Issue: 2016-05-26, PHOTO: Liam Campbell
Students of Gian Jyoti School take a break from their classes to have their picture taken
Looking for a busting, bawling, rocking good time that’s also for a good cause? Then head out to the Gr8ful Spud on May 28th for a fundraiser for the Gyan Jyoti School Building Society.
The Gyan Jyoti School Building Society is currently raising funds to build additional two new classrooms in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India. The school currently serves 90 students between the ages of three and eleven. Two additional classrooms will allow each grade to have their own room, and create jobs locally through teaching and construction.
The Gyan Jyoti School is a private school, says Liam Campbell. Campbell is the society’s president and founder. Both private and public schools have tuition fees associated with them, he explains, but private schools usually offer a higher standard of education.
Campbell first became involved with the school in the fall of 2014, when he travelled there as a volunteer with the Himalayan Education Life Program (HELP). He reviewed many organizations before he settled on working HELP, he says.
“They are a very good, straight-forward organization,” he says. The Gyan Jyoti School Building Society operates in the Yukon on behalf of HELP to raise funds for the Gyan Jyoti School specifically.
Although the school is in India, the people it serves are Gorkhali and ethnically Nepalese. The Gorkhali are the descendants of the Nepali tea pickers who settled in the region to work during the period of British rule in India. They are often repressed and have fewer economic and social opportunities than other peoples in the region, Campbell explains.
The cost of building the new classrooms will be $20,000; to date the society has been able to raise $10,000. They are hoping to have the other other $10,000 raised in the upcoming months, so that they can begin building in October, during which there is an extended break in the Indian school year.
Once building begins, Campbell will return to Kalimpong to administer and oversee the project. His travel costs, “will be on his own dime,” he says, and stresses that all the proceeds from the society go directly to the school.
Campbell says the fundraiser is a good way to, “make face time with the community and help out some kids.”
“I’m able to support local musicians and a local business (with this event), while those musicians and that business supports the Gyan Jyoti School Building Society,” he says. “It’s a very symbiotic relationship. It’s also going to be a very good time.
The night will open with Fabian Brook, followed by newly-formed local band, The Cryptozoologists, and finally the headliners for the evening, Soda Pony. Entry is by donation to the Gyan Jyoti School Building Society. Show starts at 9pm at the Gr8ful Spud. This is a 19+ event.
The Gyan Jyoti School Building Society is a registered Yukon non-profit society. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/gyanjyotisbs.