation Rainbow in Trichy.

Several groups of Staff and Pupils have visited Tamil Nadu from Lawside , and subsequently, St Pauls Academy. The Project has continued to raise funds, and helped to embed in the minds of the pupils and staff in the schoolan awareness of the impact of global economic dynamics and some of the imbalances that can result the over the years.

The support for the Project soon spread beyond St Paul's Academy, and through the Marist Brothers' connections, St Peters Primary School, in Partick, Glasgow began to fundraise to help the project.

Soon afterwards, St Ninian's Primary School, in Hamilton, joined, and some of the staff made a visit to Trichy in July 2012, to help support the primary school in P. Udayapatti, near Trichy.

St John's High School , in Dundee have also joined up to help with the project and has sent teachers and pupils out to Tamil Nadu during June 2012, and another group is due to travel in June 2013, to link up with the secondary school in P. Udayapatti

The Project is now involved in several areas:

  • helping to provide safe housing in the village of Mangamanuthu, next to the school;
  • providing equipment, furniture, and resources to help in St Marcellin High School;and also a primary and a secondary school in P. Udayapatti, run by the Marist Brothers, near Trichy and a new school in Podhavur which is still to be completed.
  • supporting the education of a number of children from families where there is HIV/AIDS in Operation Rainbow which is run by the Marist Brothers in Trichy.

Early on it was decided to make the project into a Trust with a constitution, its own bank account and a number of Trustees. Each year a report is produced and plans for the future are laid. The number of trustees has gradually grown to include representatives from St Paul's, St Johns, and the community of former Pupils and Staff

The Brothers in India continue to improve their existing schools and build new ones in the villages in Tamil Nadu.

This year the India Village Project made a grant to them to enable them to buy a piece of land next to St Marcellin High School allowing the school to be expanded finally allowing pupils to be educated up to 6th year and sit University and College entrance examinations.

Recently we sent a gift to enable St Marcelin High School to sink a deep bore hole to provive a sustainable water supply to the school. An extraordinarily long period of drought in the area had threatened the existence of the school because, without a constant supply of water, the Government might have closed it down.

Many groups have travelled out To Tamil Nadu Since the Project started. Initially they were from Lawside RC Academy, and later they were from the newly amalgamated school, St Paul's Academy and then from a neighbouring and former Marist School, St John's High School. On one trip the schools joined their efforts up and sent out pupils and staff from the two schools.

Many friends of the Project have also travelled out, initially to help with Operation Rainbow, and this year a Music Instructor from Dundee travelled out to India as an Ambassador for the Project.