College students improve facilities in southern India

Two students of the cantonal college in Zug/Switzerland, Simona Santamaria and Viviane Dubacher, have helped to provide improved facilities for a children's home and an old women's home in southern India. Both students decided last year that their dissertation should have an impact on underprivileged people in southern India. One is a training centre for children from low-caste families and the other is a home for elderly women who have been abandoned by their families.

Having heard in 2012 about the lack of facilities in a home for the abandoned women and at an accommodation wing of the training centre, the two girls set about baking Christmas biscuits to sell and raise money. Then they made presentations of what they wanted to achieve at various places such as local churches, foundations, companies and private individuals.

At their own expense, both girls spent four weeks in India. "We were treated like princesses," said Santamaria. "When we arrived, we had no idea that many of the beds and the water tank, for example, had already been bought." Both have said how rewarding it has been to make a contribution, however small, to the lives of people of a different culture.