A school for 80 handicapped children
Handicapped children in the slums of Chennai had nowhere to go during the day, no place to take care of them. All day they would remain tied to lamp posts while their parents went out to earn a few rupees to buy food. In 2006, a seasoned social worker, P. Selvaraj, decided to devote his life to improving their lot, by opening a school for 80 handicapped children with a boarding dormitory for 20 orphans. This was the origin of Anbumalar, a special needs school that was built with the proceeds of the Don du Choeur's 2006 concert.
Don du Choeur's objective was to build a special school for handicapped children and young adults (age 6 to 32) and, in time, to open a vocational training centre for the most independent young adults.
After six years, Anbumalar has been recognised by the Indian Government as a specialist school and has been able to secure local funding to ensure its future.
July 2006 – June 2007: Purchase of the land, construction of the school.
November 2007: Opening of the clinic, funded by the Fondation Mérieux, providing medical care for the school and the surrounding neighbourhood.
April 2008: The Government certifies Anbumalar in recognition of the quality of its specialised education.
May 2008: The teaching staff are trained in the Montessori method, provided at no cost by the Geneva Montessori Centenary ????
2009: Construction of an upper floor to lodge some of the staff and to open professional training workshops (candle-making, self-adhesive envelopes, weaving skills...)
June 2011: Vocational training starts for 25 young people. The modules last two years.
June 2012: Thanks to the generosity of local businesses, Anbumalar is equipped with machines for making bread and manufacturing paper cups, thus ensuring a stable income.
December 2012: Mission accomplished – Don du Choeur is able to end its financial support to this project.