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 “untouchables”.

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.
Link to Wikipedia
Click on the Wikipedia
Logo above to lean
more about Bangalore.
Link to Lions Club International
Click on the Lions Club
Logo to learn more
about their work.
Image School Group
School Group Photograph
Taken in March 2008
Below are some photographs taken by Heather and Pam on a visit to the
School in 2008
Click on images to open full size in a new window
Typical house in
which these children
"Lions Club" medical
Children playing in
building sand.
Children performing
song and dance
The 8 sponsored
children at "Little
Flowers" English
Image Typical House
Image Playing in Sand
Image Sportsday
Image Song & Dance
Image Lions Club Medical Camp
Image Sponsored Children
For more information or to make a donation please contact:-

Global Vision Trust International,
69/70, Lakshminarayana Layout,
5th Main Road, (Opposite Lakshminarayana Temple.)
Marathahalli Post
Bangalore 560037.

Phone:        +91 80 28541133.


Visit Global Vision Trust International Website:     
E-mail GVTI
Link to GVTI
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 School.  

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 Heather - 0114 246
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
Image chatsworth 1
Image chatsworth 2
Image traditional sunday lunch
Image - Talk at service
Image  a cup of tea
Mr Janifer talks to
the 9.30
A cup of tea in
between services
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 School.

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
click to view
click to view
click to view
click to view
click to view
Nativity Play
Sports Day Parade
A day at the Zoo
Ice Creams all
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
Up-Date 2011

There has been a change in circumstances regarding children of primary school age
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 organisations.

If you would be interested in sponsoring a child or are interested in hearing a talk about
the Schools, then please contact Heather Johnson (0114 2463104)